Tomorrow would have been my dad's birthday......he died twenty years ago, but it seems like yesterday.
I still remember the smell of his skin, I have his blue eyes and ruddy complexion. I think the most important lesson he ever taught me was service. He was always helping someone, he looked for people to help.
He had very little formal education but he was one of the smartest people I ever knew. He tried to see the good in everyone he met and he truly believed in the Golden Rule.
He gave me the best advice about religion, "work out your own salvation". He taught me to always keep a jacket in the back of my car, to keep my oil checked and changed, how to change a tire, check the fluids and he taught me to drive....and being a plumber, he also taught me how to fix a leaky toilet or sink. He taught me to fry chicken( mine will never be as good as his) and he taught me to play pool (his nick name was Sharky, need I say more). He fed me oysters on the half shell when I was three or four years old, (yes, I love them) and I think my ice cream addiction is his fault.
He loved to take us on Sunday drives, and vacations to the beach. He played guitar and sang in a sad bluesy wail, and he whistled all the time. And he loved to laugh! The last Christmas gift he ever gave me was a small
plastic commode, when you opened it, it squirted water in your face. I still have it.
Sometimes I dream about him, he'll be giving me advice or giving his approval about someone or something
in my life. I have a photo of the two of us at the beach, we both have big smiles on our faces ( he had probably just beaten me at pool) or shared some oysters. The last time I ever spoke to him, I had made oyster stew and had called him to see if he wanted some.......he told me it was too cold and dark for me to get out, to bring it the next day......he was dead by morning. I don't think I have ever made oyster stew again.
I miss him......he was there for me, no matter what......I always knew I was loved. My heart hurts tonight,
and there are some tears falling down my cheek......Happy Birthday Poppa! I miss you.