Fried Bologna and Spam Sandwiches

I woke up missing my father terribly this morning. I have always meant to talk about him more here, to share both the good and bad (and there was definitely both), but it has been hard with the transition, with the changes in my life and just how tired I have been.

Dad and I in 1972, always had a tight bond.

This last couple weeks have been really bad, I have wanted desperately to call him and talk to him and my mother. I did it daily until I was 45 and he passed (I talked to mother multiple times a day for five months after that until she passed). However I never got to tell them about my transition fully (we talked a little, that is its own story).

This morning though I really missed the quiet times we spent together. It wasn’t super regular, but it happened regular enough that it was an expected feature.

He would come in and wake me up at a very late/very early time (somewhere between midnight and four am). He would be drunk sometimes, stoned sometimes and sober a lot of the times. He would sneak into my bedroom and have me get up and take my blanket (even at the age of 14 or 15) and we would go out into the living room. Even though he was my father, we snuck around like we could get in trouble. He tried to do this with both my siblings, but neither one of them were ok with being awoken at one in the morning, I have always woken easily and I loved these moments. So other than a few exceptions, it was generally just me and him.

An example of late night watching tv with my sister and brother. They definitely weren’t as fond of it. Sorry the image is not retouched yet. That colored blanket/bedspread is the one I remember the most and I think we were watching Legend of Hell House.

He would just talk to me about the day, he would ask me all about my day, if I was in sports, chorus or orchestra he would ask me about that. We would watch a movie (usually a horror movie) together. Often he would make me a snack, one of his famous fried bologna or spam sandwiches, maybe some bratwurst or kielbasa, or if it was a good day one of his (and mom made this too) no-cook peanut butter oatmeal bars. We would sit and watch the movie and it was pretty spectacular for me, even as I became a teenager. Weirdly enough the movies I remember the most were Telefone and The Legend of Hell House.

These were quiet times in what was a very stressful life of violence, drugs, bikers and homelessness. I never complained or minded doing it at all. This morphed when I moved out, but never went away. I have horrific insomnia that wakes me up after midnight or one am anyways, and my dad would sometimes call me at super early hours and we would talk. I never had my ringer on so if I wasn’t up I wouldn’t’ wake up. I would just notice in a morning a call had happened and a voicemail that said simply “I love you Lucky.” I so miss those voicemails, and I am so angry I didn’t save them. It is hard to think of a world where your dad isn’t in it with you, before he is gone. I never fully considered that in time, funnily enough even though I stressed about him and mom passing for decades.

In a very rare blue moon before we moved out of Bellingham, but after I was with the hubby, I would go over there and we would sit in the living room watching tv early in the morning, with a single lamp on one of the side tables. While we drank coffee and had something to eat. In the last few years before I moved to Seattle and this was only via phone I had begun to bring his favorite donuts, Hostess raspberry filled powdered donuts, along with myself cooking the meals. He wasn’t able to get around like he did when I was a kid. I never thought my fried bologna sandwiches tasted as good, but he promised they were better than his. Maybe they were for him.

Dad and his dog Nikka

We still talked though when we didn’t meet in person. He would just chat with me, tell me things he was worried about, he was proud about with the other kids, or just how our family friends were doing. I would do the same. I think he liked talking even more when I was an adult. He didn’t have a lot of support network and when I could be there as well as an adult I think it helped. It helped me because he would listen to me as well.

So I woke up this morning in an unfamiliar hotel missing my dad. I feel guilty that it is only my dad I woke up missing. I love my mom, but our relationship was more complicated and it was my daddy I was missing.

Mom and Dad

I just thought I should start sharing more about my feelings and what I am thinking here. So here you go, the reason I spent most of this morning crying. That is hard because I never cried pre-transition, I am still not sure how to handle it. You would think that three and a half years later after his death this wouldn’t happen, but that’s isn’t true. You don’t get over people, you just adapt to the new circumstances.

I love you dad, and I really miss our late night/early morning tv watching.

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