Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Loving Memory

I can't believe it's been two years today
since I had to say goodbye to my dad after a long battle with dementia.
Being his main caregiver, it was very hard after his passing to get past the struggles he had and to remember him Pre-horrible-disease.

It gets a little easier, bit by bit, as time passes. Most of my dreams of him have been with him sick, but last night, he was well ...
he was "my dad" ... it was good.

So here's to you dad and to remembering ...

how you pushed your first grandbaby in the "hospital bassinet"
all over the hospital, then went on a mission to buy one
because Ryan "loved it so much and needed one at home".

how much you LOVED Christmas and handing out the presents, one by one.
how you tickled us as kids until we screamed out with laughter, "I love you dad!"

how your grandkids automatically knew the answer to your question, "Who's the man?" and would run away laughing knowing they were about to be tickled.

how you always said to us kids, "watch this" with a sly smile on your face as you yelled for mom, "Hey Red", knowing how much it got her goat.

how you loved music and always sang out loud as you played the drums on anything in sight. I hear songs still today and can hear you belting it out.

how you wrote your own poem to us in every card you gave.

how you always made us give you a kiss before we went ANYWHERE ... even if it was just down the road to the store, and always said, "Be careful, I love you" before we left. OR even better ...

how you made me call you when I got "there" - each.and.every.time I went out of town - even when I was in my 30's.

how dedicated you were to your "men", your country, and how you loved being a soldier and leading your troops.

how you taught me to play poker by the time I was three ... you said it was for my math skills, I think it was so you could practice. ; )

how you threatened every guy I dated, calmly telling them how you had guns and weren't afraid to use them.

oh how you loved your grandkids ... your Partner and your KK ... they became your life and you were there's ... and I know you're laughing in Heaven as you watch Aiden from above, as he's hell on wheels and I can just hear you chuckling as you say, "Paybacks are hell", even though I was the good child.

how even when I was married and lived at home while my husband was in Korea, I still had a curfew earlier than my brother, who was in high school, and you'd wait up until I got home.

how you danced - being silly or not ... I remember this throughout my life ... as a kid, as a teenager, as a mother. and what a dancer you were. you always said you had a little "bro" in you (from your last name).

how when I drove up with my new boyfriend (and now husband) as you were outside mowing the "back 40" in a SPEEDO and 1970 like HEADPHONES. You said you were getting a tan.

how when mom and I had to head up to see grandpa right after Christmas you were nice enough to water the plants, even though they were fake.

how when we got home from that same trip you complained what a bitch it was to take down the Christmas tree. What you didn't realize was that all you had to do was fold the limbs up, not pull out one by one with pliers. Ya, the fake tree was now dead.

and one of my favorites,
how you would ALWAYS say,
"I can't wait for tomorrow."
Me (or anyone), "Why?"
"Because I get better looking everyday!"
and we'd fall for it each.and.every.time.


I miss you dearly dad.

4/18/52 - 1/24/2008


Kel said...

He sounds like an amazing guy... I'm sorry he was taken from you so soon.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Tammy, I'm glad you have so many good memories :0) I'm sure the last years were hard, but hang on to the good ones,


Michelle said...

Tammy, I totally choked up and laughed my way through this blog post... oh how amazing your dad was! just amazing! ....and the speedo story??? LOL! I felt like I was reading about someone I once knew... how special. Thanks for sharing that.

Kat said...

What an awesome post and an even awesome-er daddy! You can definitely tell the influence that he had on you (not the speedo part ;-)...those memories are precious.

Danielle said...

amazing... beautiful memories...