It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.
I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!
I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.
I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.
I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop. And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.
And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.
Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.