While listening to my sister Alisa read about all the things she remembered about Dad, I tried to recall all of my own special memories, jokes he’s told me, words of wisdom he gave me, basically everything. But they all were blurred, if there at all, and I was so scared they were lost forever. Then, a few days after returning to Arizona, they started coming back to me, and one by one, I started writing them down. I even kept a notebook and pen by my bed because I found myself waking in the middle of the night remembering one more special moment…one more story.
I want to share them with all of you on this blog because many of these “stories” are ones he’s probably told you as well and if not, will give you yet another glimpse into the life of the man we all knew and loved so much. I have quite a few so I’ll share one at a time.
One of my earliest memories was probably the most important, the day my dad saved my life. We were all at Grandpa and Grandma’s neighbors, the Burnsides, swimming in their pool. I’m not sure how old I was but I know I didn’t yet know how to swim so I was hanging out in the shallow end with my brothers and cousins. For some reason, I decided to follow by cousin Karen around. She jumped in the shallow end and I followed. She got out of the pool and I followed. She climbed up the slide and I followed. She slid down into the deep end and I followed. Only then, bobbing and gasping for air, did I realize that was a bad decision.
My dad was standing on the other side of the fence, talking and watching, when he saw, in his words, a little brown head bobbing up and down gasping for air. He immediately scaled the fence and jumped into the pool and rescued me. My next memory was him holding me so tight, trying to soothe me, and teasing me about how I made him get all wet, including his watch and wallet.
The next thing I remember was him convincing me, not pushing me, but encouraging me to get back in the pool. He said I didn’t have to but that if I didn’t, I may never want to swim again. I was so scared but trusted him and since I knew that’s what he wanted, I got back in the pool.
Thank you Dad for saving my life. Because of you I was able to grow into the person I am today and not only appreciate, but experience life. I know I’ve made you proud because you told me this often. I just hope I told you enough how much you mean to me. I love you and will miss you…until we see each other again.Love,