Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad!

How I miss you!!  So many times I look at my kids and wish they had gotten to know you!!  

Today is my Dad's birthday.  Today, he would be 99 years old. So today, I rerun one of my favorite posts.

Today, I'm celebrating. I'm celebrating my outlook on life. I'm celebrating friendships. I'm celebrating laughter. I'm celebrating family. Today, I'm celebrating my Dad's birthday. He would have been 96 99 today. And although he passed away in 1975, I do celebrate his birthday every year. Because I strongly believe my love of life, my love of family, my friendships and how dear they are to me, have all been influenced by my Dad. The way he lived his life serves as a beacon to guide me in the way I live mine. So today, I celebrate...

I celebrate Dad's love of family.

He worked as a shipping supervisor for a pharmaceutical company. You can imagine the pay wasn't that great. But he managed to proudly support his family of 7 kids with that job. No handouts from the government. He was the sole breadwinner for many years. As I've been digging thru old documents and pictures, I see how he managed it. I find budget envelopes. I find bank books with weekly deposits. Simply amazing to me!!!
I celebrate his love of country.
Dad proudly served in the Navy during World War II. Even though he was married with a child on the way, he did what every proud American did back then. He joined to protect our nation and our rights.

I celebrate his love of life.

See that twinkle in his eye? I was lucky enough to experience that most mornings after I graduated high school. Dad and I were early risers. So many mornings, we sat at the kitchen table chatting over our first cup of the day. And I would love to look into his eyes as he talked. They would twinkle, the same way you would think of a leprechaun's twinkle. It actually set the tone for the day. And I honestly can't think of a time it wasn't like that. He just loved life.

I celebrate his love of laughter,

whether it was he who laughed, or he who made others laugh.

When we were lucky enough to have Dad join us for dinner (usually it was only Sundays and holidays), he would always come up with at least one very corny joke. Of course, I usually laughed my butt off, because I saw the sillier side of Dad. And, again, watching his face I could tell the punchline was going to be a silly one. So I was ready for it. And I think I enjoyed it all the more because of it. He just loved to make people laugh. I have no idea what he was trying to say in this picture, but I can tell you it was in the early to mid 40s and clearly he's clowning about being a sheik or something. But I have no doubt he entertained those he was with.

I celebrate an all around good guy.

When my Dad worked for Montgomery Wards as a Santa one year, all I could think about was how perfect he was for the job. After all, we know Santa has a twinkle in his eye, right? He really enjoyed this gig. Once again, he just really enjoyed life.

So that gives you a little glimpse of my Dad, who would have been 96 99 today.

One final note: When my Dad passed away, his wake was not a somber event. I looked around the room at the funeral home and listened to the chatter. It actually had a party atmosphere to it. And I remember thinking, This is exactly how Dad would have wanted it. Celebrating his life, not mourning his death. The procession of cars from the church to the cemetery was at least 2 miles long. It really spoke to just how many lives this wonderful man had an effect on. And I was lucky enough to call him Dad. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

1 comment:

Leanne said...

Oh, Peg . . . I love this post about your dad. And every time I see a photo of him, and that twinkle in his eye, I see YOU. You have that same twinkle, that same light. Happy Birthday to you dear Dad. I am grateful to him, because without HIM, there would be no YOU. Much love, friend.