father & fruity friends.

3 Oct
This post is about two things that begin with the letter D – Dancing Bananas and Dad.
Today is my d-day.  Seven years ago my dad died.  It’s an evening that I can play over and over in my head, nearly minute by minute.  It feels like it was yesterday … and yet it feels like longer than seven years.  It can’t be described.
This date is burned in my head.  I mark it each year with a ritual of sorts.  I watch Back to the Future.  You well know by my consistent referencing that this is my favorite movie.  It happens to be a movie I grew up watching with my dad.  He liked it too.  [But not as much as The Shawshank Redemption.  That was his favorite and I’ll admit that I’ve never seen it.  Shame, I know.  *throw tomatoes here*]  And so Marty McFly and I spend some time together every October 3rd simply for ritual’s sake.  Today will be no exception.
Now for the fruity friends.  You also well know that the Dancing Bananas are the six of my closest friends.  Jenni, Kay, Kim, Krissy, Allison, and Lynn are my besties from high school and still we remain close.  We email regularly and it’s not uncommon for me to get a phone call a week from a few of them too.  There are emails going around today – emails in which they send me virtual hugs and share their favorite memories of my dad.  Here are a few of the memories that have been shared –

  • One Halloween in high school, I baked pumpkin cookies to take to my friends.  I ended up running late that morning and so my dad took to frosting them for me as I rushed to make it out the door in time.  Not only did he add the orange frosting, but he wrote my friends’ names in black frosting, one on each cookie.  [He had the neatest handwriting.]  He even put Mrs.Hoimt’s name on one cookie – my high school language arts teacher who had also been his teacher.  [And people wonder why I do weird things.  It’s in my blood.]
  • It was not uncommon when we drove past golf courses that my dad would lay on the horn just as people teed off.  How convenient that Highway 51 to Stoughton cuts right through Coachman’s 18 holes.
  • My dad was a farmer and pretty notorious for wearing work boots and shorts.  This made for amazing tan lines in the summer.  It often looked like he had white socks on when really, he was barefoot.
  • Krissy mentioned how my dad would often encourage us to do the things that my mom would ultimately disapprove of; she listed no specific examples but I can see this being true.  He was a trouble maker.
  • My dad was always willing to drive a bunch of high school girls to concerts, including Ricky Martin in Milwaukee.  We were crazy and I’m sure he knew this when he said yes to my plea; therefore, by default, he was also crazy for accepting such a task.  [I remember holding signs in the car and lots of screaming.  Oh my.]
The Bananas are so sweet and full of love to help me remember this day and hold me [virtually] through it.  My dad was always sweet and full of love too.  Be sweet and tell your family and your friends that you love them, folks.  Do it.

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