My personal memories of my dad may not mean much to most readers visiting my blog. However, as a writer, I feel a personal desire to share my thoughts of him on his birthday. When I think of Dad, I can remember as far back as being a toddler, feeling his love and security while in his arms as he’d carry me up the stairs to bed. When those training wheels came off of my banana seat bike, Dad was right behind me knowing just when to let go. One of my favorite backyard fun times was when he’d throw the softball straight up in the air so that I could catch it falling from what seemed to be the sky. I remember how I’d giggle when he vigorously towel dried my hair after a bath.
For years, Dad drove me to the opposite side of Chicago from where we lived for piano lessons, sacrificing his own agenda of getting to his bowling league on time. When it came to singing, he surely knew how to harmonize a barber shop tune, and often pulled me into the song right along with him. Moving from Chicago to the suburbs when I was 13 years old wasn't the easiest as I left many friends behind. Dad found a solution for my dilemma by driving me to and from Chicago every single day for nearly three months in order for me to finish school and graduate with the classmates I knew since Kindergarten.
Just as most other dads of teenagers, he taught me to drive with the utmost patience. And, he was there to hold me tight while I cried in the back seat of a squad car following a serious car accident just down the street from our home. On my wedding day, we chatted all the way down the aisle, not believing the horrible music the organist was playing because the church wouldn't allow Here Comes the Bride. And, what girl would forget the father/daughter dance at their wedding? I’ll always remember mine. Eventually, my children were born and he held them each with pride and love. My four boys learned to play catch from Grandpa, and they still speak of that today. He was also their biggest cheerleader at their little league games.
I miss Dad’s warm smile and hardy laugh. He was never too busy to listen, help, and most of all, love. Today is his birthday, so I’m sending my kisses to heaven. I hope there are birthday celebrations up there, and Dad is sitting with his passed on family and friends having a cold beer, a bowl of homemade spaghetti, and singing Sweet Adeline.