I had completely forgotten that it was Father’s Day until I read tom’s thoughtful post about his own dad, and step-dad. My own father died when I was 19, from esophageal cancer after smoking most of his life, and my only living grandfather died a few years after that, so I haven’t really thought much about Father’s Day recently. (My mother remarried a good guy, but he’s more my mom’s husband than a father figure, and I live 3,000 miles away from them as well.) People smoke for various reasons, and I don’t blame tobacco companies for anything – in the large scheme of things I just don’t believe in ‘victims’ in the way we’re ‘supposed’ to. I was in college when my father died. He had been a machinist and worked maintaining the machines for Miller Brewing Company, which is owned by Phillip Morris. The same year my father died I got a scholarship from Phillip Morris that made the rest of my years at school possible. (What are we, about hip deep in ironies now? 😉 )

My dad must have had one of the shortest names in recent history – Bob Fox – LOL. He loved the outdoors, taught hunter safety courses, and taught my sister and I how to handle guns safely, so I never grew up being afraid of them at all. He also had a goofy sense of humor and I only remember ONE time when he couldn’t joke me out of a pissy mood and I had to try REALLY hard that time to hold onto it. I sometimes wish that he felt a little more free to do what he really wanted to do, but that was the belief system in which he grew up – I’m sure he’s overcompensating for that now, wherever he is – LOL. We had a running joke about him being able to build ANYTHING with 2x4s and his hammer, which I still have and use. He used to love watching old westerns and WWII movies – the only one that I liked (and kept my interest for more than a few minutes) was The Bridge Over the River Kwai.

It took me a while to adjust when he died – dealt with my feelings little by little over many years. A few years ago, when my friend Becky and I were playing with the Ouija board, he came through. Becky said that she kept getting this strange image of tennis balls all over the place, which made me laugh SO hard. (Trust my dad to make me laugh even when he’s nonphysical.) See, when my dad was around we also had a miniature schnauzer named Whiskie, and she loved playing with tennis balls. We had them all over the place. It was a terrific memory to share with my dadn – really brought me back to that point in time.

Now, I usually just talk to him like he’s here when I feel like it, and know I’m connecting with him somehow. (I believe we can still communicate with those we love even if they are no longer ‘physically’ in our presence – whether they have died or not.) Besides that, I look just like him – round face, small nose, etc. So Happy Father’s Day, Dad! And Grandpa, and you too Harley (mom’s husband)!

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