It seems everything happening in my life right now is culminating to make me miss Dad more then ever… if that's even possible.
Maybe because I'm a parent and there are so many things he did that I totally get now. Maybe because I have two girls and every time Shawn refers to them as "my girls," I picture Dad saying that to Mandi and I. Maybe because Mae Mo has a nasty cold right now and oddly the smell of Vicks always reminds me of Dad. I remember he'd always tell us to lay on our side and put the sheet up over our nose to breath in the vapors. It always helped us sleep.
Even little daily nuances or habits like opening the tops of the windows in the house. I do that constantly and he did it constantly. Or he would also always scratch the palm sides of his hands. When I was younger it seemed a bit odd because the insides of my hands never itched. Now they do. Now I know. When I play with Maci, I always lay on my back, put my legs and feet up in the air for her to lay on. Like I did when I was younger and Dad would lift up his legs until I was flying, Maci gets the biggest kick out of soaring and then inevitably, falling back into my arms.
Piano Man never seems to be played as much as it does in April. Or Spirit in the Sky. I had a bit of a dizzy spell at work last Thursday which initially I chalked up to low blood sugar. I went to the bathroom to steady myself a bit and the first chords of the most recognizable song started on the radio followed by Norman Greenbaum's voice. It was eerily comforting and I smiled at myself in the mirror thankful no one else was around to interrupt my moment. Then there's Jim Croce, CCR, Lobo…
It's funny, I'll graze through photos I have of Dad from time to time but it's very rare I hear his voice. Until recently. Tammy converted the home videos they had of us to DVD and then gifted them to us for Christmas. So when Sheena was up visiting for my birthday, we popped in a couple to watch. Aside from the fact that we were stellar awesome at all things (Ha!) one other thing stood out. There was Dad. He was on some of the videos. For some reason it sort of surprised me to see him. Then during one basketball game clip, I made a basket and his voice boomed on the screen, "Good job, Kali!" I cried. He loved watching us do just about anything and was always, always, always encouraging. And proud. I totally get it now.
I will never ever forget his voice. I will never forget his smile. Every time I can't sleep at night, I think of him. I've always battled insomnia and when I was younger, I would sheepishly go knock on his door, I'd hear him crawl out of bed and then we'd go to the living room and stretch. I didn't know it at the time but we would even do up-dog. I think Dad could have really gotten into yoga. Physically for sure (hello handstand), mentally maybe, spiritually … you never know. I like to think so.
With daylight savings time going on, Maci and Ivy go to bed when it's still pretty light. As we did with Maci, we've taken to draping Ivy's curtains with Dad's quilt to help keep the sun out. I like to think he gets a kick out of watching her sleep. She's pretty entertaining that one and she looks just like I did when I was a baby. He would have loved that. Then there's Maci. My first born. She's still rocking the crib but any day now we'll get to transition her to a big girl bed and I'm actually looking forward to it because it will be in a bed Grandpa Miller built. And I'll get to tell her that and show her that and then I'll get to tuck her into it every night, right before we say our prayers. The prayers Dad taught me to pray…
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.