So my dad passed away yesterday.
He was 88. He served in the Navy at the very tail end of World War II.
He did a bunch of stuff in addition to raising four children, such as trying his hand at minor league baseball, working for a trucking company, bar tending (shot and a beer neighborhood bar stuff and none of those fancy drinks), and odds and ends.
So there has been a lot to do.
And this had been on top of a lot to do the last 5 months with a lawyer who was great on financial issues, emergency rooms, a nursing home, and finally hospice care. I'm grateful to all the people who helped make my dad's final months as good as possible and lifted a terrible burden from my mother's shoulders.
I debated whether to blog this. But what's the point of blogging if you can't do something like this just for yourself?
I loved my dad and I'll miss him.
As you get older, you stop needing your dad to cope with life or to take care of you. As an adult, that's what you need to do on your own.
But I did get used to him just hanging in there. At some point he just seemed indestructible. Just knowing he was around was a comfort.
And now he isn't around except in memories and photos and expressions that come out of nowhere from my own mouth.
Anyway, let me just share one story that the Interwebs will keep for all times.
When I was a fairly young, my dad taught me to play Poker. He was on the couch and me on the floor with the coffee table between us for the table.
Dad explained the mechanics and went through the hands you were trying to get to win.
He dealt the cards and asked me how many cards I wanted. He explained that you usually want as many as you can get after saving your best cards.
I reviewed the hand I had and went over the goals I had. So I told him I wanted no cards.
Dad asked me if I was sure. People usually want to discard a few if you can, he explained--again.
I said I'd keep my cards. At this point I'm sure that dad figured I was hopeless at the game.
My dad took a few cards after discarding the maximum.
And then we showed our hands. I honestly don't even remember what dad had in his hand, because it just didn't matter.
I had a straight flush.
So at that point dad just laughed.
Perhaps from relief that I wasn't actually an idiot.
And he told me I'd never see that hand again in my life. Ever.
Which was nice to know. I've never gambled, figuring I used up my gambling luck just learning the game.
So thanks, dad. For that and a lot more. I'll miss you. But I won't forget you.
Teach the angels to play Poker, eh?