I attended Mass that I had said for Daddy to celebrate his fifth anniversary (or new “birthday” of sorts — the day he entered into eternal life and was reborn). As I sat there in the pew about the middle of the church, I looked around. (I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. I think I had too much for breakfast or ate too fast!) At any rate, I found myself looking around at all the people gathered. Most of them probably had no idea who Daddy was or why he was so special to me, but I’ll share some of my most fondest memories of Daddy with you tonight. He wouldn’t want me to be sad! 🙂 Before I share these with you, though, let me share two more insights about today that I found interesting. One: As I was staring around the church, I saw a man sitting in the front pew who reminded me a lot of Daddy when he was younger. Two: Our night-light in the hall went out about the same time as when Daddy started having fits five years ago today. Anyway, on with some of my positive memories of Daddy. 😀
Every year, from third grade on, I remember Daddy always came to my grade school for my half-birthday. Technically it was about two months early, but who really cares because in grade school half-birthdays were celebrated with treats and the birthday book donation to the school library (I’m sure a lot of you stopped reading by “treats”)! Anyway, Daddy always came with Mom and had a blast reading to my class and did such a great job reading to them in character. He loved children and was an awesome storyteller. My treats were also some of the most creative. While most children would bring just cookies or rice crispy treats, etc. Daddy made sure we went over the top. One year I made miniature “hamburgers” made of vanilla wafer cookies, colored frosting in red for ketchup; yellow for mustard or cheese (your choice), green-dyed coconut for lettuce, and a thin mint as the hamburger. These were a wonderful hit and everyone loved them. Also Daddy made sure he always came for my half-birthday because he scheduled it around Christmastime, which is why I said that it was two months early. I will never forget the half birthdays because I always was able to meet Daddy and Mom in the hallway to help bring in the goodies and the book and (unlike my classmates) I was thrilled to see them.
Another fond memory is when I decided in fifth grade I wanted to play basketball. Daddy came with me to try-outs that first night. Hardly any other parents were there (just coaches and just a couple leaving and saying “bye”to their daughters). Daddy said he’d stay with me if I wanted him to; and I really wanted him to stay with me because, for one, I didn’t know anyone and for another, I didn’t want to wait around for him to pick me up afterwards. All the running and drills, most of which I had no idea what was meant by certain terms (like the “grapevine”) made me completely exhausted and worried. By the time I was near the end of the try-outs, I twisted my ankle for the first time. Daddy was there and helped me ice it and helped me to the car. I later learned that I was put on the lesser experienced of the two teams, but that was expected as I had never played before and yet I was determined not to let that twisted ankle get the better of me.
Along the same lines of basketball, I remember Daddy volunteering to be our team’s scorekeeper and he helped as much as he could with helping coach. This is probably what cost me a friend, but it gained me a fan and personal trainer — my dad! He helped me learn to stand up for myself no matter what and believe in myself because if I don’t “who will?” he said. Also when we went running for the first time, we were told by my head coach to run a mile on our own at home, we only made it about a quarter of a mile and then we were both so exhausted that we almost collapsed in the road right then and there. We actually, despite being winded, managed to laugh about it and eventually walk back home the way we came. It was horrible, but funny! We also went out every day, snow or sun, to practice shooting and running plays.
In fourth grade, yes I got this out-of-order bear with me, I signed up for the band. He bought me a silver trumpet from a second-hand store. That trumpet was decorated with a flower on it and came in a blue felt-lined case. Eventually, just after my first recital, Daddy bought me a gold trumpet! He said I earned it and did a wonderful job! He took over the silver one and we played together every evening. It was amazing that he even played it because he had never played trumpet before — only baritone!
And now for my last memory for the night. I always looked forward to holiday shopping with Daddy. One shopping excursion I remember Daddy and I finished up and waited in the mall for Mom and Steven, but they still didn’t show even after an hour. Finally, I suggested we go to the other entrance. He thought it was silly, but agreed that maybe Mom misunderstood. When we got there, we found out he was right! He said Mom was so directionally challenged, but guess who now is more directionally challenged. Yup! Me! 😉
Well, that’s all for the memories. I hope God gives you lots of good memories with your family!