Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's been a year, and you and I still need to catch up

Hey Daddy. I dropped by to visit for a minute early Thursday morning before coming to Atlanta for another race. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since that night last October when I didn’t get back before you had to go. Some days it seems like it has only been a little while. Other days, it seems like it has been forever.
I miss you, like I still miss Mama. A couple of months ago I turned in the relic of a cell phone the paper had me using for a newer model. When I was moving the numbers over into the new phone, I came to yours in the old one. I guess I’d never really reached a point where I was ready to take it out.
We used to talk about how many times the both of us had something happen and our first thought was, “Wait until Sue hears this one.” I guess it’s sort of like that “phantom pain” people have when a part of them is missing. Or something like that.
Your grandchildren are growing up. Megan graduated from high school in June, which doesn’t seem possible. On my side of the family, we’ve got a son in the Navy learning to work on nuclear reactors and a daughter who just gave birth to your first great-grandchild. Eli has been with us for 3½ weeks now, and I think I’ve already laid down a pretty good foundation for spoiling him.
I’ll have to work hard to match the standards you set in that, but everybody needs goals.
Eli has been a good boy. He fusses a little bit now and then, for the most part he just watches the world go by. I told him the other day as he tried to fight sleep that he should just go ahead and take a nap. “Eating and sleeping and messing up diapers, that’s your job right now,” I said. “It’s not the worst job you’ll ever have, either.”
Work is a zoo, as always. I know you’d probably be pulling for Mark Martin or Matt Kenseth to win the Chase this year, mainly because they drive Fords. Even though that truck you finally had to give up driving was a Chevrolet, you were always a Ford guy.
Well, that and an “anybody but Earnhardt” guy.
I think it’s a shame you didn’t get to go to the track more with me, though, because I am fairly well convinced that you would have liked Dale Earnhardt Jr. if you ever got a chance to know him.
Travel stinks. They’ve had to ban most liquids from airplanes because the world has gone bonkers. It had been a few weeks since I traveled, so when I left to come here I put this vial of lens cleaner in my carry-on bag. The drugstore near my house used to carry it and I love how it works, but they hadn’t had it in a while. They got some in and I had a bottle and had barely used it. But there it was and I just had to throw it away. It was my mistake, I could have just put it in the checked bags, but I just forgot about it.
It’s supposed to rain Friday at the track, but maybe it’ll let up long enough for them to get qualifying in. I remember last year that Friday was a very, very pretty day in Georgia. I was driving back to the hotel to pick up my stuff and head home to try to see you before you left, and the leaves were turning and the skies were as blue as they could be. It was way to pretty too turn out to be one of the worst days a son could ever have, that’s for sure.
They’re doing an OK job keeping up the place where you and Mama are resting. The grass is trimmed up and even though it has turned colder it’s still nice and green. The only reason I don’t cry about you being gone every day is that I know you and Mama are together now, watching me trying to play “Paw-Paw” to Eli and laughing at me when I try to figure out how to hold his little head correctly or know just how hard you’re supposed to rap on his back when he needs to burp.
Don’t worry. I’ll tell him about you guys. He’ll be sad he never really got to know you, but like I said, I don’t think the spoiling gene skipped a generation. All I can promise is that I’ll do the best job I can, because that’s all I ever saw you do.
Love you and miss you, David


Anonymous said...

That was my first reaction.
My second ...
Sometimes writers overload their copy with anecdotes about their family, thinking readers give a damn.
And sometimes they provide us a little insight into their lives that make us reflect a little more about our own.
While I'm certain that was probably not your intent, you've certainly managed to achieve the latter.

Anonymous said...

Grandchildren are Gods gift for all the hard work and heartache raising your own kids. Now its pay back time and the most fun your going to have the rest of your life. "Enjoy"

TalkGeorge said...

Nice reading! My Dad passed 3 years ago, this time of headed to Ktown for a memorial service in 2 weeks. Both my parents too are gone. We Greeks having a saying..."May their memory be eternal". Have a great race weekend DP!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today. It brings into focus about all of the other things in life that we take for granted.

Anonymous said...

What a touching tribute to your father. He was indeed lucky to have a son who worshipped him the way you obviously did---or do. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My Dad passed away a little over two months ago. This was a great article to read and reflect on my own grief and realize how much I miss him everyday. Someone told me when he died, that I would have wonderful dreams and I thought they had lost their mind! But she was right....I do have wonderful dreams where my Dad walks and is no longer in pain! Those are the best memories I have.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Nascar fan, but the title of your blog caught my eye. I lost my dad a year ago and I miss him so much. Now that he has passed, I feel as though i've joined secret society. Before the passing of my parents I never new there were people on this earth that were as sad as I am now. i advise all that still have their parents to honor and cherish every day you have them. I would give anything to have my dad here getting on my nerves as he used to.

I miss you Dad.....your (40 year old) boy. You will never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Thanks David!! Haven't been where you are...yet. Knowing you, just made your story more real for me! Thanks for sharing the "person", David Poole, and not just the sports writer.

Anonymous said...

David, Speedbabe from RPM's here. What a wonderful article! Thank you for sharing some of your terrific memories of your dad with us. It does get better w/time..I know.

Anonymous said...

I grew up going to races with my Dad. I know now he has the best seat at the track. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Anonymous said...

David Poole,

Stop writing BS articles about the cautions "for" Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Seriously...writing those. They are stupid.

Anonymous said...


Keep writing your articles about the bull shit debris cautions Nascar throws. We need people like you who have a little clout to get out and spread the word of this crap. Maybe, if enough people complain and are aware of it Nascar will stop doing it.

Kudos to you Dave.

Tiredawg said...

Good tribute. After I wipe the tears away from my eyes I must say one thing. Your article on Terry and his transmission breaking at Bristol. Priceless. Gotta love that. Wish I was there that time. Love Bristol. Have a gr8 weekend Dave, Dawg

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Anonymous said...