Just One More Hug

Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

Screenshot from a public domain film The Littl...

Screenshot from a public domain film The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple and Richard Greene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, he died eleven years ago. I guarantee you it will not be an easy day or night for any of us. I’m trying to use this day to remind me of what a wonderful father he was, how he loved birthdays and presents and food and more food and little presents that cost less than a few dollars which we called “shmonsas.”

I miss him, those feelings stab at my heart and reopen wounds I thought had healed. Apparently, there is no complete healing from death and pain.  Since we have talked about my dad lately I feel the pain, as if it was fresh, wounds ripped open, knives sharpened and stabbing pain. Tears are spilling down my eyes, in the catch of my voice.

Of all times, the day before his birthday I found myself making his favorite, home-made pea soup.  I hadn’t even realized that his birthday was coming up because I was focusing only on 11/11 my favorite day and time. That meant today was 11/12 and I realized my husband and I are having dinner with my mom on Wednesday, not even conscious that Wednesday, 11/13 was my dad’s birthday. The world works in strange ways, I still believe there is a reason for everything.

Every Saturday morning when I was a child, my dad and I would watch Shirley Temple movies together, just the two of us. He would take his finger and wipe his eyes quickly and I once asked him if he was crying. He told me he had allergies but soon enough I learned the truth. Every week, another Shirley Temple movie, The Little Princess, Curly Top etc. was on. Saturday mornings were very special for me and my dad.

When I was older we would get bagels which was not technically stealing since the store was not open and once he and I got off the tram in Austria to buy bratwurst thick with golden brown mustard and rolls and left my mother and sister on the tram-car (not realizing they had no idea where they were and that we were gone.) As sorry as we were, he and I still held unto our sides remembering my mother’s fuming face, nostrils flaring. Luckily, he was the one who got in trouble, not me.

We would all go to Pathmark grocery shopping while I still lived at home and we would put ridiculous sized items in the cart while the other person wasn’t looking, 5 gallons of pickles, 10 gallons of ketchup, we thought we were hilarious. Sometimes someone had opened up a bag of cookies (No, it was not us) but we would help ourselves to samples. Once when my mother was away ( working) we went to a Spanish restaurant and got a little tipsy on Sangria, toasting wall paper hangers that did not show up. My kids will be shocked to hear this!  Another time, I was driving home from my married life in Boston, pregnant with my first child and he had come down as a surprise to direct traffic wearing an orange helmet with a bright orange sign with my name and arrows so that I wouldn’t get lost. If I had one sentence to describe him, it would be that one. When there were mice crawling over my bed and feet in my apartment he would pick me up and bring me “home.” Nothing was too much.

My mom, my husband and I will eat dinner at a restaurant and try to celebrate his life instead of mourning it.  I thought I might want to put a candle on my dessert for him but I can’t kid myself, I’d burst into tears before it even came. I think I’ll just say my own few words, privately. He was a wonderful father to both my sister and me: nurturing, warm, supportive. I still miss his warm hugs the most, a true loss. Prone to educational talks that were a bit too lengthy what would I do now to hear one again. I could count on to him to at least understand my side even if we didn’t agree, it’s been so long, eleven years, that I can’t even remember what that feels like anymore. We were so similar, he and I, my mother and my sister, exactly alike.

He has sent me messages from the other side except for a brief interruption which was partially my fault but now those messages will be back. I am sure of it. In fact, I just found an angel that I completely forgot about and now she is hanging happily from my crisp, new bulletin board. There are no more words, except to say, Daddy, I love you, I miss you, I’ll always miss the dad that you were to me. I miss your bear hugs where I knew I felt so loved and safe. I miss you being in my corner supporting me. I will never stop missing that. Happy Birthday, Daddy. Love, from “The Little One.(8)”

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Dear Dad. Sigh. I Have No Dad. (Father’s Day 2013)

Clouds

Clouds (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Dear Dad,

I’m searching for you in the clouds as we drive along the highway, the sun-bright, the sky blue, the clouds bulbous but I don’t see a clue or a symbol or a sign. It’s hard to be without a father when father’s day is rapidly approaching, I’ve written about this for eleven years now. Do you know what? It doesn’t get easier and I thought for sure it would. All I find in the clouds are a wispy bouquet of flowers, like an all white wedding bouquet and it reminds me to be thankful that you were at my wedding. I need to look at things that way now.

I know, Mom would say “I am torturing myself for no reason” but I do need to put my feelings down on paper otherwise I just explode with sadness. It just hit me hard on the head, the other day, why I was feeling so anxious and unsettled, I had no idea why until I realized that Father’s Day was being advertised everywhere: on tv, the radio, ads, every store I walked into I was assaulted by the fact that other people had dad’s and I didn’t.

Daddy, Do you remember when you offered to pick me up from Brooklyn when mice ran across my feet and over the bed in my street level apartment?   I remember feeling so relieved, so safe, because you were always there when I needed you, you could always make things better.When I bounced my first check by accident, when I thought I had done something by mistake, you were the first one I called.

I remember that one of the first times I came to visit you and mom when I was first pregnant with your  grandson (and I had inherited your serious lack of direction,) you posed as a traffic guard with signs and all, in the middle of the street, telling me (and everyone else) where to go. I still remember my shock, surprise, amusement and  love. I will never forget that image, but I think I made up the detail that you wore an orange hard-hat.

You used to call my daughter, your granddaughter, Princepessa, and you let her cheat at games for way too long. I remember you laughing when she cheated and I  would tell you not to let her but of course you continued to do so. And, when my son slept over for the first time in your house, waking you up every hour on the hour, Mom growled and yelled but you were gentle and kind. That was your nature.

I’m watching over mom, she seems a little out of sorts, just a little down and bored, nothing serious. I had a nice lunch with her the other day and boy, she has taken over for you in the eating department! That woman can eat!!! You would be so proud. She used to eat like a bird and now, “mamma mia”, she eats a lot. While she used to complain that I was too chubby she is now complaining that I am too thin. Go figure. I can’t win. But, I know she loves me to pieces. She bought me a slice of rainbow cake for last night’s dessert, and it was yummy. I know she was trying to fatten me up.

My hubby is good to me, really, he is a great husband and father. He would do anything for me and the kids and while we are from two very different parenting styles, we’ve actually become more alike, it’s scary. We have blended together, but I guess after 24 and a half years of marriage you tend to do that.

I think about you all the time, Daddy, not just on Father’s Day but you know that, I know you do. There’s no doubt in my mind from the messages you send me. I smell the scent of your cologne, when there is no one else in the room, see the special numbers you show me, your initials…all the signs. They came much more often at the beginning and that was great, I needed that, but now I know for sure,  if I needed you,  you would be there with me. There is no doubt in my mind.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy

You may not be on this physical earth but in my heart and soul, you will always be very much alive.

Love, Me

Also see: Father’s Day Without Fathers hibernationnnow.wordpress.com 2012

In Memory of My Father

In Memory of Zach Sobieck, Clouds

Haiku Heights – JOY

my guardian angel

my guardian angel (Photo credit: SIRHENRYB.is ****the dreamer****)

Happiness leaks out

News of a friend’s sudden death.

I have no breath left.

( In Memory of Helen Celestine Escoffier- an Angel to so many)

*****

Like a gray rabbit

My pup prances down the steps

To our love, delight.

*****

Coffee’s first, hot, sip

every morning with a kiss

beloved husband.