Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bittersweet Celebrations

Sunday is Father's Day - a day for picnics and family get-togethers.  Hallmark makes a few dollars, and children create a lot of smiles.

And memories come flooding back at unexpected times, in unexpected places.  For instance, tonight I am making Strawberry Shortcake and cookies for tomorrow's activities.  We have 1/6th of the family coming for dinner - actually, they're bringing dinner which is ever so much better!  As I was dropping chocolate cookie dough on the cookie sheet, I heard Lawrence Welk come on in the background.  And memories of my dad came flooding back to me.
 
Lawrence Welk was family night - popcorn and all.  My dad had had a dance band in high school and college, so Big Band music was irresistible.  Every summer, in fact, he would pull out that trombone and play it - in the back yard.  Mom would sing and dance around, and my sister and I would either go along with the festivities, or be embarrassed that someone might see or hear us!


Other memories include the last trip to our cabin in Canada, the summer after Mom died.  We tidied up the place, including taking down bee hives in the dead of night.  Though I HATE bees, this memory is actually a fond one!  The cabin sold that summer - and that time with my Dad was even more special for both of us.

And then there was the last time we were all together when he still remembered us, before Alzheimer's took over completely.  It was such a special time, and my children had a very memorable time with their grandfather.  Taking a cruise had been my step-mother's idea - as the doctor said it would be a safe environment where he could wander should he be inclined to do so, and be easy to locate.  I find a lot of irony in the fact that this photo of him is taken by a cruise ship emblem which has faded and missing information  - symbolic of the future?

My dad has been gone since 2000, and there are still times I am filled with the sadness of loss.  But most of the time it is so much fun to go through old photos and remember all the good times we had.  Don't get me wrong - I had a very normal childhood with all the ups and downs that go with that.  But the good far outweighs the "bad."

Happy Father's Day to everyone who has a father, had a father, is a father, or knows a father!  And let us not forget the Fathers-in-law!  I have been SO fortunate to have had a wonderful, kind, caring man as a Father-in-law.  He left us in 2004 - but was a wonderful father to me and grandfather to all of our children.


I have enjoyed this walk down memory lane immensely!  Have a memorable day!



2 comments:

Jeanie said...

My dad died in 1993 and like you, still feel a sadness -- yet a relief, too, that whatever place he is in, it is better than the pain he experienced.

I love this memory of your dad and the wonderful photos. big hugs!

Relyn Lawson said...

I still have my father with me and I am so very blessed, I know. I just wanted to say that this:
Lawrence Welk was family night - popcorn and all. My dad had had a dance band in high school and college, so Big Band music was irresistible. Every summer, in fact, he would pull out that trombone and play it - in the back yard. Mom would sing and dance around, and my sister and I would either go along with the festivities, or be embarrassed that someone might see or hear us! really blessed me. What a dad you had!