I have never blogged twice in one day but today I am making an exception. For the past week I have been dreaming about my dad. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what the dream was about when I wake up. All I know is my dad was in my dreams. It has really bothered me. The other night I was talking to my mother and she shared a story about my dads infatuation with Elvis. It was no secret to any of us what a huge fan my dad was. I looked up Elvis songs on YouTube and began listening to them. When Suspicious Minds began to play, my heart began beating very fast, I started to sweat, I felt the tears begin to build up and I began having an anxiety attack. I was overwhelmed with a sense of loss and at that moment I missed my dad more than I have in the 3 years he’s been gone.
Losing my dad was a blow. It’s taken me 3 years to finally stop crying every day. If there was any man in my life that meant the world to me, it had to be my dad. He was the world to me. I loved him so much. On September 14, 2011, I watched my dad take his last breath. When he did, he not only died that day but he took a piece of me with him. I have found it hard to recover ever since.
My dad was a character. Some would describe him as a real rebel. I used to refer to him as The Don. My dads favorite movie was the Godfather. In fact he loved the movie so much, in my opinion, he would’ve been cast in the movie had Francis Ford Coppola met him. My dad lived his life much like Godfather, only he didn’t kill anyone. Of course, if you asked him he’d tell you otherwise. My dad was always helping others and he not only ran around with a loaded 45 in his pick up, he had a sword underneath his seat. He was such a cool cat I used to say my dad was so cool, he was like a summer breeze on a hot day. My dad was also a story teller. He could tell a story like nobody’s business. He was so convincing, you never knew if his story was fact or fiction but the way he told the story, you had no other choice but to believe him. He was also the funniest guy in the world. He would make me laugh until I cried. My fondest memories are our phone conversations poking fun at situations or locking ourselves in his office, eating sweet delicious snacks and laughing until we infuriated my brother, who thought we were behaving immature. My dad was a blast. He was also a fighter. He fought everyone and anyone for what he believed in. He never caved and he never gave up. A banker and close friend of my dad once said “Velma every time I do business with your dad I know he’s full of shit but he’s got so much charisma, he’s just so damn likeable!” I had to laugh. Even funnier was when an attorney wrote on an affidavit that said “any time Mr. Perez becomes involved, things turn weird quickly. Very Twilight Zone.” When my dad and I read this, we burst into laughter. My dads response was “I don’t give a shit! He can kiss my ass!”
My dad was a rebel but he also had a soft heart. He had a crush on Stevie Nicks & Julia Roberts. He’s the only man I know that cried every time he watched Steel Magnolias and he must’ve seen the movie 1000 times! He also loved his grandkids. The minute he heard them say Grandpa, he’d turn to butter. I love the story our friend Rob Sole shared. Rob owned the local Honda Dealership. He told me my dad had taken Derek to look at 4 wheelers. Derek was 4 years old at the time. My dad and Derek were looking at 4 wheelers to buy. In the end my dad came to his senses and said “Snake (Derek’s nickname) maybe we better wait until you’re older”. Rob shared he would never forget Derek standing there with his blonde hair and blue eyes looking up at his grandpa. A tear rolled down Derek’s face. When my dad saw that he turned around and said “Rob, throw that damn thing in the back of my truck!” Rob said he watched my dad and Derek drive away with a four wheeler in the back of my dads truck that day and he never forgot it. Of course, to me it was typical behavior on my dads part. He was crazy about his grandkids.
My dad was a germaphobe. He took 2 showers per day and he wore so much Stetson cologne you could smell him coming for miles. He was also a clean freak. In fact, my dad refused to use a public restroom. When he was out of town he would drive around until he found a hospital. He had this crazy notion that hospital restrooms were cleaner than a public restroom. When my dad passed away, my mom and I found 4 bottles of Stetson in his pickup. He always had a bottle for emergencies. Lol. We also found so many pictures of me along with ads that I had created while working at the newspaper. I looked at my mom and asked her why he had so many pictures of me. She replied “because he always thought you were the most beautiful girl in the world”. I still find myself teary eyed when I think about that. I miss smelling my dad, however not long ago I walked in to my closet and suddenly I smelled that familiar scent of Stetson. When I smelled it I wondered if my dad was trying to let me know he’s still with me in spirit. I’d like to believe he is.
They say blessings always come when we experience a tragedy in our lives. I’ve heard they are sent from heaven to heal our hearts. Several months after my dads passing, my brother and Mari announced they were expecting a baby. When my mother and I heard the news I said to my mother “you’ll see, that baby is going to bring us so much happiness!” On August 14th a year after my dad passed away and one month to the day before his anniversary of passing, we were blessed with Baby Kai. He has brought this family so much happiness. He’s been such a blessing. He’s quite a heartbreaker and a rebel. In fact, he has so much of my dads personality and attributes. He loves trucks, my dad owned a trucking company, he’s a daredevil and he’s got such a loving heart. He also loves Elvis Music. So much so, Mari dressed him up as Elvis for his first Halloween. When I was home last month, my mother and I had the chance to spend so much time with Baby Kai. Together we wished my dad was alive to meet him. If my dad were alive he’d be over the moon like we are.
My dad was the best man in my life. I miss him terribly. He called me every day at 8:30 in the morning and would continue to call me throughout the day. It used to drive me crazy at times but now that he’s gone, I’d give anything to go back in time and get that phone call just one more time. We shared a lot of good times together. It was no secret I was a daddies girl. We also shared the same personality and attributes. We were 2 peas in a pod. My advice to anyone is never take the people you love for granted. Enjoy every day and every moment you have together. You never know when it will be your last day and when it is, like me you’ll find yourself wishing “for one last time”.
This song is for my dad today and his little “mini me”, Baby Kai who has managed to capture our hearts and turn some of the heartache we have all felt in to the same profound love I once had for my dad. My dad is no longer here but forever and a day the love I have for him will always be tucked away in my heart. I love you dad. I miss you so much!