Today, September 19th, would have been my Dad’s 94th birthday. Although he left us sixteen years ago already, I think of him in some context daily. Happy Birthday Dad!
These pictures were taken on Dad’s surprise (sort of) 75th birthday where he was celebrated by his family and friends.
A Broken Heart Took Him Too Early
After my mom died in 1994 at the age of 65, dad’s love of life and will to live seemed to diminish. He was only 66 at the time, and the quality of his life deteriorated quickly after her death. He used his advancing age as an excuse to prevent him from enjoying his golden years, but we all knew it was the void in his heart that was the culprit.
Happy birthday Dad, we are all thinking of you today and hope you are celebrating with Mom and others that left us too soon.
Memories That Make me Smile
A few years ago I woke up to frost on the rooftops and lawns on this date, an early appearance even here in Ottawa, but somehow appropriate for Dad’s birthday. As I looked out the window at the whiteness, I could hear his voice saying “HAH, frost in September!”
The really cool thing is that many of his unique expressions and habits live on in my children and grandchildren. His premature white hair lives on in moi. As my three brothers age, I see many of Dad’s personality traits in them too. Here are just a few memories and the things that evoke them:
- his affectionate phrase “dum dum” when someone did something silly, often used on his children and grandchildren. I must admit to using it in my own household too, softened with a giggle, just like he used to.
- his use of the expression “HAH” as used above, meaning “who would have thunk it?” or “I don’t think so” (when he didn’t want to do something) or when he found something funny or ridiculous.
- his ride-on lawnmower that his six children purchased for him on his 75th birthday. It currently resides at my cottage where the lawns are big enough to need a ride-on mower.
- when I am out “puttering” in a garden as he used to love to do. In his latter days he would have a list of things for me to do in his garden each visit. As a youngster, I remember my mom picking out the plants, but Dad was always the one planting and looking after them. I know he would be proud and not the least bit surprised about my new profession, Gardens4U.
- when one of my sons (or me) yell at the TV during a hockey game.
- one of his sweaters that I found in his closet when cleaning out his house, barely (if at all) used, that I now use as garden apparel on cool days.
- his use of an accelerant to start the campfire at the cottage, especially after a week of rain when everything is damp. My husband calls it “grandpa’s firestarter.”
- wandering around my gardens in sandals (Dad often wore his slippers to do this, much to my Mom’s dismay) with a cup of tea in hand, stopping here and there to pull a weed or two, or to “stop and smell the roses.”
- My youngest grandson was named after you, although he is still too young to realize it. He will though, I will make sure he does.
- his goofy grin, that fortunately (for me) lives on in my middle son and also my oldest grandson.
The list goes on and on….
Happy Birthday Dad, I miss you! Oh, how I wish you were still here to visit with my sons and my contribution to the great-grandchildren in your family tree.