You know how Dad's just seem to know everything? Even when you're a grown woman and have spread your wings, Dad's just always seem to be the one to have all the right answers.
My brother and I used to jokingly call Dad "The Answer Grape" which was a character from a TV commercial who knew everything just like my dad! Even when Dad really didn't have a clue, he was the master of making up completely plausible answers so you never doubted the veracity of his stories. And he could never admit he just didn't know!
About twelve years ago we had some relatives visiting so we all took a trip down to Miami to visit Metro Zoo.
Metro Zoo, prior to being destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, was a "cageless" zoo...the animals lived on little islands of "natural habitat" surrounded by moats so you could really get close to the animals without having big steel bars in the way.
We walked around, taking in all the exotic sights - the white tigers being exceptionally beautiful to see.
Finally we came to the bird exhibit....imagine an enormous microforest (this was enclosed by an even more enormous net so the birds could fly freely) with all manner of rare birds flying from tree to tree.
As I walked around I stopped behind a man who was pointing to a large green fruit hanging from one of the trees. The fruit was dark green with a surface like a porcupine - covered in green spikes.
The man was pointing to the fruit as his wife gazed raptly....I leaned a bit closer and over heard the man say "yes, it's true...those green things are the nests of a very rare bird! The bird hollows out the fruit and lays her eggs in there so the nest is camouflaged and when the babies are born they can eat the fruit!" The wife was fascinated and replied, "wow! How interesting, who told you that?" The man turned and said "that guy told me!" and of course he was pointing to my Dad - who turned to look back at us with an impish grin....The Answer Grape had struck again!
Tonight the man with all the answers and the finest man I will ever know has left this life and my only consolation is that I am lucky enough to be his daughter.
Thanks for all your prayers and support, it means so much.