Today is Father's Day. It's the first Father's Day since my Dad died suddenly last July. In the following year I have had many thoughts and reflections about my dad. They are always good, even when the subject might be challenging.
Today was the last time I spoke to Dad. Per tradition, I called him in the morning. I don't remember all of the details, other than I told him about my work in Raleigh. I do remember him telling me he was planning to take Mom down to visit me sometime in the fall. Obviously that never materialized.
We probably spoke for about 10 minutes, tops. My Dad and I were never big phone conversationalists. I can count the number of times on one hand (you could even remove multiple fingers), that he called me. But I never thought it was a bad or a wrong thing that he didn't call. If I wanted to talk to him, I could always dial him up. If he needed anything from me, I knew of it through phone calls with my mother. My siblings emailed with him. I didn't know his email address till a few years ago.
Main subjects were dependent on the season. Summer was thoughts on the Cleveland Indians, with some opinions from him on the status of the Washington Nationals. We spent the fall talking about how terrible the Browns were and will continue to be, how good the Buckeyes were in football, and how we think both will play out their seasons. He would be concerned about my well being now that I am living in Raven territory.
When we spoke about work, it was always about mine. Dad never really had anything meaningful to say about his jobs. He was constantly working. I spent most of my life not really ever knowing what my Dad did during the day. But the fruits of his labor produced a kid with a great education, a strong faith and ability to form healthy relationships with a variety of people. So I guess it really didn't matter what my Dad did over the years, because I turned out pretty well. I will say that the last time we hung out, he was very excited about a new business venture he had launched, which was having cars detailed. His last gift to me was having his guy he paid to do the detailing, dump 10 years of garbage out of my car. In the end Dad always wanted to provide; the best job he ever had and he was pretty good at it.
I'm close to the end of the first year without him. I am hopeful that the years to come are slightly less painful and more joyful remembering good times together. My hope is his grandchildren have fond memories of him, while any future grandchildren will have wished to experience his skills for shopping for the exact right present. His legacy includes Dake Family Rule #1 - never go anywhere without your own car - and knowing where the best place to eat breakfast. His jokes were terrible, but his generosity was underrated. I miss him and thankful I am his youngest son.