Happy Birthday Dad

Steph and Justin’s wedding. Dad is on the right

Happy Birthday dad!  You would have been 82 today if you were still with us.  I wish I could say that I miss you, but my life hasn’t changed much since you passed.

Mom is doing well.  She has her house and a little bit of money to spend and do some things. Of course this is no thanks to you.  I’m sorry that this sounds mean dad, but even if you were here and I said these things to you, you would never get it.

I realize in your own way that you loved me and mom. I can’t speak for mom, but it took you nearly my whole life to be proud of me.  I wasn’t a bad kid, teen, or woman.  I think the only thing that I ever did that would have disappointed you was elope with Chris instead of a big wedding, but then the big wedding would have made you crazy.

We never heard you laugh. You cracked jokes around other people, but rarely us. You worked the same god awful job most of your life. You made barely above minimum wage at it. You hated your job and deep down you blamed us because you worked it.  But then you really only cared if you had spending money in your pocket. It never mattered to you if I had clothes to wear, it wasn’t your problem.  You only kept your $30 a week.  Of course when you brought home $210 weekly that was a huge chunk. But mom was and is a wizard at making small amounts of money work.

I learned many things from you.  In fact some of the things I love the most about me came from you.  My interest in history, sci fy, even the foods I loved all came from you.

I’m sorry that you are gone dad because deep down a child always hopes for that closeness with their parents that others  seemed to have.  I wanted a relationship with you and now there is no hope for it.

I am glad that my kids and husband had good relationships with you.  I also realize that our relationship was a two way street. I could have done something more to make it work.  I didn’t understand you anymore than you understood me.

I don’t understand how you refused to take care of yourself, how you limited your life.  You always looked back at how you were raised.  The whole time you complained that your father never took you to a Chicago Cub game, you had a daughter who would have done anything to go to a game with you.  We never did until Chris and I took you to a couple of spring training games.

I didn’t understand your surface interest in the things you were interested in. You loved WW2 history, but you limited your interest to documentaries and old movies.  You never delved into the substance of what happened.

I do want to thank you.  It is because of you that I don’t give up this battle to lose weight. It is because of you I eat healthy and rarely eat fast food. It is because of you that I look at each and every day as a new adventure to find joy and knowledge that you never had before. It is because of you that I continue to push myself and not get comfortable in life.  It is because of you that Chris and I climbed the second highest man made point in Belize.  I don’t want to look back at my life and wistfully think of what I missed out on.

It is also because of you  that I can’t stand clutter. Being a child of a hoarder wasn’t an easy thing. I never knew things could be different until I married Chris and we bought our current home. I have realized how much the stuff we own now owns us.  I couldn’t understand how you could look at a box and tell me exactly where you bought it and when.  You couldn’t ever remember that our youngest daughter’s middle name was named after your mother’s middle name.

I am also thankful that you finally gave into moving to Florida last year.  I know you resented it, but it gave me time with you to learn to accept you even though this post seems as if I didn’t.  I am thankful that we were able to spend your birthday with you and most of your grandkids were here to celebrate it.  I am thankful that when you landed in the hospital just before Thanksgiving that you were here When you breathed your last breath in that hospital, I am thankful that you were not alone.  We were there sitting by your beside.

I have put off writing any posts about you dad. The reality is hard for me to share.  I loved you and you loved me.  We just never ever understood each other.  I was told recently that lots of girls have issues with their dads.  This is probably true.  The truth is that I see you for who you were, I dream of what you could have been, and I accept you for it all.





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