Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

I looked at the date a few minutes is August 6...My dad would have been 77 years old today. Unfortunately, he had severe high blood pressure from a young age...had a very severe stroke when he was 37 and died of kidney disease when he was 45. It was the beginning of my senior year in high school. Back then, there was no counseling...He died on Sunday, I was at school on Monday...nothing said. Looking back on his life, I remember a man who would call if I was home from school sick just to see how I was. He was a dedicated man...He joined the Mormon church when he was 42, and did all he could to serve...He was a dedicated home teacher and worried about the families in his care, even as he lay in a hospital bed. He was such a creative man. I remember he made a nativity scene out of felt and styrofoam...looked amazing, not junky. He made cuff links out of marbles that he boiled and then put in cold water to crack them. He built what I thought was a shed for his lawnmower, but turned out to be the best playhouse a girl could have. He made me a dollhouse with an elevator in it, and Grape Nuts cereal for roofing material. He loved to eat those candied orange slices and Three Musketeer candy bars. He was always at my band and chorus concerts and my softball games. He drove me to church on Wednesday nights. He took me out to breakfast and sometimes a late snack at Hobo Joe's Restaurant...I just loved that chocolate cake and hot cocoa for breakfast (no question why I have always had a weight problem!) and those wonderful slim jim sandwiches with ham and tomato and warm melted cheese dripping all over. He always wanted to have family prayer in the morning and would stand in the hallway and say it as I did my hair and others slept. He made sure my bike was working well to ride to school. He made me appreciate - later in life, mind you - the value of christmas lights that you didn't have to test each and every one before you put it on the tree. He truly spoiled us in the Christmas department...was very integral in all the decorating of the tree, hanging the lights, etc. He did his best with his physical limitations, and, with a supportive wife making sure he "did" what he couldn't, made all of our live so good and wonderful. He was honest. He was a good dresser. He even picked out the most wonderful china I know my mom is terribly surprised at that one...I always hated it as a kid, but now I think it is the most beautiful (in fact, Danyel asked me the other day what one thing I would want of my moms...and it would have to be those dishes! Don't faint, Mom!!) He made his few years on this earth as a dad the best he could, and raised three kids who turned out pretty darned good!

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