Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy Birthday

Dearest Readers,

Sometimes I find it very difficult to separate myself from the everyday feelings that all of us have.  I don't mean to say that I am special, we all feel that, provided we aren't sociopaths.  I've had to make myself take stock in a number of things today.

My father turns closer to 70 tomorrow.  That hurts.  After losing my mom, the thought that my dad could be gone one day truly kills me.  I honestly don't know how I will react.There is a saying that moments should be treasured, that you should hold them close so that you will never forget them.  So in honor of my father's 68th birthday, I give you the top 5 memories of my dad.  I love you, Pop.  Happy Birthday.

5.  His old green Plymouth.  It had a huge scratch down the windshield.  Looking back on things it was because my parents couldn't afford to buy new wiper blades for it.  I loved that car.  It was a 70's archaeological dig. There were whole collections of National Geographic, a set of golf clubs, and many other random items (no, my dad hates golf, even funnier), But I will never forget that scar. When I asked him one day about it picking me up after school (I was probably 4) he told me it was when he was driving to pick me up after school, but on the way was attacked by a T-Rex.  The scratch was from its claws.  I held on to that story until, sadly, the car was towed away.

My favorite day in that car, with it's swamp-cooler AC under the dash, was when he picked me up after school at the sitter in a driving rainstorm with no wipers or seat belts, and took me to meet my mom at the movie theater to see "The Revenge of the Pink Panther".  Sellers was, and is, my favorite comic actor.  Even then, I knew I had a connection.  The Warlord always encouraged it. I never laughed so hard at a movie.  Thanks, Dad.

That might not be the right Panther movie, but I lost the box set in the divorce and am loathe to look it up since I am on a writing roll.

4.  The first time I saw my dad do a back flip off a diving board.  I was about 5 or 6, I think.  To me, his heels scraped the sky that day.  It was at a San Antonio motel.  Which brings me to number 3.

3.  At the San Antonio zoo.  There was the most beautiful person I think that I have in my memory.  That's likely not true since I was about 4 on that vacation.  She was a zoo keeper for large cats. Long blond hair and a slightly upturned nose, bright white teeth and a baby leopard.

Dad walked up, spoke to her, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a pen with a newborn leopard.  I know that the cat never bit or scratched me. I also realize that there is much more first person than than third person in this post. Thanks, Dr. Freud.  I played with a baby carnivorous cat for a good 10 minutes before I was pulled away.  Always wondered if the cat remembered that day.

2.  The 1st day we went to the river bottoms.  Must have been '75.  He drove me into the middle of nowhere; it was swamp-like back then.  So much later it would be a make-out spot, but I digress.  We went to the edge of the river and there were probably 20 guys dad knew shooting into flotsam and jetsam in the river.  We shot all manner of garbage that day. I remember being patted on the head for good luck or just because I was my dad's kid. Doesn't matter; I walked up the slope that day feeling bigger than all the heroes he ever read about to me.

1.  The days of the birth of each of my brothers. I've never seen a person so happy.  Sure there were and still are hard times.  But, Dad, you raised at least three honorable sons.  I'd like to think I helped with that, but it was under the guidance of mom...and YOU.

I could probably go another 25, but it's late.  Hold on to what you have left, dearest reader.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Your humblest of servants,

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Good morning,

What a great tribute to your dad. He sounds like a terrific guy. Really terrific dads are a rarity now (and probably then too). I lost my dad at 66 to fast moving brain tumor back in 2001 and a day doesn't go by that I don't remember him. You are right to cherish the moments. My mom just passed in January. I

I wish I could have written a list like this for my dad. I may have to borrow your idea for my blog on Father's Day if that is ok....