Dec 2, 2007

This day last year, Evel Knievel, and changing weather

A year ago today (Dec 2nd), I posted an article titled, "An adventure begins..." On this day last year, we took my Dad to the airport so he could fly to Houston before going to Kuwait and then on to Iraq.

Some folks may say, "Had you known..." and then wonder if we would have tried to stop Dad from going, or if there was something else I would have said. Dad was the kind of person that had he not gone, he would have complained, groaned, and moaned the whole time. If he head been here, would he still be here? That is a question no one can ever answer, but I do believe that when it is your time, then it is your time. Had something happened in the middle of the night here, Mom would have tried everything she could and then would have called me, and I would have tried everything, and at some point during all of it, we would have called the ambulance. And, despite our efforts, if it was his time, he would have passed away. We would have been left with "I should have...", "I wish I had...", etc.

Losing Dad has not been "easy" by any stretch of the imagination, but I cannot help but wonder how much harder it would have been, and how different things would have been, had it happened here. While he was away, as I wrote about before, he found a side of himself he had not known, and found a purpose in life he had missing. We are selfish and hate that he was taken from us before we could be with this "new" person he had become. But, I can't help but feel that he really did begin his adventure, and after all is said and done, I believe he reached his true destination, and that we will all see him again someday.

I grew up watching Evel Knievel, or I should say I remember watching him on television, anyway. Specifically, I remember staying up past my bedtime as a kid to watch him perform some jump. During the practice run, he took a bad spill, and could not perform the actual jump. I was heartbroken. I remember crying myself to sleep that night. It was not because he had been hurt, but because I was not going to be able to watch him jump live after begging my parents to stay up late. I know it was selfish, but I was maybe 9 or 10 years old.

I had a bunch of the toys that were part of his marketing campaign. But, the one I remember is the motorcycle that you had to push forward repeatedly to "rev up" and then you let it go flying.

Over the years, I would hear bits and pieces about Knievel, but on Friday night, we were eating at a local Mexican place, and ESPN was showing footage with the sad news scrolling across the bottom of the screen. He was the inspiration for many kids to become stuntmen for many, many years. He never gave up, even coming out of retirement to jump again.

As I read on another blog somewhere - "First it was Superman, now Evel Knievel... I'm getting older faster than I realized."

The other night, I watched "Live Free or Die Hard." I am a HUGE Bruce Willis fan, and also love the Die Hard movies. I had not seen it before, so I did not know that the "Mac" guy in those commercials was in the movie until I was watching it. I spotted him instantly. The movie itself has flaws, sure, but it's DIE HARD, man!! Awesome fun! :-)

As I mentioned, all you have to do is wait and the weather will change in Arkansas. Today (Sunday), we had several hard rains while the temperature rose to 80 degrees. At 6:00 tonight, we went to church to watch the children's program. When we came out, the temperature had dropped to 58 and falling... It's a wonder the whole state does not live with perpetual pneumonia...

CONGRATULATIONS to Hines Ward!!! He is now the Steelers All-Time TD Receptions record-holder, surpassing John Stallworth's record of 63! That is very fitting that a guy like Ward would take over the record from a guy like Stallworth. Both stand players stand for integrity both on and off the field. Way to go Hines Ward!!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe that it was a year ago that your dad was leaving to begin his journey to Iraq. I whole heartedly believe that EVERYthing happens for a reason. I think he "was called" to Iraq to ease the suddeness that there would have been of him being gone had he still been here when he passed. You all had 5 months to "get used to" not seeing him daily and being around. I know it was really hard to lose him so suddenly. I lost my dad suddenly too. It is such an adjustment. I feel for you and I am just as sad. I knew your dad since I was 7 years old. That's a long time. My favorite memory? All the planning to surprise your mom that Christmas Dean and I came down. He was great!