Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to the Ground

One of the things I like about my blog is that I can change the background on a whim. It doesn't take long, there are lots of choices, and it's a way to express how I'm feeling at the moment without having to say a word. After the new year, I ditched the holiday layout and put up blue skies and rolling green grass, because I was looking ahead to spring, as far away as it may be. Today, being the anniversary of the day my Dad died, I thought I would pick something that reminded me of my Dad.

As you see, I chose hot pink with purple accents and disco balls.

This may have you wondering if my Dad was a flaming homosexual who enjoyed leisure suits and Studio 54. While the answer is no (though my Dad DID enjoy a nice polyester suit from the 70's--as well as the BeeGees--until Mom put her foot down and replaced it with a newer, more modern look), the hot pink and disco balls remind me of him just the same. Why? Because they remind me of me, and my Dad reminds me of me. Or, I remind myself of him, I suppose.

My Dad always knew my favorite color was purple. He would buy me little, purple things that reminded him of me when he saw them. Tacky silk flowers from gas stations, a pen and pencil set when I started college, a case to hold my cds. Just something, on occasion, to make me happy. And it worked. It never mattered that he bought me something, or what he bought, or how much it cost, but just that he was thinking of me at some random time, some random place. That's always nice-- to know you are thought of by someone you love. Dad was good at that. Dad also knew that I was a girlie girl, and I liked a little sparkle. If I had turned Dad loose on the Internet and said, "pick a background that looks like me," I could definitely see Dad choosing this one. (Side note: That would never happen, because Dad's navigation of the Internet was rather limited. He developed a relative understanding of email, but never made it much further because he was a bit fearful of his laptop. In fact, after he had had it for months, I filled his iPod for him because he refused to learn how to do it. However, the man could build a working aircraft from driftwood, a tube of toothpaste, and his shoelaces. That's just how he rolled.)

My Dad and I are a lot alike. I cannot build a working aircraft from my shoelaces, but I am organized and smart and efficient. My Dad was all of those things. We make lists and carry notebooks, we like figuring things out and making things better. I stand like my Dad (arms crossed in a particular way), I concentrate like my Dad (tip of the tongue out and bitten between our teeth on the right side of our mouths), we have the same strong, graceful fingers and long-torsoed builds. I am a version of him in the flesh, and my children, particularly Sutton, is a version of me. Therefore, in some ways, I guess my Dad is still here. He's here in us. If I want to smell him, I can take a whiff of Brut. If I want to see him, I can look at my baby brother. If I want to remember him, I can reflect on myself. My Dad would be proud of that.

My Dad liked the colors brown and black. He liked old 70's rock music and driving a truck. Dad loved miniature powered donuts, and working on cars, and flying planes, and plain black coffee. Dad loved animals, tremendously, and holidays and being in the woods. But most of all, my Dad loved me and my family. He loved us a lot, and for that I feel lucky. Just like Dad would feel lucky that I thought enough of him to give him a pink background with a disco ball.

Party on, Dad.

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