I can’t believe that it has been nine months since dad passed away. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways it feels like forever. I think the thing I miss the most right now about Dad being gone is his laugh. When he was really tickled about something, he had this really great full laugh. With Dad, if you could spin a situation into something funny, the punishment was much less.
When Mom started working I must have been in 7th grade. My school was on double sessions and I got home around noon. On St. Patrick’s Day, mom had me start dinner. Corn Beef and Cabbage was a must on St. Patrick’s Day and Dad loved it. Mom told me to turn the burner on a certain number and leave it alone. For some reason, the house started filling up with smoke. I opened all the windows to let the smoke out. When mom got home she asked why I didn’t turn the burner off and I said that all she told me to do was turn it on, she never told me what to do if it started smoking. Dinner was ruined. Mom salvaged enough corned beef so dad could have a sliver and the rest of us had something else. Dad loved this story and told it every St. Patrick’s Day.
In 8th grade History class, I got a zero on my paper. Remember when you had to put your name and subject and date on the right side of the paper? If you did it correctly, you automatically got 10 points. I didn’t, so I got a zero. He roared. I failed another History test that was a matching test. I eliminated the ones I thought I knew and then matched the rest. One of the questions was ” Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?” My answer was Lincoln. I didn’t know what a tomb was and Lincoln was the only match I had left. Dad laughed so hard. It was almost like I was being rewarded for messing up.
I took sewing class in High School. In those days, you were required to take Home Economics type classes if you were a girl. I thought sewing would be easy, although I don’t know why. They actually made you sew in the class. My project was to make a jumper which seemed easy enough. I have absolutely no talent for sewing and while I was trying to thread the needle of the sewing machine, which is an art in itself, I popped a bubble from my gum and it got onto the needle. Then I accidently hit the go peddle and the gum was all inside the machine. It was a nightmare. As I was explaining this to dad, he started laughing, a really big roar, and I knew that it was going to be ok. I have no idea what happened with the school or the sewing machine. I never got into trouble over it and dad would bring it up every so often and laugh just as he did back then.
Dad loved to tease us. The worst thing you could do was let him know he got you because once he did, he was relentless. I don’t know why that gave him so much delight but it did. And it was not just me and my sisters, it was neighbors, cousins, anyone he could get to react.
I am afraid as time goes by I will forget Dad’s laugh. I know it is a normal thing to happen but I just want to hold on to the memory as long as I can. We have a CD that Aunt Jean gave us that Dad is talking and I still play it a lot, just to hear his voice and his laugh. I miss him very much and I pray he is at peace.