Wish you were here, Dad -- and Mom

Been thinking about Dad a lot these past few weeks, which is probably not surprising. Over the last year and a half, since Mom died, I focused on his many illnesses and what he needed. Now that he's gone, I can see his life in its entirety, or at least as much of it as I was lucky enough to know. When I was a kid, we went grocery shopping together. He liked to flirt with the 20-year-old cashiers. He also let me ride on the edge of the cart until I got too heavy. That was a sad day, when I nearly toppled the cart and realized I was too big for that stuff.

He gave me horsie rides on his knee until I got too heavy for him to lift. I'm pretty sure the arthritis in that knee was my fault. Sorry, Dad.

He drove me to school every morning and made my lunch every day. Usually peanut butter and jelly.

When we went to church together, he would let me put the tithe in the basket and light the candle. There were few things more exciting than lighting the church candle.

Now, Devon and I look toward the future. There are many decisions to make. We're happy, and, unless one of us gets hit by a pie truck, I know we'll have many more happy years. I just wish Mom and Dad could be here to see it, and to be part of it.

When I tell people about Dad, most often the response is, "Well, he lived a long life." That's true. But mortality sucks at any age.