This post originally appeared on my “What Is a Dad” blog…

I’ve been working myself up for the last couple of months, talking to people about how I might be calling my dad soon. I usually have to talk myself into things like this. It’s funny because I think I was so determined to call him that I almost had to put my money where my mouth was, telling so many people that I was going to try.

The day came for me to call him. I had made so many excuses about why this wasn’t the time: hadn’t gotten money to go to school yet (check), hadn’t gotten accepted at school yet (check), and hadn’t been admitted to the program that would bring me to Portland this June (check). So…I couldn’t put it off any longer.

I’m not even sure how or why I had my father’s phone number on my wife’s laptop, but I knew I did. I had it on my to-do list to call him one time, but I never did. But I kept his phone number.

In this crazy moment of adrenaline, I decided to call him at around 9:00 AM last Tuesday morning while I was taking my dog Rosie out.

I typed all ten numbers into my cell phone and hit send, and…

…”Ding, dong, ding. We’re sorry the number you have dialed is no longer a working number.” Etc., etc, blah, blah, blah.

I was devastated. My dad’s not young. I first thought to myself. “Oh, Paul, what if you waited too long? What if he’s gone, and you had your chance!”

I don’t know how quickly I drove to work, but it was probably good that Eric Estrada wasn’t on duty that day. All I wanted to do was figure out whether or not I could get my hands on a new number. There really wasn’t any reason for me to believe that my mom had a newer number!

I get to work and type his name into the Google bar…