Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day: I Hope

I've spent a lot of Father's Days with my dad. Unless there is a miracle in the making...this one will be the last.

So today, I'm just going to relive a few memories with my dad. In no particular order...

Family Vacations: When we were real young, we would drive to Florida every year. Along the way, we stopped at various tourist attractions. His favorites... serpentariums. A zoo for snakes and other vile things like them. He loved it. For years I thought my brother did too. Apparently he did not. Funny how it took 40 years for us to figure out those little detours were my dad's way of paying us back for being pains in the ass.

We all loved to swim, a motel with a pool was a must. Finally getting to the ocean, while staying at a motel with a pool...was heaven. He never grew tired of playing chicken with us or pulling me across the pool as I held onto his swim trunks.

There were countless museums, which we all enjoyed...learning was fun. There were the games in the car, these were the ways before video games, so keeping the kids occupied was a necessity on a 1300+ mile trip. The many hours looking for the South of the Border signs. anyone who has driven down from North Carolina to South Carolina knows about this...and most likely did the same.

Halloween: Over the years, Halloween was less and less important, but as a little kid I remember my father had a really large black rubber glove...kind of a big monster's hand. When kids would come to the door trick or treating, he would stick the hand from behind the door and scare the shit out of the kids. Today, he would probably be sued for his behavior, but as a kid back was way cool.

The Twist: Remember the old Chubby Checker song, well he did enjoy it. There was one Sunday morning when Chubby was on a TV show singing it. Well dad was busy dancing in the living room, while the bacon he was cooking in the kitchen, burned to a crisp. This story is legend in our family.

The Guitar: My dad had a guitar when I was little. He didn't play it very well or very often. But there were a few songs he knew, and once in a while he would sing to me. My favorite: Jamaica Farewell, the old Harry Belafonte song. To this day, I tear up when I hear it.

Eating: The man once lived for it. It is now such a struggle to get him to eat, someone in the family makes it their business to be at two of his three meals at the nursing home, to encourage him. But not too long ago, especially at family dinners, he would sit, at the head of the table, and just eat...never join in the conversation.  If he was talking, he couldn't be eating. Hell, he could talk to us anytime...but food was only served at specific times. He savored every bite, especially desserts. Even now, he will eat dessert...I think he feels it is his duty. So we let him have as many as he wants. Any extra calories are welcomed at this point.

His Eyes: So blue, so clear and so full of pride as he looked as his family. From my brother and I, to my dear sister-in-law who has always treated my parents as she did her own, to his beloved granddaughter- the one person to make his eyes smile, to my other half and to his extended grandson, to my mother...his reason for living, those eyes looked at all of us with more love and pride than one would think possible. Those are also the eyes that now show fear and lack of focus.

Later today I will go to the nursing home for a visit. What his condition will be when I get there is anyone's guess. But I will take the moment for what it is...another memory to hold onto.

If you still have your dad, don't hold back from telling him you love him. I make sure it's the last thing I say to him when I leave each night, because in my case, it might be the last chance I get to say it.

Happy Father's Day.

Love you Pops.



  1. because of him&kats memory,i got to see many wonderfull&beautifull sights on our 23yrs dont remember him raising his voice in anger.the light is fading,very painful.hang in there GIPP happy fathers old friend&dad

  2. Happy Father's Day to your Dad - I'm glad you had this day with him. He is someone that we could all take a lesson from about what's important. The happy memories you have are priceless. xox

  3. Well, I did tear up as I read this. It is great that you treasure the good memories.