My father died 26 years ago today. He was really quite young. Only 55 years old. At the time I didn't realize quite how 'young' that is. I do now. I feel like I hardly had time to know him. Like, he had hardly enough time, period. He was a solid, quiet presence in our lives. One that I never ever considered wouldn't be there, until the day he suddenly wasn't. I remember saying goodbye on a Sunday evening and making arrangements to see eachother again the next weekend. Then, there was the middle-of-the-night call, just 3 days later. It was my Aunt on the phone at 3:30 am Wednesday, March 20th, 1985. When she told me the news, I hung up on her. It just could not be. But, indeed it was. It was the sudden, unexpected nature of his death that was the big shocker. But, I know now that, that is the case much of the time My father was a good guy. He always, always worked hard. He didn't take 'vacations' like other dads did. When he had time off of work, he did things like put on a room addition or re-roof our house. Of course we (me, my sister and my brother) whined and moped because we had to help. (typical) He trusted us kids completely. He provided us with everything we needed on a very meager paycheck. I know because I used to go to the bank to cash his paychecks for him on Fridays after I got my driver's license. It was a few bucks and some change. At the time I did give it much thought but now, I can't imagine how he and my mom did it. Lucky us. Lucky me. Lucky anyone who has, or has had, a great dad.