Tuesday, November 23, 2004

My Daddy

Well cousins,
December 17 would have been my Daddy's 80th birthday.  Note the "would have been".  You see, he found out on April 4th that he had a mass in his lungs.  Then a few days later they told him he had maybe 6 months to live...them they said 3-6 at the most.  They actually were being overly generous.  He died 41 days after they found the mass.  Cancer had crept its way into his body like the thief it is and took his life from him very quickly.

Now, folks tell me it was a blessing he went so very quick.  From my point of view that is not much of a blessing.  It is a terrible thing.

I called him Pappy most of the time.  He was a kind and gentle soul who I never heard bad mouth anyone.  I have seen him get up when folks were gossiping and go to another room.  That was the kind of fellow he was.

When I was a little boy Pappy had a gold tooth in front.  I think it was one of his incisors.  He had it replaced when he was in the Navy during WWII.  Later in life he wore dentures and his smile never was the same.  Mama begged him to get that gold tooth put in his dentures, but he said it tasted bad.

Pappy wasn't much of a talker.  When I told him I loved him, his usual reply was "same here".  It always reminded me of Fred Flintstone saying, "Vicey versey Wilma" when Wilma told him she loved him.  It just wasn't easy for my Daddy to talk like that. 

I wish he had been able to say good-bye to my brother Mike and I.  I guess I have seen too many movies or read too many books, but I wanted to hear him say good-bye and give me some words to live the rest of my life by.  Sort of like him telling me one last time what he wanted me to do.

'Course, he hasn't told me what to do for a long time, so I guess he didn't see the need.

You know, I knew he was in his declining years, but I didn't think my Daddy would die.  I just didn't think it was possible.

I wrote him one letter after I found out.  Just one.  I told him I loved him and was proud of him.  I planned to write more, but there just wasn't time.

I reckon Pappy is with the Good Lord now.  I plan to join him someday.  I suspect he is just sitting there, maybe on a porch waiting.  I also bet he is having the time of his eternity. 

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