I got that call last night at 12:30. I am still not sure if he passed on the 20th or 21st. My strong dad, the one who instilled the strongest of ethics and a severe drive to always excel, was taken away from us by cancer. He was 54 years old. He loved volleyball. He played for the All Marine team, as well as softball. He married my mom while they were both in the Marine Corps. He was a Staff Sergeant. He then worked at the Post Office for over 20 years. He built so many things. Very much the do it yourself man. He fathered 3 strong kids. We feared him, we wanted to please him, we adored him. Some of my favorite memories are going to his volleyball tournaments. We would wake up early and pack a cooler. Always full of Diet Coke and sandwiches with miracle whip,never mayo. Lots of Little Debbie snack cakes too.We would go all over MI, and there was always a lake to sit next to and dream while he was out sweating and winning. Often I would hear him cussing out a ref. He seldom took second, and when he did it was not a happy trip home.
There were alot of volatile times when I was 16. I was so defiant, I was dating a 21 year old. I ran away alot. He screamed, and punched holes in the wall, shamed me, and even got physical. Yet at my wedding two years later he walked me down the aisle and handed me over. We danced. He came to see me when I had my first baby. He bought her a giant Tigger.While I was trying to figure out motherhood he was on the balcony on the phone, grinning, and being mysterious. He had a girlfriend. When Christian was born he came out again, and I met Val. They made each other very happy and I am so glad he had her. My heart breaks for her now...I don't know how to reach out to her. My dad was our connection and now he is gone. I can't go up for the funeral...financially it just won't happen. Plus I have sick babies here. I think my brother and sister understand. I hope Val does.