That sounds so strange even to type. You died when I was 12, but you and Mom divorced before I turned one. You were 44 when I was born so would have turned 95 today- wow.
I have memories of you, but most are stories others told me. One is of you sleeping fully dressed during my infancy, boots at the ready at the foot of your bed. You slept like this so you could scoop me up and rush me to emergency and the oxygen tent when I turned blue and asthmatic, apparently frequently enough for you to get the routine down pat. Thank you, Daddy. I still have asthma today but I am still here, because you were my fireman.
Another is of Mom telling me how much you loved to dance. That makes me smile, because I know you passed that onto me, and somehow even made sure I picked Vini so I would have someone to dance with.
I remember three things for myself:
The time you took me to your sister’s farm and I picked ferns. She gave me a Mason jar with water to take them home in. Mom smashed the jar on the front step after you drove away, my punishment for enjoying my time with you.
The time you took me up in a rented two-person plane, flying me (I never knew you could fly until that day; you learned in the Korean War) over my town, pointing out my house, my school. To the day Mom died I never told her. It is still our secret, Daddy.
The time you died, and I went to your funeral, and I was afraid to cry when they played Taps though I wanted to so badly, though my eyes were burning and my throat filled with a giant lump. I knew better. Crying would make Mom mad. I was not supposed to cry for you. I was not supposed to love you.
I am sorry we never really knew each other, Daddy. Really sorry. I hope we remedy that someday.