The words from the song are oh so true. How can a girl not compare other men to the first man who picked her up and dried her tears. My dad died January 1, 1996, and in his Diary for the new year he had written, "The first day of my new life." And, it was.
These are the first things that come to mind when I think of my dad:
Cigar smoke--when I smell it I expect to look up and see him. It was a big deal to ride to Harold's Drug Store with him to buy El Verso cigars. Of course he bought me a chocolate soda from the fountain.
While playing professional baseball, he became the blister expert. That meant the needle sterilized in alcohol, ointment, and a bandaid. Today, popping blisters is not recommended. He carried me into the doctor's office with my broken toe.
Laughter--he was a great comic. My sister and I would lie in our beds at night listening to the laughter as he told my mother funny stories about his day. Every day was funny to him. I was in the stands when the umpire threw my dad out of the game for arguing. I can still see him stalk to the gate, slamming it, causing the gate to pop open. So, he did it again. Now the fans started laughing. This went on for at least five slams before the umpire put a stop to it.
During the winter months we always knew when dad came home from officiating football games because we heard the sound of his shoes hitting the side of the house--knocking the mud from his cleats. I've never known anyone who could sit in the front seat of a car with his arm out the window, hit his hand on the side of the door, and make a sound like a flat tire. His favorite trick was to act like he had run into the door or wall with a thud. He would rub his head. It was years before I figured out the sound came from his kicking the wall with his foot.
He could whistle like a bird, touch his nose with his tongue, and wiggle his ears. Forgotten arts! When I had my first child my dad cried while leaving Lubbock because he wasn't sure we could take care of the baby by ourselves! I appreciated most being able to call him or ask him for help any time during his life and his saying, "Sure I will, honey."
My visiting grandson looked at my husband sleeping on the sofa and said, "Nana, is John your father?" No, Noah. He's not my father - but he reminds me of him.