Google+ swCj71E42RfqfgWx3JOogUovB8w Dumbass News: 9 Years Ago Today, My Life Changed Forever - My Dad Died : o77OwPu8GHYudT_bxY1ohX-tzdw

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

9 Years Ago Today, My Life Changed Forever - My Dad Died

Today's story is very personal. If you came looking for teh funnay, I can't bring it today. Having said that, I think many of you will relate to what I am gonna write about.

9 Years Ago Today

June 5, 2004 was just another day at the Dumbass Dome. So I thought.
Dad, Debbie, Adam & Sara, c. 1996

I was doing the normal routine - having a beer for breakfast, smokin' a fatty and getting tuned up for work. I was walking past the front door of my house when I saw a black Toyota zoom into my drive way. It was my sister, Cheryl. From Dallas. 100 miles away from where I lived. Instinct told me that something was wrong. Very wrong.

It was. Very wrong.

My Dad had died. Unexpectedly. He was 65 years old. Much too young to meet his Maker. He had been in the hospital for some tests, but I had no idea whatsoever that his condition was life-threatening.

Dad could not have just died. I saw him a couple of days before as he and his wife, Debbie, drove by my house on the way to theirs. I lived about a half-mile down the road, so I used to see Dad and Debbie drive by all the time. He looked OK, if not a bit skinny (for him). We chatted for a second or two and I told him, ,"I love you, Dad'. That was the last time I saw my Dad alive.

Those were the last words he heard me say.

My Dad

Cecil Shoemaker, Sr., October 6, 1938 - June 5, 2004, was Dad to five kids - me and my two sisters he had with my Mom and a brother and sister he had with my Step Mom, Debbie. Dad was a Country Boy from Troup, Texas. He was a truck driver (CB Handle - "Gunslinger". Dad loved Western movies, especially John Wayne) for over 40 years and countless millions of miles. A simple man who worked hard for everything he got.

He was tough as nails and soft as cotton at the same time. Contradictory? Maybe, but that was the way he was. An enigma. I must say here, however, that the "soft as cotton" side of my Father came a bit later in life. He'd agree with that, I'm sure.

On my birthday one year, I coaxed Dad into going fishing at Joe Poole Lake near Dallas. We were having a few beers and chunkin' spinner baits along side a tree line in the water and BAM! I had one! It turned out to be a largemouth bass weighing about four pounds. Dad was at the back of the boat smiling like he'd just won the lottery. You know, I think at that moment he felt like he'd just become an instant millionaire. I was somewhere in my 30s when this all took place, but there was something in Dad's eyes that said he was watching his little boy land his first fish. You know what? I was that little boy landing that first fish. A flood of memories of fishing stock ponds in East Texas when I was a small child inundated my mind. Instead of being in my boat on a big ass lake near one of the nation's largest cities, there we were - Dad, me, Grandma, Grandpa, my sisters and my Mom - catching crappie on cane poles at my Uncle Walter's place in Betty, Texas. Dad was beaming like I had just become a BASSMasters Champion. Like I was a little boy again. And for a split second, he was "Daddy" and I was five years old.

I shall never forget that moment.

Or Dad.

You Never Know

Nobody was expecting Dad to die that day nine years ago, but he did and we can't put sand back into the hourglass, so we all had to adjust to life without him. We have adjusted I suppose, but there are still times when I run into a situation and automatically think to myself, "I'll call Dad! He knows what to do!"

Then reality sets in as quick as a hiccup.

I write this today, not only to remember my Dad, but to remind you of yours. If he's still alive, call him once in a while. Have a beer with him. Take him fishin'. Most of all, tell him that you love him.

It may be the last words he ever hears from you.

Dumbass.

I love you, Dad.

8 comments:

  1. I personally appreciate you sharing this piece. As a writer who mixes his own mirth, pain and incredulity at life like a cocktail, I know a lot about writing because you have to say what needs saying. It's a good reminder to me to pursue better relationship with my own aging Dad. ~ TLJ

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    1. Thank you so much, TLJ. Your kind words and your expression of love for your own Dad are very touching.

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  2. The way you describe him "tough as nails and soft as cotton" makes me imagine what a vibrant personality he had. I'm so glad you got to tell him you love him that one last time. Take care Toby.

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  3. He was a hoot, for sure. LOL I miss him every day, but especially on this date...something that reaffirms the finality of it all. Thanks, Aleshia, for the very nice comment.

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  4. so lucky you got to say "I love you." We all need to remember to do that often when we have the chance. This was a wonderful post.

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    1. Thank you, Patrick. I am grateful that "I love you" were the last words my Dad ever heard from me. I am equally blessed by the fact that those were the last words I ever heard from him also.

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  5. Love the hats in the pix. My dad was a red dirt farmer and very similar in nature. Lost him a few years ago - but so glad my daughter got a few years with him - there's something about that "good ole boy thought and approach to life" that benefits anyone.
    So here's to them! Great post
    (Oh stopped by to wander through the blog - and to also leave you a note in appreciation of your calling down those who jump in to be outraged over stuff they know little about and loudly condemn/insult those they don't even know - guess it makes them feel so big. Tired of such noise: all talk no cattle sort of thing? Anyway, Texas doesn't need them or their closed minds. They'd never appreciate San Antonio anyway. Hasta later) Philosopher Mouse

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    1. Phil...thanks for stopping by and thank you for the kind words.

      In regards to the Texas Bashers: Texans don't want 'em, don't need 'em and don't give a shit about 'em.

      I'll leave it at that. :)

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