Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milestones and Memories

Daddy © By Evan L. Salcido
In the heart of everyone, young or old,

Lies memories of a special man.
They remember football,

And how this man came to see them play.
They remember school,

And how he encouraged them each day.
They remember ice cream,

And his readiness to oblige.
They remember playgrounds,

And how he'd take them down the slide.
They remember monsters,

And when he fought them off.
They remember sickness,

And his wince at every cough.
They remember graduation,

And his face lit with pride.
They remember marriage,

And the man steadfast by their side.
These men want no payment,

They desire no reward.
These men only want to hear four words,

'I love you, Daddy'

My daddy turned 80 years old yesterday. He is my hero. The man I look to when I have a problem or need comfort. He has always been there for me, to pick me up and kick me in the ass and send me on my way throughout my life. We haven't always seen eye to eye ( our personalities are too similar for that to ever happen) and there were times when we didn't speak for a while but in the end I always knew that he was right and I came around.

When I was very young, dad drove semi and was gone 4-5 days of the week sometimes coming home in the middle of the night. It was great to wake up and find him there the next morning but we had to be quiet so he could sleep. I remember a few times when my mom would wax the wood floors and my dad would hit one of the scatter rugs with his sock feet and go down for the count in the dark, man were there some fireworks then!!! Course us kids thought it was funnier then hell and laughed our butts off! Occasionally dad would even take us kids on a short trip in the semi with him. This was soooooo cool!

As I got older, dad got out of trucking and into farming. He would then allow me to skip school and attend auctions with him on Fridays so we could buy cattle! Was I truly interested in cattle? Hell no but it got me out of school so who cared! Of course I always skipped on my own and faked my mom's signature on the excuses.I got called into the principals office once on a legitimate excuse that they thought was fake and they called my mom a liar! BAD IDEA!! This set my dad off to no end and he paid my principal a visit and rattled a few cages. needless to say they never questioned another excuse fake or real that I handed in for the rest of my school term.

After graduation I got pregnant and was too scared to tell my parents so I moved to another town and got a job. Thinking if I didn't go home to visit very often and wore baggy clothes they wouldn't know. Parents aren't stupid nor do they stop loving you because you do something stupid.They let me move back home and helped me get back on my feet. I had to pull my weight there was no free ride here. When my daughter was about 2 years old, my dad was supposed to be watching her while she was napping. He fell asleep himself and started snoring. My daughter woke up and started coming down the stairs but stopped about three stairs from the bottom and that's where we found her when we got back. She would move from there because as she said "Grandpa's making funny noises!" Even sleeping he was a good babysitter.

Over the years I have watched this man go through many life altering changes. They don't seem to break him, they make him stronger. At 80 he is still driving semi from Iowa to Wisconsin 2-3 times a week, he takes care of my mom who had a stroke 7 years ago, he maintains their home doing the laundry, cooking and cleaning and he makes the best pies you have ever tasted. And he still manages to call me at least 3 times a week just to check in and see what's up, or how the Packers are doing, or how school is going, or just to give me shit.

That's who this wonderful man I called dad is and why I love him. Happy Birthday Daddy

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