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Remembering Dad on his birthday

Yesterday, Aug. 22, was my dad’s birthday. I didn’t get him a card or a present, because that kind of stuff is no longer needed. I’m not sure what happens to the birthdays of those you love when they die. Are you supposed to stop acknowledging them? I don’t think so. Check out George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. We are only too happy to celebrate their birthdays, even going so far as changing the dates around, by taking a little time off and having a holiday. But back to my father. Dad died on June 25, 2001. I don’t acknowledge that day, because that day was the end of something. I like to think about Dad on his birthday, when little Edsel Wayne Click was born in San Diego in 1926. (And yep, his name was Edsel, named far before the Fords named their infamous car). I think about his old photo albums, filled with black-and-white photographs of my father, uncles and grandparents as “Little Eddie” grew up – photos of dad riding bikes, goofing off, hunting with his dad. Later, his photo albums were filled with pictures of him and his Navy buddies in the Pacific during World War II. There are photos of skiing and scuba diving, of girls and guys, and then of my mother and father together. I remember little things about my dad. I remember growing up how I used to sit next to him in his truck – a blue and white Ford F150 – and how he’d squeeze my knee, causing me to shoot straight up and knock my head on the cab roof. (I’m really ticklish, and he knew it.)I remember watching him work -he was adept at every phase of construction, from building furniture to building houses and supervising office building construction. He was a craftsman, with every nail he pounded, table saw he used, or project he saw through to completion. I remember his cut-to-the-chase way of solving problems (“We know the problem; what’s the solution?”), and his construction advice that could pertain to just about anything (“Measure twice, cut once”). I remember his great sense of humor – he loved to laugh, and to see the absurdity in life – and I remember his kindness under what could be a sometimes gruff exterior.Dad wasn’t perfect. He was a terrible speller (“See yeah, swettie pie” he wrote in one of his last e-mails to me), and he had his share of faults. But when I thought about him on his birthday yesterday, I didn’t think of those things. I thought about his big rough hands, and how small my hands feel in comparison now that he’s not here to hold hands with me anymore.Happy Birthday, Dad. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram, Rifle’s weekly newspaper. Carrie can be reached at 625-3245, ext. 101, cclick@citizentelegram.com.


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