Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It's been sixteen years this week since my dad died of colon cancer. When I reflect on what this means, I almost can't breathe -- for reasons like: wow, sixteen is the number of years it took before I got my drivers license or had my first date, or that sixteen is just Dane times two, or that it's been sixteen years since I last saw him skeletal, wretching and pale, crying that he'd never see me get married or meet his grandchildren.

Not all thoughts are so harsh, though. If I reach out and grasp some of the memories floating around in my brain, I think of things like sailing on his 32-foot sailboat in the Puget Sound with him when I was seven -- he bought my cousin and me matching blue t-shirts with fuzzy white lettering on the front that said DECK TOAD because we couldn't sit still on the boat; I think of that same sailboat charred beyond repair when arsonists lit it up a year or so later after he'd restored all the teak wood beautifully (the newspapers wrote it up as arson possibly as a direct link to his role as a sheriff's deputy).

I think of swimming with him at one of his girlfriends' houses (he had many girlfriends, much to my dismay), but we just got crazy doing dives and splashes, he made his normally flat, short hair stand on end and posed for the camera with me with a wild look in his eyes, and he let me put a red bandana around my head and wear his 70s glasses for another goofy pose.

I think of years and years of camping with him, pitching our tents up alongside a river, playing Acey-Deucey, Backgammon, Fish and War while swatting mosquitos, later fishing or catching crawdaddies to sizzle in butter. We went through a lot of different vehicles along the way, the old light blue soft-top (I think) Range Rover, the red VW station wagon, a couple of Ford Broncos.

Top music favs: one summer it was Rocky IIIs "Eye of the Tiger," which we saw together and loved -- he let me play it over and over for miles of open highway. I also remember Fleetwood Mac, the album with a ponytailed guy with his foot up on a chair. And I'll never ever in a million years forget "Ghostriders in the Sky," played over and over, because whenever it came to the part where the old cowboy "heard one call his name" my dad would yell, "Hey, Anjie!" and I'd barely be able to contain myself.

When he died, I didn't get much of his stuff, but I did get a box of photos and small mementos and even some poems he wrote. As his daughter, it was very moving to find what he'd kept of mine -- besides the photos, there were school programs, team certificates, and cards I'd made for him.

And among the photos, his sense of humor was captured. He had a wicked streak that I appreciate even more now that I'm an adult. But just in case you missed it up above, here's a bit of his legacy that I'm so glad has lasted.

I sure miss this guy.

William Lewis Seewer
b. June 4, 1941
d. October 28, 1992

R.I.P., Daddy-o.


KUrlie said...

Anj, I'm so sorry your dad isn't here to see, and be a part of, you and your beautiful family. I know that you still feel his passing deeply, and maybe that helps keep his memory very alive for you, and for you to share. I hope. Much love today - and I'm sending a virtual hug:)

KUrlie said...

Oh - and the pic of you with the thermos is like a spitting image of Aubs. CRAZY!!!

Anonymous said...

Your heart is deeply felt in this writing of memories of your Dad.
In his poetry does he express his feelings as you do so well in your writings? I'd love to read a few of them, if you'd care to share.Maybe you latched onto some of his genes that have inspired you to write.???
I hurt for you as you relive memories of your Dad, yet don't want you to forget them. I bet you've passed some of them on to Dane & Aubrey.
Hmmm? So it's from your Dad that you have your "wicked side" sense of humor. Don't lose it!

Natalie N said...

What a sweet tribute to your dad, Anj. I loved learning about him through your memories. What energy and fun-lovingness (sorry, is that a word?) he had... just like you have! And I loved the pictures also. Too precious!

Annie said...

Anjie, suck a sweet post. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Yes, he really was alot of fun. We did have one terrifying trip where we got lost at night taking a short-cut on the fire roads between Wenathcee and Ellensburg. Anj, you were about 16 months old. We just had to stop driving and put up the tent. It was cold and windy Lucky we woke up to chain saws; there were some guys cutting firewood that led us out in the morning.