I woke up this morning to the strangest thing...a phone call from my father. Yes, I was dreaming. The realness of the voice that came through that dream state phone, however, woke me out of my sleep. It was a series of strange events that can barely be remembered involving a Mary Kay conference, children running up and down the conference center aisles, my daredevil cousin driving us through culverts trying to outrun who-knows-what, a ship crashing into the overpass and Leonard Nimoy reaching for his Star Trek action figure before our vehicle disintegrated into pieces. How did those happenings bring me to my Mary Kay director's office making notes on sticky Post-Its where the phone rang? One would think that anyone of those bizarre things would have woken me, but it was that phone call that did the trick.
The phone call was a simple one..."Hi, it's Dad," and then he was gone. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of him out of either necessity or out of nostalgia, but I do think about him. The following are situations or reasons my father comes into the forefront of my mind:
- I have lost my good set of keys again.
- My front tire is low and needs to be aired up.
- This week I just had the first of many birthdays without him.
- I am planning a mini road trip to Abilene next weekend. (He was a big time driver.)
- I forgot my camera for Caitlin's first band concert. (He never would have forgotten.)
- Mom has started driving Dad's little pickup truck as her primary vehicle.
- I can't get my lawnmower started.
- The ushers at church don't usher they way he did.
- My iPhoto files are full of his pictures to North Carolina to see my brother.
- A woman approached me in the store this week and said, "You don't know me, but I worked with your father at the Pregnancy Center. We really miss him there." (The director for the center told me that she didn't get the mail for weeks because that was Dad's self-appointed job.)
- Tuesday, I ran into the secretary from the funeral home where my father helped other people through their grief.