My dad was known by many for his sense of humor. However, I do not ever remember having fun with my dad or joking with him; we just didn't have that kind of relationship. I only remember being afraid of my dad as a kid (for various, valid reasons). That's why, I guess, a certain April Fools Day prank sticks out in my mind.
I was in middle or high school at the time, and the home ec teacher had this very realistic-looking hamburger made out of latex or something. (It looked much better than this photo; trust me.)
Anyway, she'd given me permission to borrow it for an April Fools joke I wanted to pull at home. I don't remember all of the details, except that my dad apparently went along with it, because I remember him taking a "bite" and being all, "Oh, you got me!" and me thinking how awesome that was.
We did have some tender moments that I can recall if I think hard enough...
*The only time I remember being alone with my parents, on the day of my First Communion, after which we went for a ride.
*The time he rescued me (age 16) from a very precarious situation with a male friend of his whom I had previously trusted.
*The way I felt when I read his note in my high school graduation card, in which he shared that he'd shed a tear and that he was proud of me.
*The day he agreed to meet me for breakfast and I (age 20 or so) bravely talked (out loud!) about the "elephant in the livingroom," telling him that I'd been attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, learning a lot about myself, and that I would no longer tolerate some of his behaviors (and he agreed to stop).
*The moment he offered me his hankerchief when I started bawling as he and Mom escorted me down the wedding aisle.
*How sweet he was towards Kyle and Kendall.
*That moment at St. Vincent Hospital, shortly before his death, when I held his hand so calmly, all the while freaking out inside because we'd never had such an intimate moment as that.
*The way he so considerately passed away not on but between his two granddaughters' birthdays, April 10th and April 12th.
April....It makes me think of Dad and, thankfully, remember the tender moments.