I was searching my Gmail account this morning for some information I'd sent awhile back and found an old chat log between Dad and me back when I was in Indonesia. It brought a smile to my face and I suddenly thought, "Hey, wait. If this was saved, are there others?" A quick search later and I was face to face with about a dozen conversations with my father, frozen in time and waiting for me to find them.
I can hear his voice when I read the words. We talked about food and Dad's experiences in France and Portugal. We talked about his job and how he was scraping by trying to divert product. We talked about Grandma and how she was doing with her cancer treatments. We talked about Lucy (our family dog) being put down. He gave me advice on taking care of my house and the renters that had left it in poor shape. He was genuinely happy to chat, even though I know he would've greatly preferred a phone call.
Dad was never a skilled typist; some of his messages suddenly become ALL CAPS and later return to normal without explanation. He wasn't the greatest speller in the world. He tried to explain to me what Pineapple Upside Down Pie was ("it's like cake, but it's pie") Some excerpts:
Some of it makes me laugh. Some of it makes me tear up. All of it reminds me that I miss him. But it is getting easier. Finds like this helps. I also got the call that Dad's grave marker was finished and placed. Since his last 'story' that I heard every time we talked was about someone at Reasor's asking him if he was THE Tony Martin, Tyler and I found it only fitting to mark his final resting place.
Dad closed all of his IM conversations with 'Love ya, Nuff Said'. It was nice to hear your voice again, Dad. I love you.