Sunday, August 10, 2008

Memories

My dad passed away when I was 13, and I distinctly remember one evening not long after he died when I was tagging along with my cousin to her college professor's home. The professor was a kind woman, and she knew that I had lost my father recently. She sweetly and sensitively told me to write down my memories of him. She told me how although they were clear in my mind at that time, I would forget many of them, even though I didn't want to. That advice sunk deep into my heart and I knew I wanted and needed to do it. 13 years later, I still haven't. I have started many, many times, so I do have some things written down, but I have a long way to go. Today would have been his 50th birthday, so I've been thinking about him a lot and feeling the need more than ever to record all the special memories I have of him. I also had the idea of asking anyone that reads this post that knew my dad to leave a comment...a memory you have of him that I can include with mine. Because if you were lucky enough to have known him, then I know you might have a memory like one of these:
-Riding on his back as he swam around my grandma's pool
-Sticking our heads out of the sunroof of his Saab as he drove down big hills
-Piling lots of pillows and blankets to sit on in the back of my grandpa's truck and going to the zoo
-Going with him to Lehi High School where he played basketball on Saturdays and playing with all the sports equipment and having a whole gym to ourselves
-Friday night Slurpees and watching X-Files
-Walking to the ditch with our dog Conway
-Watching Jazz and 49ers games on TV
As you can tell, this is an old picture. But it makes me happy, and I haven't had time to dig through and scan more recent ones. I don't know what I would do without memories...they are absolutely priceless.

17 comments:

The Teeples said...

Oh My Cute Natalie,
Reading this brings tears to my eyes as well as makes me want to follow in your footsteps. Thanks for giving me a good idea and for opening up about something that I know is such a personal heart ache.

You are truly a wonderful example to me. I only wish I could add to your memories of your Dad. You can see where you get your constant smiley face from.

Love ya girl,
Heather :)

Laraine said...

Your Dad was always so much fun! I loved having you guys as next door neighbors. One funny memory I have is of you and your Dad on your front lawn. You were not much older than Natalie...maybe Jansen's age. You were running towards him with your little arms out-stretched. He looked like he was ready to swoop you up in his arms and just as you got to him, he JUMPED OVER THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD!!!! You landed face-first on the grass...(you weren't hurt). It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. We really loved your Dad..he was a great guy!

Landon & Kara said...

Jessica, what a great idea for his 50th birthday. I just think you're the greatest; it's no wonder you're such a baller, your dad started you young!

Anonymous said...

Your dad loved you kids more than anything else. Even when I wanted a night out he would say "let's bring the kids!" How he would have loved playing with Jansen & Natalie. I am comforted from knowing that I am sure he got to know them before they were born. Thanks for the blog. Love you mom.

Traci said...

I remember how much fun your dad was, he was always making us laugh. I don't have any specific memories but I do remember his smile. He had a great smile and I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face!!

Annie said...

I bet Heather called you Natalie because in that picture it looks just like Natalie with bangs. Seriously I am not usually a cryer, but this one made me quite emotional. You look just like your dad. I can tell that he was such an amazing man because look at what an amazing daughter he has. You are one of the most thoughtful and giving people I know-and I am not just saying that. What a fantastic way to honor him.

Kenj and Nate said...

Jessica that was so sweet. That was when we met in Jr. High. You were such an amazing example to me. I locked my blog to intites only so if you want an invite email me at kpareyouwithme@hotmail.com

Lexi said...

Whenever i think of dad the first thing i remember is that one time we made that huge slide in the mud in our backyard, and then mom coming home and getting so mad that he let us do that haha and of course potato logs, slurpees, and pink cookies

Angie said...

Wow, I have lots of memories of Uncle Greg! I'll just name a few, but next time you want to make your "list", just wait till you come home and we'll help you do it!
I remember Uncle Greg loved to spray off the driveway, he was very particular about the house and yard. He often wore shorts and cut off sweatshirts. He played Shark with us in Grandma's pool. Whenever Greg called our house, he'd use one of his "voices" to try and trick me, I would think it was Uncle Greg, but he was so good at it I was never quite sure! I remember the last time I was with him, we were having a party for Shane leaving on his mission, and I remember your dad sitting on the couch with his arm around your mom. A near perfect memory that I have reflected on many times. More than anything else, your dad knew how to have fun. He had a gift for making people feel happy and comfortable in his presence. I like to think that he had a little hand in teaching my Gracie some of her kooky tricks before they sent her down to us! I don't know if it is true, but I think he would have if he could! I know one thing for sure, he is proud of his family and I know he loves his children and his grandkids more than we could ever realize! Love you Jess!

Kent and Leisy said...

your dad was great!
I remember when he used to hide in the bushes waiting for us to walk you halfway home so that he could scare the trash out of us (after we had watched x-files and were already scared to death)!
I also remember riding around in that scary van going to seven eleven with him driving.

Kent and Leisy said...

and didn't he list the kids' number (your 3333 one)in the phonebook as something really funny? I also remember his INSANELY large car phone.

Kami said...

Oh Jess, this blog made me cry. Thanks for sharing these memories about your dad. I never knew your dad, but I know he must have been wonderful because you, Lex, and Anth are so amazing. I am guessing your love of slurpees and Billy Joel came from your dad and for that I'm SO greatful. Oh yeah, coke slurpees, chocolate donuts and rocking out to Billy Joel in the car for life!

megandjon said...

I loved this post Jess. Thank you.

Stephanie Grant said...

I never meet your dad but I meet you shortly after he passed away. I knew how much you loved him. You never talked about it but it was always so obvious that you had a connection with your father that is stronger than death. There is no doubt in my mind that you were his princess. A little girl would not miss and hold on to her dad as much as you did unless he was doing the same thing. I know you will get to be with him again. I am grateful for your example in staying so strong and showing me that your love is so much deeper than just this earth.

Amy Pectol said...

Oh the memories! Uncle Greg was like my super fun and slightly irresponsable second Dad. I feel so blessed that he was a part of my life. (I'm already starting to bawl...) There was a few year period where he worked at home and me and Lexi were his constant tag a longs. Always seeing life through a childs eyes he knew just what to do to make life perfect for a nine and five year old. Our days were filled with dog shows, pink cookies and mud slides. I can't wait for someday when I can take a ride hanging out the saab sunroof again. One word YAHOO! I love you Uncle Greg!

lindsey said...

Oh Jessica. I wish I had a vivid memory of your dad. I remember that he was very funny. The only true memory that I have is one night we were sleeping over at your house and we were in your basement downstairs. We were winding down, probably after a wild game of scram ball (?) is that what it is called? We were laying down and your dad peeked his head in the room. I don't remember what he said, maybe something about Jr. Jazz, I just remember seeing is face in the door frame with his beard and all. Maybe it was the last time that I saw him, I don't remember. I wish I could remember more for you. I have always regretted what kind of friend I was for you during that time. I didn't know what I should have done for you, but I know that what I did do, nothing, wasn't the right thing. I am sorry for that. I felt embarassed and didn't know what you needed. I hope you do know, that I thought about you constantly. I am so glad that we are friends. I can't believe we have been friends for over 15 years. I have always idolized you. Everyone always does. Nate is very lucky. I love you Jess.

Love, The Halloweenie

Anonymous said...

Leisy,
The 3333 number was listed as "rugrats" right under our regular phone listing.