Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Memories and Lessons

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.


  1. My mother was also one of those very special people, and her birthday is much harder for me than the anniversary of her death. I think it has something to do with birthdays being a time for celebration. Anyway, I'll think of him and say a prayer for you. Hang in there, Dear!

  2. Oh my goodness I know how you miss him. My dad was so smart and funny and cool and I didn't appreciate him enough when he was here. He's been gone for 21 long years. There are so many things I wish I had asked him. He also would have made sure my husband got the medical care he needed and took his medicine. He just wouldn't have tolerated anything less for me, his little one. He would have been so proud when I graduated from college and became a reporter.


  3. He sounds like a wonderful man your dad and I am not surprise you still miss him I think I have the best dad ever and I do no know how I will be when I lose him but I can tell you I get really pissed off with hubby when he says things like it will happen one day and I am like yes it will but I do not have to think about it........

  4. It was nice to hear what a wonderful father you had. You were very fortunate!

  5. My parents married when my dad was 38...He is now almost 80 and i hate to think that he won't be around.I am so close with him.Although he doesn't talk much it is the words that he says that really are useful and wise.
    We still go together fishing and sailing...and although I had my baby when I was 18 he always said that he is greatful to be able to see my child;))

  6. What a wonderful beautiful tribute to your dad. Happy birthday to him - he has a daughter who is talented, creative and equally beautiful and wonderful - a true testament to the man!

    Take care

  7. Sounds like you were close to your dad. This is a very sweet and heartfelt post.

  8. Thinking of you ... I know how much I miss my grandfather!

  9. What a sweet tribute. He sounds like an amazing man and father. You were very lucky. My Dad passed in 1976 and I miss him every day too. I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about him. He was a great person also...he also played guitar, sang and just had a love of life. Hope you have comfort in good memories tonight.