more than just another bike blog

Sunday, October 22, 2006

thinking of dad

Today marks the 9th anniversary of my father's death. It seems like such a long time ago and then it seems like yesterday. I always think about him a lot in October. Besides being the month he died in, it's also a big high school football month. My father was the world's greatest high school football fan (and we weren't even from Texas). He attended all the games when my sisters and I were in school. After I graduated, he and I would meet up on the weekends to attend games in various places in the state. And every Saturday morning when I hear the game at the high school next to my house I think of my father.

He was a great man -- humble, smart (although not educated), loving, hard-working, dedicated, honest, giving, tough as nails, and very sentimental. We were poor as dirt growing up, but my father made sure we had everything we needed and never felt any less than the kids who had money. And he made sure that we would all go to college, because he regretted not having that opportunity. We knocked heads for a few years in my teens, but luckily we became fabulous friends again in my 20s. He's molded me in ways I can't even explain and he's still a huge influence on my life. I weigh each important decision on the "Ron scale" -- you know, WWRD.

Although he never really understood my career choices, he always supported them. When I told him I wanted to be a symphony musician, he drove me to auditions at Eastman and Julliard. When I changed my degree to theatre management, he admitted that he was relieved and glad that I found a new focus. He died just months before my MBA graduation, so I wore his ashes in a locket to commencement.

I moved to California shortly after he passed away, but I'd like to believe he would have approved of these choices -- moving across the country to work at a theatre, leaving theatre to work in high tech, and then taking another turn to become a cycling coach. I'm sure the last would shock him, but I know he'd approve.

When my mother passed away a few years ago, my sister and I faced the daunting task of choosing which family photos to keep and which to leave behind. You see, both my father and his mother were avid family historians, so we have thousands of photos dating back to the turn of the century. I collected the photos we wanted to keep, categorized them by decade, and had intended to make a dvd for friends and family. Except all the photos are still sitting in boxes in my closet. And we don't have a lot of friends or family left.

So today I decided to look through the photos and find a few favorites of my father to scan onto my blog. Of course, my scanner has other ideas and I'm too knackered from racing today to figure it out, so I guess the photos will wait until tomorrow.

I don't stroll down memory lane very often. It's kinda painful -- like walking on hot tarmac or glass. Oh how life has changed -- friends and family no longer of this earth, former boyfriends, ex-husbands (not mine), friends detached and estranged, family homes sold, and smiles.....I noticed I used to smile all the time. What happened? I hate having my photo taken these days and I know I don't smile near enough.

I love you, Dad!


At 10/23/2006 9:00 AM, Blogger Nome Agusta said...

Sorry, I have to ask. What is WWRD?

I am assuming yur Dad's name was Ron? Good name.

At 10/23/2006 9:27 AM, Blogger lauren said...

he sounds like a great dad! i think it's probably hard to be a dad of all girls (you had all sisters & no brothers, right?).

sounds like he did really well with all those women around.

At 10/23/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger velogirl said...

Nome, WWJD is/was a popular acronym with christian teens. "What would Jesus do?" You'd see it on jewelry, clothing, even tats. Of course, I live by the guiding principle WWJJD -- "What would Joan Jett do?" Seriously, I often use my father's work ethic and moral scale to judge my actions -- so "What would Ron do?" Yes, his name was Ron.

Lauren, I don't know how he did it! Three daughers, one crazy wife, and only one bathroom. And he always put the seat and the seat cover down. And he always said he was blessed with daughters.

He was a great man. Not perfect, but great all the same.


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