I have fond memories of my father and at the same time I had not so fond memories of him. Growing up he was my daddy. We played chess together, watched Bonanza and Star Trek on the weekends, I’d hang out in the garage with him while he worked on his ‘man projects’ fixing radios and restoring antique furniture. He’d take my friends and I to see The Fox and the Hound at the movies, and took me and a pack of friends to Disneyland for my Birthday. Pretty much I was a spoiled little brat who got whatever she wanted. I quickly learned the art of pitting my parents against one another to ensure I got what I wanted. That caused many arguments between them and eventually they divorced. I KNOW for a fact that they were unhappy way before I started my little drama llama princess act, but I never thought in a million years that he’d ever leave. I’m getting way ahead of myself though… that story is for another day when I have enough time and the nerve to put all of that out in writing. It’s something I need to come to terms with, just not today. What I’d like to do is share happy memories about him, and eventually lead up to what happened afterwards. It helps me sort it out correctly in my mind this way. Besides, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t more happy memories than not.
When I started losing my baby teeth at first it terrified me. Nobody bothered to tell me that I had a new set of adult teeth ready to come in when my baby teeth would loosen up and fall out. Details aren’t that specific in my memories but I remember being able to wiggle a tooth with my tongue and totally panicking. When it finally came out I was told about the tooth fairy and how, if you put it under your pillow at night she will come collect the tooth and leave a dollar. Did any kid ever question this? I know I didn’t, all I cared about was I was going to get money for my tooth. So I put my precious tooth in an envelope and sealed it up. Now I’m not sure if it was suggested to me to write something to her on the envelope or if I came up with that idea on my own, but I wrote a little note to her on the back of the envelope. The writing has since faded so badly since it was written in pencil but the jist of what I said was ‘here is my tooth, no cavities. I bet you are pritty (sp)” That night when I put it under my pillow I was so excited to see what I was going to get, and if she would respond.
I found the little jar containing my baby teeth along with these letters years later. He had kept them all. My letters to Santa, the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy (or “TF” as she sometimes signed her letters.) Every single letter was kept together in a stack held together by an old rubber band. He took his duties very seriously at being my dad, of course looking back on it now I wasn’t nearly as appreciative at having a father so devoted like I did. At least now I can show anyone that reads this how wonderful he was, I hope wherever he is right now can see that.