The word Chucklehead will forever be stuck in my head as a sad association It's a silly word, so it makes it all the harder to hear.

When my uncle got married, I was fairly young. I remember my father taking my immediate family to the church's cemetery where my grandmother (who died before I was born) was buried. My father, choking back tears, said, "Well, Mom, the little chucklehead finally got married." They were about ten years different in age, and a world apart in interests. But they really loved each other.

A few years later, my father died of pancreatic cancer. It's one of those cancers that's just about incurable if it gets you the wrong way. I was in shock and denial for a long, long time. I wasn't really old enough to have bonded a whole lot with my father — I was only 11 years old at the time.

That scene at the graveyard is one of my few clear memories of my father showing emotion and love (which isn't to say that he was an uncaring or unloving person — he was one of the most caring people that many of his acquaintances knew), and so I have to hold on to it.

It's kind of hard having one of my very strong associational words be a silly insult, but I guess that's life.