Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy 81st Birthday Dad...

Today my Dad would have turned 81...
My Mom and Dad's 56th anniversary would have been 3 days ago as well. 
My Dad passed away of a sudden heart attack standing in his bathroom July 3 at the age of 80. 

 He was rarely sick, never in the hospital, and I can count on one hand how many times he went to the doctor.

He did not like to talk about himself, his family, his growing up.We had to drag any info out of him or seek out info from relatives. His mother passed away during childbirth with him and he never once spoke to me about it. He just wouldn't. His dad and his dad's brother and wife raised him. His Aunt passed away when he was young in a house fire. He was left with 2 men to raise him. They were not the most physically loving, huggy, kissy men. They ran a bait shop. I often think that their lives would have been a great movie. When my parents married, they lived with the 2 elderly men. I can only imagine how my mom must have felt! My grandpa died and Mom and Dad were left to care for Uncle Bill. My Dad was also the caretaker of his Dad's and Uncle's widowed sister as well.

I can't imagine never having a mother present your whole life. I can't imagine never seeing or touching or talking to your mom. Being a mom, I understand the things my dad missed out on. I can't even begin to list them for fear of the flood of tears. I know that my dad must have grown up very fast. He must of had to learn many things on his own. He was a do-it-yourself man, could make anything, fix anything and loved "projects." My kids know his famous line to them was, "I need a project to do for you." You should see his garage and his basement. It is full. He was extremely organized and a perfectionist. He was a coin collector and his collection is perfection. He polished for hours. He did leather work and could make the most beautiful saddles. He knew the value of a dollar and he appreciated it and was very smart with his money. He did not have 1 or 2 of anything...he had 20 or 30. He grew up in the Depression and therefore never wasted anything. I learned at a young age to take as much food at supper time that I wanted, but I always cleaned my plate.  
He loved being a grandpa and his 4 grandchildren were probably what he was most proud of. No, not probably...they were. They knew they each got to hear certain stories over and over from him and they were used to it!
Every year I made him his favorite cake....German Chocolate with the Betty Crocker Coconut Icing. Certainly NOT my favorite...but his! It was a tradition...same present every year for Dad at Christmas....
 flannel shirt and Old Spice....they will forever remind my family of my Dad!

Since losing a parent, I'm finding the "firsts" of events kind of hard....first Thanksgiving without him, first Christmas without Dad, first anniversary to not celebrate with them, and now first birthday to not bake him a cake. I'm going to believe that is will get somewhat easier. I hope it does. But "remembering" and having memories is a blessing. 


And so today....I'm thinking of my Dad.
Happy Birthday Dad...we love you!!!!!!

6 comments:

PBKISSES said...

What a sweet post about your Dad. I never knew that he lost a mother twice...I'm sad for his loss when he was so young.
I am so thankful for memories. The smell of Brut still reminds me of my Dad (that was always my gift to him when I was a little girl, that and soap on a rope;) I'll say a prayer for you today...for comfort and peace and blessings.
Love ya.

A Gardner's Cottage said...

Sweet friend...what a lovely post! Your dad sounds like one of a kind. I am thankful you shared him with us. I will keep you in my prayers as I know first hand that "firsts" can be hard. Take care!

Nancy

Gmama Jane said...

Today is my 38th wedding anniversary and I'm glad to know I shared an important day with someone like your Dad! My mother passed away in 2003 from Alzheimer's and I cared for her in my home until she died. I wish I could say it gets easier... you just adjust to a new normal. Like yesterday, I woke up and cried because I was missing Mama soooo much. No particular reason, I just wanted a hug from her. I did not have the kind of father you had so although I was sad when he died in 1980, it was not the grief I felt at losing my mother. Let's be very grateful for those who have given us a special love that can never be replaced. Honor & respect go out to your Dad's memory. Blessings for the day
Gmama Jane

Patty Sumner said...

Sweet blessings to you as you remember your dad. I pray God's arms of love wrap around you and warm your spirit. Blessings!

Life In a Little House said...

Oh I am sorry ~My husband lost his father 7 years ago suddenly and I know how hard it was for him. That was a wonderful tribute to him that you wrote thanks for sharing that ~Praying you find comfort in the Lord today and that you will smile as you think on all those wonderful memories. I hope you have a nice weekend ~stay warm ~Love Heather

GardenofDaisies said...

He had a tough childhood... but he certainly grew up to be a caring and loyal man, and wonderful husband and grandfather.
I know you miss him a lot. Hugs to you.
I haven't been on the blogs much recently, had a computer crash, and now I'm so busy working on my taxes... but I will be back soon. Until then I will just check in with you from time to time to see how you and the family are doing. Glad to see that you were able to get your Mom out the other day too.