After we buried my dad February of last year, I drove back to Texas basically with a pickup, plants, and a photograph.
The pickup still sits in front of my yard, longing for a spin around town.
The plants, I’m proud to say, are flourishing.
And the photo sits on a shelf in my dining room.
It was one of his favorites. At one point, being technologically disinclined, he asked my sister to put it as his profile pic on his Facebook page. I don’t know how he expected her to do that, as he had the picture in a frame two states over, but nevertheless.
It’s a tiny picture, maybe a 3 X 5 in a cheap brass frame with parts of the frame chipped. It displays a much younger us.
I remember the day. Thanks to a generous landlord aunt, my sister had recently scored a cheap one bedroom rent house, albeit in need of some TLC. I was helping her paint, when our dad showed up to check on our progress. I’m covered in paint. He’s not. The hat I’m wearing leaves me to question. Was I painting in that hat or was it on his head and I put it on mine? I don’t recall the detail.
On the back, he’s written, “me & ang, yukking it up in ’91”
I can’t remember the exact conversation, but I know it went something like this: my sister holding a camera, my dad draping his arm around me, my sister telling us to say “cheese”, and right before the camera snapped, my dad sucked in his gut, and I busted out laughing.
“Yukking it up in ’91” he called it.
If I’d known then that we had only twenty more years together. Twenty years. It sounds like a long time when you say it, but it sure goes by fast. What would I have done differently? Anything?
Throughout those years, we had many more times of “yukking it up”, and I’m grateful for every one of them.
But I can’t help but wish we could have one right now.
Miss you dad.