Was strong, tall, dark and handsome. He had long wavy hair that curled down past his ears and a tickly beard.
Laughed a lot, loved being a clown, tickling us, playing tricks on us
Worked away a lot. I missed him so much my heart hurt.
Wrote me letters and postcards when he was away ( I still have them all).
Loved music and always had it playing when he was at home. Pink Floyd; wish you were here.
Took me to the fair and bought me a plastic bow and arrow. Flying around on the small aeroplanes, watching him whizz past.
Played rough and tumbles, play wrestling and tickling. Climbing on his back, riding around like a horse and bucking us off.
Played in the water, diving down under the water holding tight to his shoulders. Climbing up his back and standing on his shoulders and jumping off, standing tall in the palms of his hands as he pushed them up up and away I flew.
Showed me how to dive. Showed me how to dive backwards. Again, again and again.
Played a trick on my mum and little sister one night when we went out for dinner. Told them it was past midnight and we laughed and laughed as they got practically naked in the elevator on the way back to the apartment in the rush to get to bed.
Made us sunday morning breakfast almost every week he was home. Pancakes (thin for mum, thick for him), and all the english breakfast essentials.
Always woke up before everyone else, showered and looking fresh whatever time we stumbled downstairs.
Took my mum a cup of tea in bed, every day.
Was loud and American and different from the other Dads. Cooler. Not to me, please! But to my friends.
Made amazing barbecues, all kinds of meat, salads.
Loved cooking in all forms, a mean spaghetti bolognaise, a mouth watering curry. Hours in the kitchen chop chopping and leaving it all spotless behind him.
Taught me how to wiggle my ears, whistle through my teeth, tongue twisters; how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, red lorry yellow lorry.
Told jokes and teased mercilessly.
Tucked me into bed. One night, when I was probably too old to be tucked in, they both came clattering up the stairs to my shouts TUCK ME INNNNN and tucked me in so tight I couldn’t move, all of us laughing.
Arm wrestling, thumb wars, slappy hands, bar tricks passed on from friends and workmates.
After dinner conversations that lingered for what felt like hours, card games, poker played with toothpicks instead of coins, Risk and Cluedo (sore loser).
Weekend movie nights, trip to Blockbuster, two movies, popcorn (he loved the aur popped stuff so much he would go to the cinema just to get it and bring it home) and sweets and pizza and Haagen Daz (such luxury!).
These memories and a million more. Laughter. Happiness. Joy. Fun. Love.