Dad's stories are generally big and colorful and hilarious, which is just how he lived his life, and which is just how I remember him. But in the 12 years that he has been gone I have lost some of the day to day memories, those stories where he was just simply a good guy raising two daughters, being a good friend and father who worked hard and did what he thought was best. Somehow in the scramble to remember the time he egged the neighbors in Mexico, the ones whose chickens woke us each morning at a very non vacation hour, I have lost some of the simplicity of daily life with the best person I have ever known.
It happened, I know this because so much of who I am is Dad. I hear him when I joke with my girls about growing up, in my ability to remember the name of almost every person I meet (or to at least place them correctly), and in my near passionate interest in history and politics (albeit from the other side of the table). I know that when I am really happy, when my house is full of good friends and family and I am cooking and laughing and enjoying the people I love, my Dad is not too far away. I do not smoke cigars or eat beef but so much of what I like about me is what I loved about Dad.
Maybe that is how I remember the stories, by making my own: by being the best Mom I can; by treating my children with respect; by teaching them how to laugh, especially at themselves; by being a good friend to the amazing people who chose to spend time with me; and by working the best I can at what I love.
Maybe his stories are always with me, if I just slow down to listen and make my own.
Great stories about my Dad found here. The ones I remember.