There are lots of things that I could tell you about my Daddy, he could fix anything, he has a good and kind heart, and he has helped many people in his lifetime. These things are all true, but his tears are important. Not the tears of sadness, the tears of joy. Daddy has this unique sense of humor, if you can call it that. In all honesty it is a cornball sense of humor; I can say that because I have it too.
We found many things to laugh about together. Maybe there was not anyone else that understood, but that was okay, because we knew what was funny. He even caused me to laugh once in church and yes, I got in trouble. He gave me “the look” which was the worst thing that could happen in my book.
Daddy enjoyed a good dry joke, the cornball kind. These were funny to Daddy, but the best jokes to him were the ones that came from his incredible imagination. A favorite of mine happened one evening before Thanksgiving. We were discussing Thanksgiving plans, sitting at Mama’s kitchen table. Someone suggested a smoked turkey. Daddy began to chuckle, which turned into the kind of laughter that hurts. Daddy pushed away from the table, grabbing his sides, and hitting his knee. He sat back in his chair, and tilted his head back, the fits of laughter were not subsiding, and tears had begun streaming down his cheeks. We sat there watching, wondering what was so funny? Finally Daddy began to get control of his laughter and looked at me. “I can’t smoke a turkey Melanie” he said. “Why” I asked him? Daddy grabbed his napkin and began to wipe away the tears from his face. “Because I don’t know which end to smoke and which to light” was the response. We all laughed, not because the joke was funny, but seeing that kind of laughter, we couldn’t help but chuckle with him.
Daddy shared his tears and his jokes regularly with us. Those memories are not bad, and quite a legacy to leave your children and grandchildren with. It represents his positive outlook on life. He found laughter in common things, choosing to focus on the positive. It is only one of the many reasons that I am proud to have the privilege of calling him Daddy.