My father, Big Daddy Don, as a friend could call him, passed away in October 2001. I think about my Sweet Daddy every day. Today was no different. Bittersweet, really.
You see, back in the day, I tried to make it back to Iowa for my Birthday and if I didn't, Dad and I would be on the phone. One of our rituals--that and Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. We would sit and wait for TVLand or some channel to play an Andy Griffith episode. We both hoped Barney Fife would be in it. And I would ask Dad, "So what's tomorrow?" Not to miss a beat Dad would say, "Trash day!"
I'd whine "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddddddeeee!" and we'd both laugh. Then I'd ask, "So what were you doing x-years ago today?"
If we were on the phone I knew Dad's eyes would shine as he shifted that infamous King Edward cigar to the other side of his mouth--then his smile would start. Dad would replay how he waited for Mom to have me. He waited impatiently and also in fear. My parents didn't have any other children, in fact they had experienced four stillborn before me. The doctor advised this should be their last try. Mom couldn't handle much more. And then Dad would tell me how I arrived at 4:30 am and the nurse came running down the hall with a wailing 7 pound 14 ounce me and said, "Don,we got us a girl!!" I was headed to a incubator. I was born with one ear, called microtia, so questions abound--time answered them all. :)
I miss the re-telling of my birth. .
I miss getting a phone call at 4:30AM to wish me Happy Birthday.
And I miss the storyteller.
Sometimes, right before I fall asleep, I swear a hint of cigar smoke tickles my nose.
I am blessed.