In honor of Father’s Day, I’m going to talk  a little bit about my father, GhostDad.

When I was a toddler I was attacked by a flock of geese in a petting zoo. GhostDad waded in, scooped me up, and started flinging birds away so they would not peck me. (Thus was born my hatred of geese.) Ever since then, GhostDad has been my hero. He is better than Batman.

He has always been there, a quiet and solid presence that I could rely on. He’s slow to anger, unlike Mother Dearest (who has a short temper that burns out quickly), but once he’s been set off you do not want to be on his bad side. Getting Mother Dearest angry was easy, if you got GhostDad mad you had better hide.

If he likes you then you can rely on him for anything, from a reminder to check your oil (I’ll do it in the morning, I swear) to the loan of tools or other equipment. I’m sure if someone in the family needed an arm or a leg, he would donate it without thinking twice.

GhostDad doesn’t say the words “I love you.” a lot, but he doesn’t need to. I know he does because he shows his love in a thousand little ways.

Daddies like to feel pretty too.

 

Recently GhostDad has been feeling his age and has developed more health problems, mostly related to his job. As far back as I can remember he has been a body man, someone who repairs damaged vehicles. This is not an easy job, there is a lot of lifting and repetitive activity, as well as chemicals that are less that good for you.

Several months ago he felt dizzy at work and started to leave. He passed out and collapsed, hitting his head on the hard concrete. After a weekend in the hospital where he was growing increasingly fed-up with the medical profession, a partial blockage was found in one of the arteries of his neck. A minor surgery later and he’s fine, but he’s changed. He’s chattier now, talking with people he would never have spoken to before. He’s cut back on his chewing tobacco, which he has used since before I was born, and has become a connoisseur of chewing gum. He has even cut back on bacon and other tasty things in an effort to better his diet.

He has finally gotten approved for disability, something he has needed for years, and I know it was a relief for him.

 

 

Over the winter he had some clotting issues and had to take injections of blood thinners that left him looking like he had insulted a pitching machine's mother. A volunteer firefighter had to bring us the medication, it had snowed several inches and we had no way to get out of the house.

 

He’s also the handiest man I have ever met. If you ask him to do something, he will think for a bit and come up with some odd but workable solution that you had never thought of.  When I was younger I was half-convinced that he was related to McGuyver. For my sixth grade science fair project, he helped me to build a real working hovercraft using a cake pan, the top to a large ice cream container, and one of his model airplane motors. It could lift over ten pounds.

We’ve never been a rich family, but we had what we needed. GhostDad did a lot of the home repairs himself, both to save money and because it’s better to do it yourself. Then you know it’s been done right. I can remember him doing a lot of things around the house when I was little; he spent hours painting stain on the house (I bet he still curses that stain), figuring out how to fix the boggy spot over the septic tank, cleaning out the chimney, all sorts of things.

 

Home repairs can also be an excuse to put tape on the cat.

 

GhostDad has claimed for years and years to hate cats. He buys special treats for them and hand-feeds them every morning, he’s made toys for them and will let them cuddle in his lap for hours and hours. He was actually the one who wanted to adopt Nikki.

But he “hates” cats.

I can smell the hate. I think it's chicken-flavored today.

 

Unfortunately GhostDad hates to celebrate anything. He never wants birthday gifts or Christmas gifts or really gifts of any kind, (he says they are a waste of money) so I won’t be giving him anything for father’s day this year. I’ll buy breakfast for him and Mother dearest, but that will be about the extent of it. I thought about it, but he usually just tells you to take it back and get your money back.

He isn’t the most demonstrative of people, being very reserved and frankly hard to read. (Unless he’s on the happy-fun-time pain meds, then you can’t get him to shut up, no matter how much you want him to. There are some things I really didn’t want to know.)

He isn’t perfect; he can be argumentative, especially with Mother Dearest, and is even more stubborn than I am. I get a lot of my sarcasm, cycicism, and general smartassiness from him. Still, I am very glad he’s my Daddy. I love him very much.

I doubt he will read this, since he very rarely uses the computer for anything except the occasional perusing of CraigsList for motorcycles or used cars. If the off chance he takes a look…:waves: Happy Father’s Day, you old wiseass!

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