My Dad passed away on this day 10 years ago. The exact date is somewhat debatable. The death certificate says December 3rd, at 11:35 pm which is December 4th, 12:35am where I live, so I was always treat it as the 4th.
Anyway, although we weren't exactly on very good terms when he passed away (long story), I do think about him every year around this time. Tiny memory snapshots of the past come to mind. I could sit for hours trying to focus on them and dig deeper.
Here's a few...
Around my late pre-teens, I remember we visited some friends of the family. My Dad and I were out in the backyard playing frisbee or throwing a ball around. He did something to annoy me. I tried to kick him. He grabbed my foot and lifted my leg up, causing me to fall over. I never tried to kick him again.
Many years before that, I remember waking up for breakfast and my Mother telling my sister and I that something had happened to my Dad the night before. He had been downtown at the pub with his friends. As he left, he saw some guys trying to get into a car. Whether he was being a smart-ass or not, he approached them and spoke to them. For being nosy, he got punched in the face, leaving him with a cut over his eye that requires stitches, and broken dentures. For the next few weeks, he had to eat soft food that didn't need much chewing. I remember my Mother would cut the toast into three strips and he'd get the center strip because it was less crunchy. He called that his "wallopy" piece.
My Father was my best man at my wedding. I remember decorating the rented Cadillac on the morning of my wedding and then sitting on the curb to take a smoke break. My Dad came out and asked me how I was doing. I guess I was nervous, and he could tell. He said "Here..." and handed me a beer. Good timing. He sat down beside me. He assured me that everything would be fine and the day would go off without a hitch.
Later that morning, I was at the church and waiting in the Minister's office. My Dad was nowhere to be found. It seems that in all the commotion of who was driving who to the church, my Dad was forgotten? The ceremony was beginning to run late. The door opened and in walked my Dad, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his handkerchief. The first words out of his mouth were "Jesus, it's hot out there!" He then noticed the Minister was also in the room. Looking a little embarrassed, he immediately apologized. The Minister replied, "That's ok, we say that a lot around here."