It's odd how a person forgets the sound of someones voice, their touch or their smell. All I can say is he was tall, dark and handsome, at least in my eyes. I was five and he was my dad.
There isn't much I can remember about him. I can't remember what his voice sounded like. Was it loud and boisterous or was it soft and mellow? What did he smell like? Did he smell like Old Spice and airplane grease, or is that just a wish of a lonely girl longing to remember? There are faint memories of his fingernail being crooked and bent out of shape. Hints of remembrances from airplane rides....... nothing concrete, just quick flashes.
Richard Malcom Bowker is a legend in my mind. I've had him raised on pedestals and then knocked down to dust different times in my life. There were times that I wished as a young girl that he wasn't really dead. I longed for him to come back and kidnap me. I'd see men that I thought looked like him and dream that they were there to wisk me away. It wasn't that I didn't love my mom. I just wanted my dad. I NEEDED my dad and there are parts of me today that needs my dad. My feelings sometimes change to anger and resentfulness when I wish he had checked his airplane out better before he flew that day. When a father is taken away from his daughter, there is always a void. It won't be filled by things, by people, and not by fading memories.
My sisters had a longer time with my dad. Its funny. I still say, MY dad. Like I have dibbs on him. Either way, my sisters did have more time with him. They have their own memories. I'm sure some great memories, and some not so great. I've heard both. The part that I sometimes feel cheated out of is that my memories are a haze of what I've heard and what I actually remember. I'm often left with the question of " is that something I actually remember or something I've just heard repeated a 100 times?"
There was one time before he died that my sister and I were outside and when he came home from work he showed us the "blood" under our fingernails. He had us put our hands up to the headlights of his car and told us that the red behind our fingernails was our blood. For some strange reason, that is something I remember. Of ALL things to remember, and it was that. There are days when I think that we used to take walks in the woods but why would I know that? That would have happened when I was 3, so I highly doubt I can honestly remember that. On the other hand, who cares? Even if we didn't and it's a made up memory, it still is a nice one.
I remember the day he died and crawling into bed that night with my mom. That is when I started hating night time and it's not a coincidence that I still hate night time to this day. It's less dreaded, but it's not my favorite time. From that night until I was probably 8, memories of life sort of stop. Whether it was post traumatic stress or whatever else you want to call it, I don't recall much of what went on. Bits here, pieces there.......
It was as if life didn't matter and storing the thoughts and memories weren't important anymore.
Some days it's fine. I know life goes on and there really isn't any need to wallow in pity. Crappy things happen........ other days it's almost unbearable how much I want to hear his voice. But, I put on a happy face and make sure the world doesn't know that I'm having Daddy Daydreams..........