The following is something I wrote one week after my daddy passed away in November of 1988. I was 17.
I called him Snoopy. I was only three but for some reason calling him "Dad" didn't feel quite right, not yet anyway. So Snoopy it was. He must have liked it because he drew a big picture of Snoopy on his bowling bag so everyone could see.
I'm not quite sure when he made the transition from Snoopy to Daddy but I never reconsidered my decision. My mom said she knew how to pick a good daddy for her kids and she was right.
"Sing me a song, Daddy. Sing 'Old Shep' for me, PLEASE!" This was a usual request from me whenever our family was traveling together. I would then go on to ask him to sing every song I could think of. He always ended with "You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven", which he sang directly to Mom. Looking right at her he would sing, "You're the nearest thing to heaven, yes you are. I have searched for happiness so long and far. But my search for love was through the day that I found you. You're the nearest thing to heaven, darling you."
Soon after mom married him, we learned that Dad's idea of a good time was roughing it in the woods. Camping was a pastime that none of us were accustomed to but all of us grew to love. Every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day we packed our things and took off for our campsite in the middle of nowhere. With a stinky old two-seater outhouse and no running water the motor that generated light at night was our only luxury. I can still picture Dad making bacon and eggs over the campfire.
Though I was only his step-daughter we never made a big deal of it. People would often ask if I was his daughter and he would say yes. We never made the distinction between daughter and step-daughter or between father and step-father. We found it really amusing when people commented on the resemblance between us. We would just look at each other and smile. They didn't need to know right?
I always felt very fortunate that I had a father who was willing to be "Dad" to his step-children as well as his own. He was a very special man.
Last week my dad died of a sudden heart attack and I miss him terribly. I am very thankful that he died doing something he loved (hunting) and he suffered no pain. Oh and I almost forgot, he got his deer, so he also died happy.