Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10 Years Since My Dad Died


(I started this back in April 2017, but let life get in the way of finishing it. So, I am finishing it now, before another 10 years goes by.)

...10 years...

My Dad passed away on April 28, 2007. That seems so long ago and like yesterday all at the same time. One of the hardest things about him not being here comes from our mutual love of gaming. He and I would upgrade our computers at about the same time, just so we could play whatever the latest game we both enjoyed could run on them.

We had different tastes in games for the large part, but some games we enjoyed playing independently but would share stories, watch each other play, etc.

Dad loved modding. He would get the latest FIFA, NHL Hockey, or just about any other EA Sports game just so he could go online and find the real-world add-ons he could download and install. He especially loved making FIFA as realistic as he could. Back in the early 2000's, he even downloaded the Spanish voice over (more that 600MB over dial-up) just so he could play the game as though it were on Spanish television.

I think of my Dad almost constantly, though I don't express that probably as often as I might should. I don't know the "rules" when it comes to those kinds of things.

If Dad were alive today, he would definitely have a YouTube channel, showing off the latest add-ons, mods, and real-world effects for the games he loved to play. He would probably be putting out "let's play" videos for horror games, too. Man, he loved horror games. By far and away, his favorite was "Clive Barker's Undying." It's pretty tame by today's standards, but back in the day, it was creepy with a good story and jump scares we hadn't seen in games before - or at least not done as well.

Ten years. I know it's hard for some folks, especially when you're young, to fathom how quickly ten years goes by. And, I also know I am suddenly sounding like a very old man here. But, really. You wake up one day and one of your best friends is telling you about something he and you are going to do when he gets back from Iraq. The next minute, you are told he died overnight. The world stops. The world slowly starts again. You close your eyes for a moment and when you open them, it's ten years later.

There are so many times my very first thought about a new game is that I wish I could tell my father.

On a much brighter note, my son loves gaming as well. He and I share stories, play online together, and continue the traditions started between my father and me. My daughter has started gaming a little, too. She prefers the "shared keyboard" type games where we can hang out together, side-by-side, racing, building, destroying enemies.

Ten years really does go by quickly. I miss one of the greatest gaming buddies I ever had.

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