It's fathers day and since I didn't ever really have a father (I had a bio-dad who was a piece of crap polygamist con artist who spread his seed across the country and leaving me to find my 28 half brothers and sisters as an adult and an even worse piece of crap for a stepfather....but thats a blog for another day) I decided I would pay tribute to the only man I ever thought of as a father, my Paboy.
What a man he was. Nicknamed Paboy by my mother when she was a toddler, by the time I came around in 1976 nearly everyone referred to him as Paboy and not by his given name. Nice work, Mom way to get a name to stick! So many memories of my childhood in Texas involve him. I was sooo small and he was sooooo tall and thin which made him seem even taller. He had the most crystal clear blue eyes I had ever see. He had a great sense of humor. He instilled in me a love for football and for my Steelers. He was blind in one eye and couldn't see outta the other as well as deaf in one ear and couldn't hear outta the other. He wore hearing aids and bifocals and constantly smelled of Methalatum. Oh how I miss that smell. He ate nearly a pound a bacon every day for breakfast, the blue plate special for lunch and a bowl of Wheaties or Shredded Wheat (the big ones not the frosted ones) for dinner. He loved to watch courtroom TV shows like the original Divorce Court and the Peoples Court with good ol' Judge Wapner, game shows and 60 Minutes. Oh and Murder She Wrote - boy did he love that Angela Lansbury. He LOVED the racetrack and horse racing and sooo many of my first memories from track involve only him and my mother. He would collect every aluminum can he could, then trade em for the refunds and buy candy for me he would hide in a box under his bed that was just for me and not my little sister who was constantly being spoiled by my Mamaw. He called me Pedro....all the freakin' time. I miss that.
He was a man of great character and even greater faith. In and out of the hospital so many times with pneumonia having only one lung but he was a tough son of a bitch who wouldn't be brought down. He survived a major stroke in 1987 after the 49ers defeated Bengals in the Super Bowl (can ya tell we were related haha), prostate issues and a broken neck from a car accident in 1993. He would walk to the mailbox at the end of his street every day until he passed away.
Sadly he was taken from us on December 31, 1996 when the one lung and pneumonia finally caught up to him.
I had spoken to him one week earlier on Xmas Eve and got to share the news that I was pregnant with my first child. At least he knew that I was gonna be a mommy, right? The last time I saw him was January 1991 as I watched him watch our train pull away from the station with tears in his eyes. That image is burned into my memories forever. I wish I had had the chance to spend a little more time with him. But what did I know then about mortality? I was a silly teenager who would have rather toured around the coast following the Lollapalooza tour than trek across the USA to spend a week with her great grandfolks. Stupid me.
I wish he had gotten to meet my kids. I wish he could have met the wonderful man that I get to spend my life with. In fact, Alex in so many ways reminds me of Paboy. Those two would have hit it off like gangbusters and I would have loved to have seen it.
I miss him and think of him often and couldn't imagine not paying tribute to the best man and father I ever knew today.
Paboy, you were the greatest. I love you so very much. Forever.
This song will always remind me of him so I feel it fitting that I end with this: