Last week I was on the phone with my aunt, my dad's sis. She was telling me how she wanted to give us a gift to help pay on our mortgage. (We are still fighting to keep our home.) I was in awe and kind of at a loss for words. When people give so generously I want them to know how grateful I am, and yet the words always fail me. I tried to thank her but it did not seem adequate. She said, "Growing up Pop always told us if we had extra, you share with family. That is what we are doing. You are family!" My dad has told me the same thing many times when he has helped us. They learned from my PopPop the importance of taking care of family. I was privileged to know my PopPop. He was a truly awesome man. I loved listening to him sing Irish songs like O Danny Boy, but even more I loved to hear him sing Ava Maria. Even though i did not live close to him and grandma, I learned how he but his faith first, and did a beautiful job of loving his family always.
So many amazing men have poured love into my life. But the one who has been by side from the beginning is my daddy. I can't even begin to express how much I love my dad. How much I respect him, and how proud I am to be his daughter. My whole life I have wanted to please him and make him proud. He has been a shining example of faith, love, and family. And yet most days, I do not do a very good job of telling him how much I love him. It is hard for me to imagine a world without my dad, and I am so glad I do not need to.
One of the best memories I have of my dad is his crazy stories. My dad always had a yarn to spin. As a young girl I was horrified that he normally chose dinner time when my friends were over to start a story. He would start out "Back when I was a young lad we were headed out west with the wagon trains...." I would slowly try to slip under table or yell out, "Dad!" None of the above me true of course. He grew up in Philadelphia and then south Jersey. He spent summers on the farm with his grandparents in Oklahoma. His Grandpa had a gift for story telling too. Someday I want to write the stories down that I remember. They are wonderful and make me smile just to think of them. My dad taught me to be a story teller. My kids ask all the time..."Mom tell us the story about..." I love that they are learning my childhood through me, just like I learned about my dad through him.
Another wonderful thing I remember is my dad singing Toora Loora to me. Again this was a family tradition passed down. My dad's grandparents come over to the US from Ireland. This is a family heritage I am very proud of. This song was sung from a mother to son, father to son, father to daughter, and now daughter to her children. When I hear the words to this song I am moved to a simpler time as a little girl.
Toora Loora- An Irish Lullaby
I love that my dad has always been creative and intelligent. I always would ask crazy off the wall questions. I would test by dad's patience to the core. I always argued with him on politics, religion, and may other things. I yearned to be an individual, and make my mark on the world. As time went on my dad patiently taught me how to do this without ripping walls down.
I want to close with 2 stories that make me smile. When my dad was a young boy he had a paper route. Every morning he would get up to deliver papers. One the way he would stop at his grandparents house that lived close to him. His grandma would feed him a nice breakfast. He would then stop off at either a friend's house or an aunt's (can't remember which one) and have his second breakfast. After the route was complete he would head home to find his mom cooking breakfast, where he would eat his third breakfast. He was beginning to become a little pudgy. His mom became suspicious and started to investigate only to discover her son was indeed eating very well!
My dad brought home a dog named snoopy. His father was not a fan of dogs at all. He told my dad he could keep the dog, but was not happy about it. One day my PopPop was out in the yard and saw the neighbor's dog pooping in his yard. He marched over to tell the neighbor this was unacceptable. As he began to give the neighbor an ear full in his neighbor's kitchen, snoopy walks in a pees on the floor. Needless to say my PopPop turned around and headed out of the kitchen. :)
I am so thankful for my dad and all he taught me! I love you Dad!!! Happy Father's Day!