i miss you dad

I miss you Dad. It’s been a long time since I last saw your face, laughed with you, held your strong hand, gave you a hug as you hugged me back lifting my feet off the ground. I miss our wrestling matches. I miss helping you tend to your amazing garden. I miss tossing the ball with you. I miss watching you officiate at swim meets, so proud that the tall handsome starter in white was you. I miss eating your soft-boiled eggs with butter and salt watching you lean your hip against the kitchen counter, bowl and spoon in hand, reading the morning paper.

I miss you Dad. I used to love listening to your litany of jokes just to watch you crack up—crinkled up nose, squinting eyes filling with tears of joy and amusement, wide jumping shoulders, unmistakable hoarse cackle. I miss pouring you more wine when you weren’t looking, just to take your sometimes somber edge off. You liked relaxing. You didn’t do it enough.

Dad, you went away far too early, in the prime of your retirement, finally resting after thirty years of what became monotony at a desk job on a florescent-lit floor with hundreds of busy clones in crisp white shirts and ties, the token female always the secretary. You should have had many, many more years ahead of you the way you kept your body and mind in such outstanding shape. No man your age—nor half your age—could hold a candle to you. But that insidious cancer, your body’s own cells attacking, painfully eroding your very marrow, chemotherapy sickening you to the core.

I’ll always remember the pillar which was you. I feel we are so alike and am thankful that your strength and stamina runs through me like a steely rod. It’s in great part because of you that I can withstand so much of what life throws my way.

I miss you, Dad. I wish you could see us now. I can imagine you cuddling with Calvin, tickling him and kissing him and bouncing him hilariously on your knee like you did with me. He would crack up the same way we used to. You are part of him. The two of you wouldn’t need words, just time, just togetherness.

I miss you, Dad. I think of you every day.

Originally published 06.19.11.

Donald Murray Shake, February 20th 1925 - January 16, 1996

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