You can’t get much more special that my daddy – Calvin Carlson. I was his princess. He spoiled me (a little). He was a man of few words but showed his love for me every day with his actions. He rarely got angry, and he was not a strict disciplinarian where his little girl was concerned.
He tried to get me to do new things, even when I was scared. He tried to teach me to ride a bike, water ski and ride a motorcycle. He didn’t have much success with those, but kept trying and he never made me feel bad. He even forgave me when I tried to drown him during the water skiing lesson. He gave me the courage to learn to drive and always told me I could do it.
He always thought the best of people, including me. He would assume that I had done what he asked, and I didn’t want to disappoint him. He appreciated when I did things. One night when I was 12, guests came to our house. We had just finished dinner, and while my parents went outside, I cleared the table and washed the dishes without being asked. When I came back into the kitchen, there was a dollar bill in the dish drainer where I had put the dishes to drain.
Instead of telling me no, when I asked to do something, he lead me through the decision process. I called at 8:30 one school night to ask if I could go with friends to McDonalds. My dad asked questions about what time I had to be at school the next morning, how much homework I had, etc. By the time he was done, I knew the answer was no, even though I wanted to go. I couldn’t even argue with him, because I was the one who made the decision.
When I was almost 20, he didn’t feel my car was safe. He knew I didn’t have the money to replace, so he bought me a better used car for my birthday. It even had front wheel drive for driving in the snow.
When my daughter came along, he cherished her. He was the only one who could comb her hair because he was so gentle. She did almost everything Poppa asked. Once she didn’t put her blanket on the bed after her nap. He took her hand and together they picked it up and put it up. He expected her to obey, and she usually did. He babysat her one summer for several hours two days a week when I was working nights.
He was my son’s best buddy. They sat down every Sunday to watch races on TV. The little boy was cuddled in next to Poppa in the recliner. They always fell asleep and shared a long nap. Grandpa showed him how to use tools, and told him that he had to take care of Mama, Sissy and Grandma. My son took that to heart and still tries to do anything his mom or sister need.
When my son was four and my daughter ten, my dad rented a limousine so that we could go see Christmas lights together. He wanted to make Christmas magical for them. He accomplished that. That is probably the only real memory my son has of Poppa alive. A year and a half later, a ruptured aortic aneurysm took my father’s life in just a few short minutes.
Daddy, you are truly one of the most special people I have ever had in my life. I love you, and I miss you every day.