I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately.
Interestingly enough, even to this day, whenever I roll up a sleeping bag, I think of my dad. He has a way of rolling a sleeping bag up so that it is tighter and smaller than I've ever seen a sleeping bag be rolled. I'd like to say that he passed his skills on to me, but that would be a lie. I'm a horrific sleeping-bag-roller-upper. Maybe that's one of the family jobs I'll get Eric to take over. Of course, he won't be able to do it as well as my dad, but what's a father-in-law for if it's not to intimidate your daughter's spouse from time to time?
I have always loved to tease my dad. When I was little, I would sneak up behind him as he read the newspaper on the couch, and read it over his shoulder. It drove him crazy, which was why I did it. Another thing I used to do was wait until he was whistling (he's a frequent whistler, my papa), and then I'd join my whistle to his. Only, my whistle was a little bit out of tune from his, and so he about went bonkers every time I did it. He'd give me this certain look, and then he'd say, "Do you mind?" I loved it, loved it, loved it. Now that I'm so much more mature, I don't read the newspaper over his shoulder or whistle along with him, but I still have my ways to tease, he still gives me the "do you mind look", and I still love it, love it, love it.
A few years ago, I took the opportunity to transcribe a bunch of tapes that my dad had recorded with his life history. Then I took the opportunity to nag him, which resulted in him recording a few more tapes of his history. Then I transcribed those as well.
Toward the end of the tapes, my dad talks about how he would like to be remembered. He mentions that his father wanted to be remembered as a man who was completely and totally honest. (Incidentally, and probably not coincidentally, when people talk to me about my Grandpa Corry, his honesty and integrity nearly always come up in the conversation.) My father goes on to say that while he isn't a dishonest man, he doesn't expect to be remembered for his honesty. Rather, he says that if he were to be remembered for anything at all, he would want to be remembered as a man who loved his children.
Now imagine for a moment what that might mean to me.
I am the daughter of a man who, more than
anything, wants to be remembered for the love that he has for me and my brothers
and my sister.
As you may remember, my dad has been dealing with a cancer diagnosis for the past several months. You may think (and he may think when he reads this) that I'm writing this to eulogize him or something along those lines, as he battles this difficult disease.
My dad isn't going anywhere. My whole family has been blessed in that my father's cancer was caught early, his body was in excellent physical condition when the diagnosis was made, and he has handled his treatments magnificently. So, while this has been a very difficult and trying thing for him, I fully expect to have him around for many many years to come, and his test results support me in that expectation.
It's a good thing, because . . .
In about three years, this little girl may want to wear a sleeping bag, just like her mama used to.