Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IN MEMORY OF DAD

Hi Dad,

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you today. I’ve decided not to make this a sappy letter and, instead, focus on the “happy”…hey, notice that rhymes? Well, what did you expect from a daughter who always sees the glass as not just full, but overflowing? Remember that I’m the kid who used to wear a hat that said “Life is a Bowlful of Cherries.” Well, even though I’m older, I’m still that kid :)

So, here goes:

I remember riding high on your shoulders at Christmastime when you would take us to Cobo Hall so that I could see everything over the crowds. It was such a magical time for me with all the lights. Do you remember when you took me to the TV station so I could meet Bozo the Clown and how I was so excited until, that is, I realized that he was, alas, just a regular man?

Do you remember the time that my friend Tracy and I tried to see how much toilet paper we could stuff down the toilet and we ended up flooding the basement? You were so cool not to lose your cool! (And, by the way, how did you end up calling me “Tracy Boo” to distinguish between us? I realize that for some reason, out of four kids, I was the only one not given a middle name, but “Boo?”) And I always thought I was lucky that I had a Dad who let me and my friends paint part of the basement underneath the stairs to use as a clubhouse. (Come to think of it, it was probably kind of sacrilegious collecting club dues in the envelopes provided by the church for donations :) ) And by the way, I don’t know how you did it but thanks again for getting me and my friend, Mar, front row (or was it third row?) seats to see the Monkees! I actually went to another one of their concerts as an adult and Davy is still my favorite!

We didn’t have the “over the top” birthday parties that seem so commonplace nowadays. Each of us four kids had to take turns each year having a party…so, if my memory serves me correctly, I think each of us got to have a birthday party once every 4 years? But every year on our birthday, you and Mom would take just the birthday kid out to a fancy restaurant. Once at the Golden Lion restaurant I was trying to break apart my roll that was so tough; I remember holding it under the table and pulling and pulling and then, unbelievably, watching it as it shot across the floor. I remember being mortified so this must have been when I was a teenager because if I was younger, I would have thought it was funny, and if I was older…well, I would have still thought it was funny :)

Edit: Only Sis just called and said that I was wrong about the birthday parties. She said that we had a choice of either a party or a present but she was too lazy to log in and make a comment...some things just never change! (Don't worry, she won't read this...she only reads cookbooks.)

Do you remember all those notes we used to leave for each other because you worked so many nights? One of my most vivid memories is having cherry cheesecake with you in the middle of the night. It was like having a party but with just the two of us…a secret from Mom and Bro #1, Only Sis, and Bro #2. It was a chance for me to be an “only child” and have all of your attention. You made such a special effort to give me that special time…to have you all to myself without clamoring for attention with my siblings.

And what I remember best about you from when I was an adult is how, despite the 3,000 miles that separated us physically, we actually became closer when I became a parent. I remember how you would call when Kristy was about 2 or 3 years old and I wouldn’t hear the phone for some reason and she would tell you that her Mommy and Daddy weren’t home and you would just have to talk to her. Do you remember how she called you “Grandpa Stickers” because you used to mail her stickers all the time? I remember you bought her so many Christmas presents when she was 3 and all she cared about was the popcorn packaging you used…you could have saved yourself a ton of money, Dad! You made such a special and huge effort to be a part of her life and I will never forget it.

I remember driving to Florida before you died (and, yes, you read that right…I am terrified of flying!) and someone at the hospital telling me that I shouldn’t bring a 6-year-old in there because of airborne germs and thinking, how could I not let my dad see his granddaughter who he had taken such pains to get to know via phone and mail? (Dad, you would have loved the internet.) And, guess what? She’s alive and well 17 years later!

Anyway, I said I wouldn’t make this a sappy letter and I’m kind of getting a little sad right now so I’m going to end it on this note:

Dad, always remember “ships on the seashore.” Note to readers, if there are any: it’s a private joke but, let’s put it this way, his producers didn’t find it too funny when they had to do “Take 50.” :)

2 comments:

  1. Father's Day is just around the corner. A fitting note, Tra. Thanks. Bro#2

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