My dad and I shared a blood connection that goes beyond the ordinary. Not only was he my natural father and blood relative, but we also shared mosquito repellent blood. They didn’t like him and they don’t like me. If you showed me a picture of a mosquito and asked me to identify the insect, I’d fail the test every time. The little blood-suckers would eat my mom and sister alive, while displaying an odd aversion to me and my dad.
Being invincible in a swarm of mosquitoes wasn’t the only connection I shared with my dad. We also connected through music. He was a very talented musician, and helped me hone my talents vocally and instrumentally. I’ve enjoyed that part of my life immensely, and still sing and play the piano. It’s been a great connection between me and my son, as well.
We connected through faith. My dad was quiet and reserved about his faith, but he lived it every day in the way he was devoted to my mother, dedicated to me and my siblings, and how he treated those around him. As a result, I am a devout person of faith, and I’ve done my best to pass along that heritage to my children and grandchildren.
We connected through humor. If daddy liked you, he teased you. He had a great wit, and his eyes disappeared (as do mine) when laughing at a good prank or just a highly humorous situation. I really appreciate that I can take a joke, tease and giggle like a five-year-old at my own jokes. Life is too short to be overly serious.
Life for my dad was extremely short. I visited his grave a few days ago. His headstone reveals the year of his birth, 1933, and the year of his death, 1985. The dash between those dates stands for 52 well-lived, short years full of music, church, camping, water skiing, and lots of teasing and laughter.
He’s been gone so long and so much has happened in his absence that I occasionally feel disconnected from him. That is until someone complains about those pesky mosquitoes.