Yesterday, Father’s Day, was an emotional day for many. For some, happy and celebratory. Giving Dad a call, gifting him with (yet another) necktie and a card. For some, a day of tears, perhaps the first Father’s Day since Dad passed. For many, a mixed bag of emotions – missing Dad, but comforted by fond memories and maybe even sharing some of those memories with others who loved him. This Father’s Day fell into the mixed bag category for me.
Hard to believe it’s been fourteen years since we lost him to a massive heart attack. His first. The night Daddy died was the most painful night of my life, including having passed two kidney stones. But the reason it hurt so much is because I had the best father in the world. One that I still miss and mourn over. I’m incredibly lucky. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have or have had a daddy like mine.
I like to think I inherited my sense of humor from him. At the funeral, the large church was filled with people, including lots of guys he had worked with over the years. They laughed sharing stories of how he always knew how to lighten a tense moment with a joke. He was stationed in France during his military service in the late 1950s. His name was Richard, but he told so many crazy stories, some maybe even true, that his co-workers dubbed him “Pierre.” This is also what he told my husband and sister- and brother-in-law to call him. They all give him an A+ in the father-in-law department.
He was also quite the story-teller when I was growing up. My maiden name is Blair. He told us the story of the Three Little Blairs and how Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Blair. He changed up the bedtime stories just to keep it fresh. His favorite tune to sing us to sleep with was “Waiting for a Train” by Jimmie Rodgers. Not your typical lullaby. We’re lucky enough to have video of my dad singing it to one of the grandkids — complete with yodeling!
When I was little, he liked to tease me that when I grew up I’d marry a man named Herman Haypickle. I insisted that was not true and my name would never be Vickie Haypickle. I reminded him of this when I married Mr. Fee, more than 30 years ago now. The preacher at his funeral, who had known him since his teens, aptly described my dad as a Christian with his sleeves rolled up. He enjoyed helping people, and never minded hard work.
Sunday, I texted with my siblings. And hubs and I shared some nice memories and laughs about Pierre la Blair. I wish he could have been around to see me become a published author. I know he would have been proud. But more importantly, I always knew he was proud of me just because I was his kid, and that he loved me no matter what. That’s why he was the best Daddy in the world.
Feel free to share memories, stories about your favorite dad in the comments.