Big Daddy and the Little Man

They say you marry someone who is like your parent of the opposite sex. It’s true, sort of.  The two men that I have loved most in my life couldn’t have been more different physically. My dad, aka the Little Man, was 5’6″ and dark chocolate brown. Big Daddy is 6’2″ and lightly toasted. But they were  both cut from the same personality cloth–caring, generous, loving, loud, vibrant, youthful. Good souls, both of them.

You could hear my dad laughing from a mile away. He was smart and funny and very easy-going.  He had a temper, but it never flared for long especially with me, as daddy’s girl.  With the batting of my lashes, I could get off punishment sooner rather than later.  He was always dressed to the nines in suits, or in tennis clothes, or dressed to play in his garden, socks on with his sandals.  When my Dad turned 50, my mom got him a green plexiglass skateboard that he would ride around our neighborhhood on. That was him, that was the Little Man.  My best friend.

When Big Daddy and I flew home so that he could ask my dad if he could marry me and meet the rest of the family, they took an instance liking to each other.  Well, almost instant.  As a member of a large extended family, the test for Big Daddy was meeting the crowd and withstanding the pressure.  If the Little Man, the aunts, uncles, and cousins (and there’s a ton of them) cracked on him, then him, then he was in like Flynn as the saying goes.  If they didn’t and didn’t talk to him much, we wouldn’t make it. Big Daddy took the razzing in good spirit, so it was decided that he was a keeper.

Big Daddy’s relationship with his dad was tenuous at best.  But he and the Little Man’s relationship blossomed.  My father taught Big Daddy how to cook.  They shared a deep love for music, for sports, for bar stools, for life, and for me.  My dad loved him just as much.  And I loved Big Daddy all the more for loving my daddy.

On one of our last trips home before we were to be married there, the three of us were getting into my dad’s car.  He asked me to drive, so I took the keys.  When we got out to the car, Big Daddy went to the back door to allow the Little Man to sit in the front.  After all, he was the elder and Big Daddy was raised right.  But the Little Man grabbed Big Daddy’s arm and said, while pointing at me, “No, you sit up here now.  Your place is beside her.” I beamed for the both of them.

 While we were growing up, the Little Man always said that he didn’t want any crying, that he wanted us to have a party for him when he died. My brothers, sister, and I dismissed it as crazy talk.  But when he died in 2000, that’s exactly what we did.  We celebrated a life well lived with great food, great drinks, great music, and lots of dancing, with family, laughter, and love. 

Just as the Little Man wanted.

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5 Responses to “Big Daddy and the Little Man”

  1. Marianna Says:

    okay, up with the chickens this am to get Lime off on the bus to sing at the Cherry Blossom Festival, and lo and behold, a new post. You’re really not supposed to make someone cry @ 6:30 on a Saturday morning…… I wish I had met Little Man. He sounds wonderful.

    • edgeofcrazy Says:

      He was. Although LPRC probably would have been ovewhelmed by he and Juan together. You would have beem able to hear them both laughing all the way at your house. 🙂

  2. Heather Says:

    It will forever break my heart to now know your father. Whom I already love because I suspect he is so much like you.

  3. Heather Says:

    It will forever break my heart to not know your father. Whom I already love because I suspect he is so much like you.

  4. edgeofcrazy Says:

    Yes, I am a lot like him, but a lot of my mom too. Together, they were the perfect parent. 🙂

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