Today, I'm going to blog about something that I don't think I've blogged about before: my Dad.
I know I've mentioned Mom. A few posts down, you can see her enjoying her granddaughters. The reason that I don't mention Dad is because he died in 2006. He was only 56.
Here's a picture that was taken of him with me and Mom at my high school graduation:
My father was born in 1949. He was born with a congenital heart defect (which means, there was a hole in his heart). Back then, open heart surgery was not very common. He had his surgery when he was 13 (I think). They didn't have IVs even yet so he had to have shots of all his different meds. He survived the surgery and made a full recovery.. They put a little teflon patch over the hole (yes, the very same stuff that's on your cookie sheets).
He married my Mom in 1974. I didn't come along until 1984 (I'm their only child). At the time I was born, he worked for a small village in Wisconsin called Pewaukee. It has a large lake there.
Dad and I always had fun. I spent most of my time with Mom so it was kind of a treat to spend time with Dad. When my Mom decided to go out to lunch with friends or had a church function, I would get to spend the day with him. We would go out to lunch (Olive Garden!) and sometimes go shopping or go to a movie or go see something special like the museum. I remember that he had cut out the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic strip from the paper every day and then read it to me like it was a story.
As I got older, he was always very supportive of my music talents. He was always at my recitals and when I had choir outings very very early on Sunday mornings (if service started at 8 am, call time was 7 or 7:15 and it was generally 30-45 minutes to get there from where we lived), he took me to all of them. He spent the whole day with me at music competition every year when I had to do my individual solos (piano and voice), my handbell choir piece and then go accompany a whole bunch of other people when they sang.
In fact, the last time he saw me before he died was on choir tour. His health had declined and he had to have a pacemaker put in. He lost his job with Pewaukee after 29 years because of his health and after a year of trying to find a job, he ended up working at KB toys and a gas station making pizza before he finally ended up being a parts driver for Auto Zone.
My college's choir was doing a tour of the west coast. We flew into Vegas to begin our 2 week tour. My parents flew out as well and my aunt and uncle came from L.A. We spend the day at Star Trek The Experience before the concert that night and the next morning, my Dad drove me to the bus so I could drive to Salt Lake City that day. It was the last time I would see him.
I was in Yakima, WA two days later and my parents had flown home. Dad wasn't feeling good and called his doctor and made an appointment for the next day. Mom was making him dinner and he just had a massive heart attack in his chair and died. This was before I had a cell phone so by chance I happened to call Mom with my calling card and got the news. I flew out the next morning. Worst day of my life. Had to take 3 flights and I spent about 30 hours without sleep.
Hope I haven't depressed you too much. I loved my Dad a lot. I still miss him. But I have the happy memories of him and I'll see him in heaven someday.