My dad has been gone three years today. As a provider, he built a wonderful life for our family. He wasn’t perfect as a father but who is? He had outpatient surgery, coded, and never came home. He was 83.
He grew up in a Pacific Northwest farming community with his parents and two brothers. His parents both came from families with many, many children, 13 or 14 kids. My grandma was a twin and her twin married one of my grandfather’s siblings so the kids of those two marriages were double cousins. They had a built-in community of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
When my dad was learning to talk, he couldn’t make all of the sounds properly. One of his uncles loved asking him, “What’s that?” when a truck passed because my dad’s answer rhymed with truck but started with an ‘f’ instead. I’m pretty sure my stern grandma didn’t find that amusing. If you’d asked him his name, he would’ve answered, “Diddy Finn Frips,” which was nowhere close to the actual pronunciations of his first, middle, or last names, Dickie Glen C**** (withholding last name out of respect for my mom who is very private). He loved telling that story and the uncle who encouraged his love for trucks!
Their farmhouse was two rooms and, when the third child was on the way, my dad and his older brother were moved into a tent in the backyard. That was their bedroom for a year, including a cold, snowy winter. The two older boys were given the honor of picking the name for their new baby brother. It amused my dad to no end, even as an adult, that they chose the name Warren because it meant a dirt hole in the ground for rabbits. They pulled a trick on him before he was even sitting up solo.
There were also sad stories and I’m not sure my father would describe his childhood as “good” but he sure told lots of stories from that time with a smile on his face, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them. I miss my dad.