I really miss my dad today.
It’s not because of anything extraordinary. Today is neither a birthday nor an anniversary, and I didn’t see anything so spectacularly overwhelming that all I could think was, “Aw, Dad…”
I find it’s the small things that get me thinking. I saw an older man walking across the street (jaywalking! Scandalous!). He was shorter than my dad, his complexion was completely different and there was nothing in the set of his face that was even remotely like my pops. The way he nervously checked the cross traffic before sliding his hands in his pockets and hurriedly shuffling across the street was so very much my old man. He walked just him. I was amused that I would still recognize such a thing, that I would remember.
Then I felt sad. I was on my way to get coffee. My dad and I always got coffee together. Friday was our day. I’d head to my parents’ house right after work, and my dad would be waiting and smiling like a kid heading to the toy store. We’d go to the local Starbucks. He’d talk about politics and whatever he’d seen on CNN that day. I’d hear my sister’s voice in my head asking how I could just sit there, listen and not get bored and snap at him the way that she did. I’d say things at the appropriate places or when asked. Afterwards, we’d go to Crown Books (which is no longer there).
I miss those coffee dates, and I miss my dad. I think I miss him more than I miss my mom. I realized today that he really wasn’t just my pops: he was a good friend who understood me and honestly loved me unconditionally. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
I should end this post with the above paragraph but I imagined the conversation that I would have had if my dad was still alive. It made me smile:
Dad: Ooh! There’s a McDonalds. McDonalds has good coffee and I can use my senior citizen discount.
Me: Gross, Dad. Look, there’s a Tim Hortons across the road. Let’s go there.
Dad: Okay. (walking) Are you sure you don’t want to go to McDonalds? I’ll get you a Sausage McMuffin.
Me: I don’t eat meat, Dad, and if YOU want a breakfast sandwich, they have them at Tims, too. I’ll buy one for you.
Dad: Okay… (sideglance at the McDonalds)
Dad: Hey! This Tim Hortons has pretty good coffee! Thanks for treating me… but can we go to McDonalds next time?