There are many things that I could tell you about my dad.
I could tell you that when I was little, we’d go hiking in the woods and he would “find” trees with candy on them.
I could tell you how he built most of the houses I’ve lived in.
I could tell you how he called me his “pootsie pie”.
I could tell you how he showed up at the hospital, when each of my children were born, carrying bags of baby clothes.
I could tell you how he loved to hold his grandchildren.
I could tell you how nothing made him happier than gathering his family and friends for a fish fry.
I could tell you how he loved to tease me about being a teacher.
I could tell you that today he and my mom were planning to go on a picnic at High Cliff State Park.
But instead, I helped my mom plan his funeral.
So while I could tell you a lot of things about my dad, what I really want to tell you is…
how my mom (class valedictorian) asked my dad (farmer’s son) for a ride to a dance their senior year of high school.
how my dad left a little town in Upper Michigan, to work in the big city of Detroit, so he could be near her while she attended college in Ann Arbor.
how my dad worked two jobs to support his young family before starting his own business because he wanted us to have the best of everything.
how my parents looked at each other after my mom had breast cancer surgery.
how last month, my 83 year old dad took my 83 year old mom on an anniversary trip to Michigan to celebrate their 63rd anniversary.
how it felt to hold my dad’s hand and watch my mom silently cry as she held his other hand, and stroked his head as he passed away.
I want to tell you what it felt like, but I can’t find the words.