Jake

Daniel spent the night with us and this morning after breakfast, we all went to Forest Park to walk the dogs, ride a razor scooter, play in the fountains and explore. After I took Daniel home, I ran 3 miles because I was sad.

I always enjoy that time with him but sadly I feel those days are coming to an end where he enjoys doing those type things with us. I guess it’s normal as he gets older. He will be 7 on Wednesday and I’m very melancholy about that today. He didn’t even want to come crawl in bed with us this morning at 5am when I got up to see if he wanted to come get in bed with Popeye (Kevin) and me. 😦

So, I’m sad. And on top of that it’s “Father’s Day” and I’ve been seeing everyone memorizing their living Dads….and I’m jealous.

I lost my Dad in 1984 when I was 24.  A day that seems like yesterday and even to this day, when I think about getting that horrible phone call, it still paralyzes me with pain. My son was not yet 6 years old. My dad worshiped him in much of the same way that I worship Daniel.

I was close to my dad. I was his first-born. I always heard growing up how that day was the proudest they had ever seen my dad. The old dudes at the country grocery store would laugh when they’d tell me. I was told by my mother that I was named after an old girlfriend of his “Charlotte”. He always laughed with the crooked smile and eyes tightly squenched denying that. I can see it in my mind now.

We were poor and my daddy was a hard-working man. I never remember a work day that he didn’t go to work no matter if he was sick or not. We had an old black Rambler car that was broken down more than it worked…I remember him walking in the snow to a local store to just to get tires fixed before he’d head out to work.

He also loved us kids and played with us like he was a kid. He loved sports so he was always playing basketball, baseball or anything else with us. And…he wasn’t one of those dads that let us win. He wanted to win! He taught us that winning was fun and it was what you wanted to do! We recall many times he “cheated” at badmitton! 🙂  He’d foul us in basketball and because he was also the referee…never called it on himself and we couldn’t argue with him or he’d throw us out of the game!

He was also a baseball coach and many years, my brother’s played on that team. My daddy was thrown out of the game many times and out of the entire ballpark a few times!

I remember once he was thrown out of our high school basketball gym and none of us were even playing!

I know some people may frown on that type of behavior now….but I always was a bit embarrassed and a lot proud that he cared about winning! 🙂

He taught us how to win with gusto and lose with regret but he always told us to get back out there and try it all over again. Another trait that I inherited from him.

My dad was also a master “Rook” player. Many of you may not know what Rook is. Let me tell you, when you played on his team…you better bring your A game or your feelings would be hurt! 🙂

I learned so much from him. One of my brothers looks just like him and the other got his demeanor. I got them both! 🙂

He taught me to love my family. He taught me to forgive people, he taught me to play hard, he taught me to accept what I couldn’t change.

I have said many times that anything good in my character…came from him. I am more sure of that than anything else.

He was well loved by everyone who knew him.

My first tattoo was for my daddy. It is chinese grass script that phonetically says “Jake”.

My first Tattoo. Chinese grass script that phonetically says "Jake"
My first Tattoo. Chinese grass script that phonetically says “Jake”

I later got his signature tattooed on my arm from the last driver’s license that he got.

I love saying that name. “Jake” His name was James Cecil Barber. I named my son James. Actually, his mother’s last name was James…and you guess it! We ARE related to Jessie James. (True story).

My dad left this world when he was 51 years young. I wish so much that he could see my grown son that he loved so much. I wish he could see Daniel and Sadie. I can just see his smile if he could meet them.

I wish I could have one more time with my dad, watch one more Cardinals game. He loved those Cardinals. I wish we could argue about who was a better pitcher. I wish I could see how upset he would get if they lost. I wish I just talk to him.

After he died, I went to college with a son, family and full time job. I did it to make him proud of me. Would he be proud of me?

I live my life everyday in a way that I think would make him proud. I hope  he is smiling down at me with pride.

Daddy, Mama and baby Charlotte
Daddy, Mama and baby Charlotte

 ♥Jake♥

 

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9 thoughts on “Jake

  1. Awwww, baby Charlotte…SOOO ADORABLE!!!! XOXO!!!
    Charlotte, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. What a phenomenal, hard working man. So very special!! I’m so glad you posted about him and shared your loving memories!! What a wonderful man!! XOXO!!

  2. Your dad sounds like a really good man. You were blessed to have him as a father and you have such wonderful memories of him. It’s sad that he died so young. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s proud of you! That’s pretty cool that you have those tattoos. It’s a good way to keep him living for you. I hope that I can be the type of person that is remembered and lives on like your dad, but most of the time I feel like I’m a grumpy old lady.

  3. With tear filled eyes…of course he would be proud of you! I know I am. He was such a fun person and always made people feel special. I wish he was still here to see the person you are today but I believe that you received as much from him in your 24 years together than most daughters could get in 50 years. Love you!

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