|Dad grew up in southern|
Ohio, along the river.
He got his pilot's license when I was 18, soon to be 19. I was in labor with my first child while he was taking his flight test. He was also on alert that day – May 4, 1970 – due to the riots and shootings at Kent State University.
|Dad went as far in the Guard|
as you could go without being
an officer. He retired as a Senior
During my childhood, we had a number of family hobbies: antique cars, camping and boating, horseback riding. When my siblings and I complained about the camping taking us away from our friends all summer, Dad sold the camper and boat, bought an airplane and learned to fly.
|One of my favorite pictures:|
Dad with his Pitts, a single-seat
homebuilt acrobatic plane.
Sometimes I think I could have been a better daughter. I never think he could have been a better father. I went through quite a bit of turmoil in my younger years, but he was always my champion and didn't ask too many questions. When he thought I needed advice he gave it, but wasn't upset if I didn't follow it.
I should have followed it, though. Heh.
Dad got sick in the summer of 2008, and almost died. He'd been living in Florida for many years by then, and we hadn't seen much of each other. That changed; I was in Florida half a dozen times at least, and last year he felt well enough to take a cruise with his wife in February and buy a motor home last summer.
Their excellent adventure in the RV lasted three weeks. I'm so glad they spent that last week with us. I know everything worked out the way it was supposed to. I still want to call him, though.
As I've written here before, Dad's legacy for me includes many health risk factors. I try to eat healthfully, but I'm not as active as I could be. I saw how Dad's weight and pain from diabetes limited his mobility, leading to more complications. I'm not immune.
The first year after a loved one's death is difficult, going through annual events without him, remembering things, wanting to talk again, wanting to see him. I hope I can turn this grief into something good. He'd like that.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
~ Leonardo da Vinci