12.29.2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

This is a picture of me and my Dad. We are in the backyard of the house I grew up in, that now Katie, Riley and Vinnie live in. My Dad would have been 89 years old today. He died almost three years ago, but it seems much longer, not sure why. I was born and raised in Long Beach, and actually still live here. This picture was taken at the old Pier Point Landing. It's too bad Long Beach has changed so much. Out of all the family pictures I have, this one is still one of my favorites! This picture was taken about three months after Riley was born. I've shared the story before how my Mom had died just a few days after Riley was born. We all know in our hearts that she just hung on long enough to know that her first great-grandchild arrived safely in the world! My Dad was never the same, but the one thing that would make him smile was Riley! We had all gone to visit my Dad at Assisted Living on Thanksgiving. I know he hated it there, and even more so after my Mom died, but he couldn't be on his own. This man, my Dad, made me absolutely crazy most of my life! I am not kidding, he really was a handful! He had Alzheimer's, and before we moved him to assisted living, he would call my house 20 times a day and leave the most horrible messages for me. Of course everyone found great humor from them, except for me. This man couldn't remember a lot of things, but my phone number was engraved for life in his memory! When he moved to Assisted Living with my Mom, there was NO WAY I was going to get a phone for him! I'm sure you can understand why. And I'll be damned if my dad didn't figure out how to get one hooked up in his room. You can imagine the surprise when I came home from work one day and once again had 20 horrible messages left for me again!! I could have cried. This picture was the first time my Dad held Riley. He had been afraid to hold her before and was so happy when we finally sat her in his lap! And all he could keep saying was, "your mom would have really loved this baby". His health and memory continued to decline, and he quietly died early in the morning on Valentine's day a few months later. I always say, it was his Valentine's gift to my Mom, to be with her again. As time has passed, I've lost the anger I use to have and can now "laugh" at being tortured by my Dad for so many years. I loved my Dad, but he was a handful! I always gave him props for that! I remember the time he was going to sucker punch another old guy in the dining room at Assisted Living! The old guy had popped off to my Dad, so he was ready to sucker punch him! It's nice to have the good memories now of someone that you loved so much at one time. His behavior did keep us entertained, if he wasn't torturing me in the process. Funny thing is, even when they are physically gone, that love stays alive in your heart. So "here's to you Dad", Happy Birthday!

6 comments:

trash talk said...

I'm sure your daddy was a pistol in his younger days if he thought he could take the old guy in his later years! My mother and daddy didn't get to see any of my grandchildren and I miss that so much. Both of them adored children and were loved by their g'kids.
Alzheimer's not only robs our loved ones of their memories, but it hurts the memories we have of them. Remember always...that wasn't him, but the illness.
He loved you...why else was your number tatooed on his brain!
Debbie

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Your dad sounds a bit like mine, he'll call and say just checking on ya (in his Texas accent) and then before I know he's calling again! I know you miss your dad, 20 calls and all.

Rita said...

He was a Capricorn! just like me. I wish I could be there for your big sale. Ciao Rita

The Renaissance Chick said...

Sweet post. You are a kind woman and I know you treated your dad with great kindness despite the torture! Just remember, one of these days, you get to be the one who tortures! :)

Malisa

Faded Charm said...

What a nice post. It made me both laugh and brought a tear to my eye. Sorry for your loss. I'm dreadingthe day I don't have my parents around anymore.

Take care,

Kathleen

Maureen said...

Your Dad & my Olivia share a birthday. Hmmm.....I'll bet we could find similarities in character. Like no matter how much you love them, they still push you over the edge.