Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Story About My Dad

I love this picture of my Dad.

My grandmother loved to tell me stories about Dad in college, how he would call and ask if he could bring a friend home and then show up with 8 others. How the boys would sleep on the floor, all over the house, and she would cook for them all weekend, and then send them back to school with food to last for months. How the boys loved to visit and spend time with Dad's younger sister, and how much he hated his friends "making eyes" at Lynda.

When Dad died we had a memorial service at his club, which was his request, rather than a sad and weepy funeral in a church he had lost touch with years before. Many of his friends spoke, as did I, and it became just what he hoped for: a roast and celebration of his amazing life. Bo, a friend from college, told stories about Dad eating "fish" on Friday, a chicken fried steak from Worman's, on which he had sprinkled water, to bless it. He remembered the first drill of freshman year when all the underclassmen were removed from their beds in the middle of the night: 29 young men from west Texas in t-shirts and boxers and my Dad, in monogrammed pajamas.

It was always that way.

My dad was happiest when he was with his friends. He was the cook, the tour guide, the chauffeur and the host. And he was always, almost always, appropriately dressed.

My dad was the same guy at 62 that he was at 18. Monogrammed pajamas became monogrammed robes, chicken fried steak was still a sacred food, and his friends, we know, loved him just as much as he loved them.

It's good to know who you are, even if you need your initials on your sleeve to remind you.

Happy birthday Dad.

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