This is the time of year that I get all sentimental and remember my dad. I have this old, green Ben and Jerry's t-shirt. A shirt that I have had since my freshman year in college. It has holes all around the collar and normally would be something I could easily purge. But this shirt I bought with my parents, both of them, my freshman year in college.
My father is a presence and a noted absence in our house. Natalie has memories of him, but I am sure over time her brief three years with him will just be hazy, and to the bro he is just a picture and name that I saddled him with. But obviously I have many memories of my father, some that I go back to time and time again when I think about him. Some funny, some annoying, and some that I hear come out in my own parenting. The bro is a pretty early riser, as am I, but on those rare occasions that I am up before I think about all the very early morning Saturday breakfasts my father and I had at the Bar-B-Cue House where he would always order eggs, and I would order blueberry blintzes with sour cream or we went to Denny's where he would always order eggs and I would order a fruit cup and hash browns. The way I remember it, we did this every Saturday on my early childhood because we were the only two up at 6:30am. When the bro wakes, I wonder if he and I will do this as Dan and Natalie sleep in.
Sometimes, it is the memory of my wedding and how he wouldn't' leave me alone. I mean he was seriously annoying. Which, now, I of course look back on with fondness. I remember, as well all line up and the procession started, I began to hyperventilate, and my dad, not a funny man, told me he wished he knew a joke in order to make me laugh...I think the thought of him being funny made me laugh.
But this shirt, I stick my face in it, and I cry-- because my father bought this ratty, old shirt for me, and I miss him every single day, and I feel like throwing out this shirt is like throwing away a small piece of him that I am able to actually hold on to forever.