He Was That Starfish Kid …

30 Jan

I felt a little twinge in my chest as I walked away and got in the car — that sharp pain in the chest that never seems to go away. It gets less debilitating with time, but never really goes away. And there it was … as I looked at the sunset there it was … the pain of losing your Dad. It just sits there.

I know it’s not supposed to be painful anymore, but I have my moments — the kind where you get real quiet because if you start talking about it, you’ll probably break down and lose it on the spot. I still have those. No one told me that I’d still have those. But it happens and then all I can do is be grateful that I had all those moments with him, that he was my Dad, and that I can still remember little bits and pieces of him.

Like how he shaved with old school blue Gillette disposable razors on a daily basis and how the living room smelled of musk aftershave long after he’d gone. Like how he tuned into the local jazz station because he found it relaxing on the drive home. Like how he’d probably be wearing a Los Angeles Rams football hat all week because the SuperBowl is coming up and he remembered when Jim Everett used to be the Rams starting quarterback. Like how he’d grind his own coffee beans at home and brew a fresh pot for himself right after dinner and then have no problem sleeping at night.

Today was a big day of memories. He would have been 71 and I was missing him so much that I fought the tears during the pockets of time throughout the day. Just sitting there and emotions just hit me.

But there was something that made me smile.

Something new I could share with my kids, something to keep coloring in the fading picture of their grandpa.

As I was reading a book to my daughter the other day, I came across this passage about starfish …


I was like … that’s him. That’s what he was like. That’s what I hope I’m like. That’s what I hope you’re like.

You see, I know I’m my father’s daughter, and I’m hoping to pass some of that awesomeness along to my own kids.

So when they read the story, I waited. And then there it was … I knew what they both thought when their smiles came out. They smiled with their eyes. And I knew they got it.

That’s how papa was, and you know what, I think that’s how you’re gonna be.

Bigger smile.

I was grateful for that moment today. Glad that I found that one to sustain me all day, the one that would help pull out the rest of the memories, because that story right there, that one helped me picture it and picture him. And it helped my heart hurt less. It helped when I mixed up the batter for his chocolate cake. It helped when I whipped up the buttercream frosting. It helped when I sang happy birthday to him and blew out the candle. It helped because he was in my life and he did make difference.

Happy Birthday Pops. I miss you with everything I got.

Buen Camino …





5 Responses to “He Was That Starfish Kid …”

  1. Sorryless January 31, 2019 at 3:51 AM #


    You are the sunshine to your father’s memory, spreading it to everyone whose life you touch. These stories are framed pictures, beautiful and strong and full of those moments you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

    Pops was an an old school classic, from his taste in music to that insane ability to drink java at night and yet . . sleep like a baby. I’m envious of that one, lol.

    Peace and birthday cake

    • The Guat March 7, 2019 at 12:39 AM #

      Thanks so much Cayman 🙂 I still think of you as Cayman. I know. You’re all grown up and onto another blog life but there it is … I’m still grateful for your kind and thoughtful comments that make my day and fill my heart. I’m so glad that my Dad stories reach out through the universe and touch people’s hearts. The fact that he could drink coffee and go to sleep always trips people out. THANKS so much. Sunshine and waves to you.

      • Sorryless March 7, 2019 at 4:10 AM #

        The Cayman in me will never leave, so no worries on that. In fact, you can call me Cayman if you like. It’d be kinda kitschy.

        Your writing is always sunshine and waves to the senses.

        Buen camino, amiga.

  2. ksbeth January 31, 2019 at 4:25 AM #

    aw, hugs for your loss and happiness for your wonderful memories of him

    • The Guat March 7, 2019 at 12:40 AM #

      Thanks so much! I try to hold onto these memories tight and share them, share pieces of them out there so he continues to touch people in some way, helping him continue in some way. Thanks so much for reading. Sending you good vibes. 🙂

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