My dad died 22 years ago.

by Nic
(Johnson)

April 6th 1990

One of my first memories of life was the death of my father at the age of 34 when I was 4 years old. My family grew up on a lake where we had a boat and since my father was a handy guy he did the maintenance himself. He took me with him and the boat on the trailer to an auto shop in town where he was going to replace the carpet in the boat with contact cement.

Since I was with him I remember initially being inside the boat with him while he applied the thick glue in the floor of the boat. After taking a small break and buying me a Cherry 7up, he left me outside the boat while he continued his work. It was the last time I saw him alive.

I remember looking for him and wandering around the boat on the trailer and beginning to cry. There were people in the shop, and I remember two men laughing at me which made me cry harder. I eventually wandered the shop, and made friends with a repairman, whom kindly asked the right questions to figure out what was going on.

Later that day after being changed hands with various adults, I ended up at the local ranger station where my father worked. My mother showed up with a preacher by her side, and I knew that my father was dead.

The fumes from the marine based contact cement where heavier than air, so they settled within the boat and made my father pass out, then go into cardiac arrest.

Not a day goes by without the impact of loosing him at a young age. I still get teary eyed from time to time thinking about how much I miss him, and how the event has effected my life forever by loosing the man who ultimately even though his absence, made me who I am.

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