Lilypie - Fourth Birthday

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saying Goodbye

There’s no way I can possibly put together a few paragraphs worth of sentiments to adequately describe my feelings about my dad.  There are, though, several special occasions that are memories I will always cherish…
As a child, I remember one time I was in pretty deep trouble with Mom.  I’m sure I deserved it when she assigned Dad the task of giving me a spanking.  This particular time, though, Dad didn’t think I deserved it (which, I assure you, I did), so he told me he would spank the bed and I would have to cry.  What a softie!  I did end up getting my spanking, though.
Our trip together to Europe in the Summer of ‘99 was really that – a trip!  Our interests were so polar opposite.  Germany, Austria, and France for 10 days was completely centered around everything Volkswagen and Adidas.  I don’t know how many VW shows we went to on that trip.  Touring the Adidas factory, visiting Adi Dassler’s grave, pointing out every VW we saw on the Autobahn, and touring personal VW collections of German friends/enthusiasts, were all certainally not things I had much interest in as an 18-year-old girl.  But, Dad tried to make sure I stayed content.  The man bought me so many Cokes on that trip.  While in Paris, we went to the Louver and Eiffel Tower.  We took the train from Paris to Frankfurt, then rented a car and, after the big VW shows, drove into Salzburg, where we took the Sound of Music tour.  He had never seen the movie, but it has always been one of my absolute favorites, so he did Salzburg and the tour for me.  So many memories were made in that 10 days.  Most of them good; some not so pleasant.  After that trip, nearly every time I saw Dad, he brought it up.  We so enjoyed spending that time together.  I will never forget that.
Adi Dassler’s grave in Germany.  Founder of Adidas.014
Overlooking Slazburg, Austria, 1999. 015
Peter Reduch (sp?) – Dad’s Adidas friend in Germany, 1999. Dad's Slideshow 001
Throwing the wedding picture in for posterity.  June 28, 2003. 004
Taken on our father/daughter trip to Tennessee, Summer 2008.  Quirky.  Summer 2008 001b (20)
Nine years ago, Dad had a bad car accident in his ‘52 Split on 1960.  The force of the impact broke the steering column on his chest.  He was life-flighted and spent several days in the hospital with broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a super-bruised raccoon face.  I was home for Christmas from ACU and spent several days with him while he recuperated.  I made him oatmeal for breakfast, then we would spend hours in the living room next to the fire just being together while he healed.  It was a rough time for him.  He was in a lot of pain, and having to not be “on the go” was a challenge for him, but it was a precious time for us together.  I think this was the time that he actually watched The Sound of Music!  Strangely, this event was another thing that he brought up frequently as a time he enjoyed being with me.  He doted on the oatmeal and how I cared for him.  I didn’t do anything special, but he always had a way of showing how very proud he was of me and how much he cared for me.  The real pleasure was mine.
Dad had a way of making people feel special and meaningful.  Family was very important to him- and he was nuts over his grandkids-, and so were his friends.  I’ve never known a person with more friends than Dad.  He had an eclectic mix of friends from many different ‘circles’ of his live, be it VWs, tennis, school, church, McDonald’s and Chick-fil-a breakfast buddies, etc.  Dad always had a trail of visitors at their house.  Friends had no need to call, they would just drop by.  It was unusual for me to drop by at any given time and not find Dad chatting with a friend out in his shop or while he was stringing a racket in the game room.  The thing that stood out to me is that it never seemed like Dad ‘tried’ with people.  He was just himself and that is what appealed to so many.  Todd has said for years that Dad is not only a collector of Volkswagens, but really more a collector of people. 
This is where I could do a “profile” on Dad, listing off all of the things he was to others, but I won’t.  The most important thing Dad was to anyone was what he was to his Father.  He was loyal and always true.  He was loved by so many and saved by One. 
I miss him with all my heart.


Emily said...

I'm so sorry Natalie. He sounded like such a great guy! I will be praying for you!

Joanette said...

Very touching Natalie! Your dad was very proud of you too.