It is 4 a.m. and sleep escapes me. My mind wonders about what this week's blog post will be. The thought that consumes me is that next week will be Dad's birthday. Nothing about lifestyle portraits this week. I want to tell you about my dad.
He was the strong, silent type. Always in a good mood, even in the mornings. I did not get that from him! Dad grew up in a small home, and didn't have a lot of material things. His wish for his family was to have the things that he didn't have as a kid. And he worked a lot to give us that. He was a full-time firefighter and a part-time school bus driver, pest control agent, township assistant fire chief, fire school instructor, and, well, you get the picture. If that wasn't enough, he sang in church choir, served as deacon, was union rep at work, was a National Guardsman, and probably a dozen other things I don't remember. It became a running joke that we couldn't go anywhere without Dad knowing people.
Dad was a busy man. But he always found time to teach us how to swim, shoot a basketball, ride horses, play golf. And in all this, there was always church on Sunday morning. You had better be in that green Buick LeSabre at 9:30 because Sunday School started at 10. There was never a question about that. I have great memories of vacations every summer. Dad would drive with Mom and us four kids in a station wagon pulling a camper, and take 2 weeks to travel the country. (Chevy Chase movie?) After we arrived at the campground, he would set things up while Mom fixed dinner. I would always push him to hit me some ground balls to which Mom would say, "Let your dad rest! He's been driving all day!" Didn't matter. He always did, anyway. As I grew older and drove long trips myself, I really began to appreciate that!
After Dad retired, he and Mom traveled around the country, and I took a few trips with them. Dad liked that because I helped him drive. On my first trip with them, we pulled into the camp and set up the rv. I told him that I'm not going to ask you to hit ground balls, and wouldn't you know he reached into the storage compartment and pulled out a ball. glove and a bat! We had a great laugh at that. He remembered that as fondly as I did.
A few years ago Dimentia took my dad. Physically he was still strong. The last time I shook his hand was a couple days before died. His grip was strong enough to choke a horse! It was quite overwhelming at his funeral to hear so many people talk about what a great man he was. I still think the reason I never had kids was because I knew I couldn't do all that Dad did.
And the RC and peanuts? Dad would get home from work around 11 every night, just in time for the news. He would hit the recliner after a long day and drink an RC with a peanut snack. So in remembrance I will be having the same on his birthday again this year.
As for the blog, I just wanted to say I love you, Dad. I know I didn't say it enough. And I'm sure that everyone in Heaven knows you by now!