Buddy Pal

That was my nickname as far back as I can remember. Maybe I was about four. Dad would come home from work in his greasy overalls after a long hard day working as his Esso station on Route 1. (yup, it was Esso before it was Exxon). Just seeing his car pull up in the driveway, made my heart skip a beat. The back door would open and so would his arms. I would fly right into them and he would yell "Hey, how's my Buddy Pal?" Needless to say, I was in heaven. Daddy was home and all was well with the world. It doesn't take much to make a little kid happy, just another human being that lets you know that you are the most important person in their world. And that feeling of love lasted my whole life with Dad. I never doubted it, never had reason to. He was there in my heart always. He let me know that as a female I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. He took me to baseball games and football games, showed me that any mistakes I made could always be fixed. Taught me how to put a worm on a hook to catch the biggest fish and also how to lower a net from our rowboat to get tons of Blue crabs. In the ocean flying over waves at the Jersey shore, fear gripped my heart but then Dad's arms and gentle voice made it fun instead of scary. I knew I would always be safe. As I got older he stressed the importance of an education and using my brain. "Sign up for those college courses buddy pal, you don't want to sit in front of a typewriter all day do you?". I did and he was right, of course.

My Dad was a golfer since I can remember. The trophies lined the living room shelf in the picture window. He loved to be outside with the blue skies and emerald green grass. Driving, chipping, putting. It was everything to him. It was just as important as taking a breath.
I never got to golf with him though, which I so regret. I started late in life but I did have the golf DNA gene and did pretty good for a late bloomer. So he was proud. At 84 he was still shooting in the eighites! Quite an accomplishment. He was in good shape and still handsome even then- a full head of hair and no grey until his seventies!
So, on his last full day of life, a stroke took him away from me, but he left doing what he loved- teeing off on the first hole as the sun warmed his soul. The pain of losing him last week has not hit me yet. I have yet to even cry, for if I do, then it will be real and I am not ready for that reality show yet.
However, an angel gave me a gift. I replaced the picture of Dad hooked to machines in the hospital with a new one --In heaven, after an amazing, awesome , excellent round of golf with his buddies, Dad brimmed, walked to the 19th hole and enjoyed an ice cold Miller Lite on tap. Its made me smile for a week now. Along with my lifetime of sweet memories, I am hanging on to that image for as long as I can. Keep hittin 'em long and straight. I love you Dad.

Your Buddy Pal


emmy's closet said…
Deb, this was so beautiful. What an amazing tribute to your Dad--and what a great man he was. I bet the golf courses are the BEST up there! ;) Thinking of you...

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