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I will always remember

Monday, December 15. 2003 @ 10:02 pm
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Yesterday would have been his 72nd birthday. Tommorrow will be exactly 7 years since it happened. It didn't even dawn on me until I was taking a shower yesterday and trying to figure out why I was so down, more so than usual this time of year. That's when I realized what date it was. It was, or would have been my dad's birthday. It was also the anniversary of the last time I ever spoke to my father, of the last time we said "I love you". Something that until that point I had never been very good at saying.

It was a Sunday. The next day I got up went to work as usual. The day after that I got up, did my usual morning routine, drove my son to daycare and dropped him off and then got back into my car. Half way to work, I started crying and had no idea why. Three hours after I got to work, I received the phone call. My mom was hysterical, I had to talk to the priest who was with her (for those who don't know my mom was Catholic, my dad was Lutheran who turned Catholic for my mom's sake.. and I'm a recovered Catholic who didn't like the answers she wasn't getting). Thankfully my employers were being understanding.

The rest of the day is mostly a blur.. I remember calling Amtrack and the airlines. The airlines were a ripoff. It happened to be the worst winter in decades and the weather was such that driving was out of the question. (this was the winter that led to the infamous Grand Forks Flood, the flood that Fargo avoided by the skin of its teeth). I remember spending a large part of the day just chatting with Warrens daycare lady, whos name I can't remember. I remember Mike getting trashed (any old excuse). I rememeber almost missing the train, and having a knock down drag out fight with Mike to get to the train, and him knocking me black and blue, and almost not lettting me go. Most of all I remember being in a state of denial the whole time. I knew in my head it my father was gone, but my emotional side, was still pretending it was only a bad dream, it wasnt' real. I was going to go home and my Dad would be there to great me, and bounce his grandson on his knee.

But he wasn't. My mom was barely hanging on, only making it one moment at a time. My Aunt got as far as Sioux Falls and had to turn back. (she was my dad's only sibling). She ended up having to take a plane alone, so my cousin (the one who played tag with me at my Grandma's funeral), and my uncle (who would die of a head injury from slipping on the ice, only a year later) had to stay home.

I remember not being able to go up to the casket. I could look at it from a distance, but while everyone else went up and said good-bye (I think Mike even brought Warren up, though he was only 3 1/2 and doesn't really have any memory of it). I remember thinking that if I didn't look at the casket, it wouldn't be real, that the body in the casket wasn't my father, it couldn't be. My dad was a strong tough guy. He was the glue that kept our family together, who took care of everyone. He wasn't the kind of person to kiss his wife good bye and then drop dead of coronary arrest on the deck.

I remember a blur of lawyers offices with my mom, and picking out caskets and so forth. I remember feeling like suddenly in some ways I was having to be parent to my mom, even though she was still more than capable of taking care of herself.

I remember like it was only yesterday. Tommorrow it will be seven years.

I remember so much about my dad. Much of what I am today, I owe to my dad. He was the first one to introduce me to the idea of aliens and strange happenings. I remember watching Project Blue Book on tv with him as a kid, not exactly great preschool fair, especially since I was having nightmares about aliens comming after me, but a bond experince not the less. I remember he had a love of police drama's and documentary television. Something I hated at the time, but have since developed a strong love for. I remember he wouldn't have political bumper stickers because he didn't want to start anything with anyone, but at the same time he is the one who taught to wear and be who you are, and to hell with what other people think. I remember endless stories about life in the depression and family stories about my relatives. Stories I rolled my eyes at as a kid, but would sell anything to hear as an adult. I remember that he had a temper, but was also one of the most loving and generous people I knew. Not alot of people knew that when he was drafted, he tested well enough to qualify for OCS, but turned it down because he wanted to go back home after his tour to help my Grandpa take care of the farm. If he had taken up the chance, he could have done who knows what, but he would most likely never have met my mom and I wouldn't be here.

I remember the smell of Aqua Velva, and Brill creme. I remember when I was little he would rub his rough face against mine. I remember him singing "Holly polly waddle doddle all the day" when he wanted to tease me". I remember so much... I remember him waking me up at 4am to drive an hour to my aunt's house in Williston and having to wait up with me at a cafe until my aunt woke up, so he could go to the hospital where my mom had just gave birth to my brother. (okay part of that is a little vague as I was just 5 months short of 4 years old).

I remember him taking care of my grandma right until she died. I remember him worrying about my car, I remember he was a good father, a good husband, and a good man..

But most off all I will always remember him.

Nordine Milo Johnson December 14 1931 - December 16, 1996


Prequels ~ Sequels

Daily Dumbass: Saddam Hussien, its much easier to be evil when others are doing the dirty work--Coward
Thankful For: This diary to write in
Music of the mind: : Untuchables theme - it was one of my dad's favorite shows when I was little

~*~Have you read these~*~

~ Ode to a child who is no more ~
~ She's baaack ~
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In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.

I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.

I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.