I Miss my Dad

The urge to call my dad today was overwhelming, even though he has been gone for over 30 years. He died two days before my wedding many years ago, and his absence still echoes in my heart. There are some times or events that intensify this feeling, such as when I am sick.

As I child I seemed to catch every virus that floated past me which, due to my allergies, would turn into asthmatic bronchitis and, on at least one occasion, pneumonia. I remember my dad building “steam tents” in my bedroom to help my breathing, and injections of adrenalin from doctors making house calls. This was a long time ago.

When I was very sick, I would awaken to him spoon feeding me a mixture of honey, lemon, and a little whisky, mixed into hot water, basically a hot toddy, to sooth my cough. When I am sick and coughing at night, which I have been doing the past several days from a bad cold, I dream that he is beside me, spoon and cup in hand. But the dream has eluded me, and I have almost forgotten it.

Until today when a bartender at a local restaurant offered to make me a hot toddy for my lingering cough. I blinked to stop the tears that flowed from my heart to my eyes.  At the first taste I was back in time with my dad by my side calming and comforting me, helping me breathe.  

And maybe that was what I really needed, a reminder to inhale and exhale, and to focus on my breath, especially as the chaos swirls around me.

3 thoughts on “I Miss my Dad

  1. Marilyn Saltzman October 17, 2023 — 1:13 am

    Lovely tribute. I remember getting a hot toddy as a sick teen!

  2. We never stop missing our dads ❤️. I’m sorry you’ve been feeling yucky. Sending healing thoughts 💕

  3. Feeling bad, physically or emotionally, often makes me long for the comfort of the old-time family remedies my mom used to use to help me feel better. She’d call my grandma, her mom, when we were really sick, and the traditional “stuff” wouldn’t work. Out would come the turpentine. It was put on a sock and safety pinned around the neck, to heal a sore throat or the forehead for persistent headache. Goose grease slathered on your chest healed the lungs by drawing out the cold. Gargling with warm water, vinegar and salt three to four times a day cleared phlegm from sinus drainage. Mentholatum was put it in the humidifier, on the bottoms of our feet, our back, and chest while we slept. I’m not sure whether it was the rub of my mom’s hand when she lathered and slathered, or the actual remedy itself, but amazingly, after a few days, we’d be feeling much better. 🙂

    Possibly, even though your dad isn’t physically here, he may have used the bartender to let you know that he’s nearby/watching over you while you’re not feeling well.

    Whatever it is, these comforting memories of our childhood often not only provide solace but remind us of how much we were/are loved. (A hot toddy might be just the ticket to knocking out that awful cough! 😊)

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