As of today, that's how long my Dad has been gone. That doesn't seem right.
My Mom called me at something like 3:30am that morning, and I knew before she even said anything. I hazily remember driving there, the tear-blurred moon seeming to guide me. He was already gone. I didn't get to say goodbye.
The last thing he said to me on the phone was, "Love you suge, take care of those babies."
(He always called me suge, short for sugar.)
He and my Mom were always the biggest supporters of my art. Even when I was just a little, and wanted to be an artist when I grew up, they always encouraged me to take that route, and never once made it sound like a foolish thing to dream. In 1998, he bought me my first SLR and took me on a mountain adventure to break it in. I'm glad that I didn't know that would be our last trip together.
On Thanksgiving Day 1999, he had a massive heart attack. He died twice but managed to fight back for another six years. I'm sure it was so he could meet his grandkids.
His legacy, one that I hope I'm passing on to my kids, is a profound love and appreciation for Nature. His down time was spent fishing, hunting, gardening and chasing the sunny spots in the yard to just sit and think.
Though I usually prefer shade.
Love you, Dad. Miss you every day.
|(Naughty fingers.) :)|