My "Perfect" Father

March 14, 2003

Just another ordinary day, right?

People all around the world, awaken, eat breakfast, shower, shave, blow dry and style their hair and go about as if nothing has changed.

March 14, 2003 was a day that would change my world for the rest of my life because that is the day that my Daddy joined Jesus in Heaven.

My fiance, his mother and I went to visit with my family in Missouri for Christmas. This was to be our first Christmas as an engaged couple and for my fiance to get re-acquainted with my parents.

You see, my fiance and I were 13 and 14 when we met. We lost track of each other as time went by. I married and divorced, had been in the US Army, been a registered nurse, had gone through cosmetology to earn my degree in hair. I had also attended and received a degree in massage and esthetics. I was on my own and considered myself "grown-up"

My father wasn't very tall, about 5'*8" and probably weighed around 175 lbs. But back in 1974, he was a giant in my fiance's eyes. My fiance was afraid of my dad so he always tried to stay on his good side. My fiance, Will, and his family attended the small church we attended in NJ. My father was a smoker back then and Will tried to emulate my dad's gestures and habits. My dad smoked Winchester cigarillos. He did that because they were one of the least expensive brands. Relationships were formed and broken between our two families but our mothers always kept in touch with each other.

Fast forward 27 years. I got an email from classmates and it was from Will. I was thrilled to hear from him and curious as to how his life had turned out. We both had our share of tales of misery. At that time, we were living about 3 hours from each other and we decided to see each other again. That first meeting gave me the same feelings I had as a 13 year old. We fell hard and fast for each other. But I had been married and divorced 3 times and was never, never, never, ever going to be a wife again. But Will was persistent.

One night Will called my parent's home in MO and was hoping to get my mother-someone to butter up. As it happened, Will got my father. Will instantly became a 14 year old boy, talking to the woman he loved father. Will was slowed down on how to proceed. My mom? piece of cake because Will had always held a special place in her heart because she could look past the long red hair, denim jacket, and the smell of Marlboro's and see what type of man he would become one day.

Will stammered and coughed and started beating around the bush and my dad was a very straight forward, "just the facts ma'am" (reference to Dragnet-Joe Friday) and so my father asked the dreaded question, "What do you want with my daughter?"



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