It's been 25 years since my father died. 25 years. It seems impossible that it could possibly have been that long; sometimes it feels like yesterday. I have a lot of terrific memories of my dad, but for some reason, I can't seem to put them into words. Like, somehow, if I write it all down, or say it out loud, it'll all vanish. But, today, I wanted to put a little something together. To remember him, and share him with my friends.
This is Colfax, May 1980, a day or so after Mount St. Helens erupted and dumped ash all over Washington State. That's my dad trying to wash the stuff off the porch and front lawn. It was stubborn, that ash, when it was wet, it turned to concrete, which made it tough to remove. This was just a year before he became sick, was diagnosed with cancer, and died.
Here's my dad in 1971, Pasco, Washington. These were the best times, when I was a kid and we lived in Pasco. We were happy and healthy, and had the world at our feet.
Here's me and my dad - same day as above. Apparently I was fascinated by his moustache. I don't remember him having a mustache very often; just a few times in his life. He always had the pipe though (pictured above).
My parents were married (the first time) August 28, 1960 in Pierre, South Dakota. They were divorced sometime in the 70s - '75? '76? I can't remember now - but they were remarried in '79, so we had a brief time to be a family again before my dad got sick.
This is the only picture of the three of us together: me, mom and dad. For some reason, we never went in and had a professional portrait done. It's one of the few things I regret; I really wish we'd done that. We're standing in front of my grandparent's house in East Wenatchee, Washington.
When my dad was sick with cancer, two other people he worked with at the bank were sick with cancer, too. Different cancers, but it was a bizarre enough incident that it was written up in the Spokesman Review. Nothing came from the investigation - none of the cancers were related, and no one could pinpoint any environmental reason (i.e., asbestos in the ceiling) for the cancers. All three people died the summer of 1981; my dad was the final one to die.
You'd think that after 25 years, it wouldn't hurt so bad, but it still hurts just as badly as the day he died. I still miss him so very, very much every single moment of every single day. Time doesn't erase the pain. It just dulls it a bit, and makes it more tolerable to live with. That's all.