Sunday, November 18, 2007
11/16/07, 6:15 p.m. -- he's gone. . . ..
. . . the man who. . . . . . cradled my head against his chest during painful ear-aches and rocked me til my crying stopped. . . . allowed me to help him with home improvement projects when I was as young as 8 years old. . . . blew bubbles inside of bubbles with gum my brother and I collected on Halloween. . . . made me giggle with pride at the Girl Scouts father and daughter square dance. . . . bought a rag-top Rambler, painted it flat black, installed glass packs and took us for rides under viaducts so we could hear it rumble. . . . built a special sled so that he could take his babies for walks in the snow. . . . commuted 64 miles round-trip so that his family could have a carefree life in the suburbs. . . . believed I was pretty. . . . smiling with pride, pinned a corsage of tiny, pink roses on the pink satin and lace dress Mom made for my 8th grade graduation. . . . tried to teach me to drive stick-shift. (Mom finished the job.) . . . forgave me for hitting a curb and flattening a tire while learning to drive stick-shift. . . . hid his sadness when he and Mom delivered me to college. . . . got the family home safely during a bad thunderstorm when the brakes went out and all he had was the old-style twist and yank hand brake. . . . kept five siblings from killing each other. . . . hand-crafted a piano bench for me out of walnut and oak from Mt. Vernon. . . . shared a crying towel with me the day his mother died in our house. . . . drove thousands of miles with whining, cranky children on numerous memorable, family vacations. . . . kept his silence when I fell for the wrong man -- three times! . . . resuscitated the family dog --twice -- after heart attacks. . . . melted my heart when he turned and said, "I love you" as he walked me to my marriage ceremony. My Dad influenced my life and many more in ways he probably never realized. He challenged all of us to do and be our best and served as our example, protector, disciplinarian, comforter, and loving Dad and Poppy to his children and grandchildren. His wife/our Mom always came first and was his best friend, lover and mainstay for more than 62 years. Rest in peace, Paw.