Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Dad

December 28 was the 53rd anniversary of my dad's death.  He was 49 years old and had never been sick.  He had complained since Christmas day of pain in his arms and indigestion.  It was the holidays and we got a pool table for Christmas that year, so who knew?  Overnight mom became a 42 year old widow with 9 children between 17 and 2 years of age.

I was the 17 year old and was just beginning to know my dad as a person.  Then children remained children, and were treated as such, until they had finished school.

Who was my dad?  Dad was: someone who wrote little poems commemorating life's events, the birth of a son, mom's illness, a sprained ankle, family travels, etc.  He was "Uncle Don" who would visit his sister and her family and empty the change in his pockets by pulling them inside out to make it rain coins so he could watch the kids scramble for the money.  Dad was the husband who worked late on Thursday nights and always brought home the new issue of "The Saturday Evening Post".  Usually there was a pint of butter pecan ice cream or a Mounds Bar included.  Dad was the man who dearly loved walking his family into church on Sunday morning and watching us fill an entire pew.  After church on Sunday, Dad would walk to the bakery to get bismarks (jelly filled donuts covered in granulated sugar) and the Sunday paper.  Dad loved children and babies.  Dad was the official family chauffeur who would take various grandparents and aunts and uncles to the train station for their trips.  In fact, the day he died, the plan was for him to take Aunt Kathy to the train for a trip to Adrian, Mi to watch her niece Sr Marie Mercy (aka Helen Hardie) take her vows as a novice.  Dad was an athlete.  He played on the YMCA state championship basketball team and was always up for a game of driveway hoops or baseball at the beach.  He loved watching the Bears football games and playing poker.  One year dad ordered a set of custom, handpainted plates for the dining room.  They were white plates with faces representing each of us with our names on them.  The faces were in the style of the 1890s with top-knot hairdos and mustaches.  The only colors used were black and red on the white plates.

These have been random memories of dad, in no particular order of importance.  They are just my attempt to show the person I proudly call Dad!


  1. It is great to remember the memories we have of our parents and grandparents. I'm retired and love blogging. I'm posting the letters of my great great grandfather. I never know what direction they will take me. I'm finding there are many lessons to be learned from his life. I'm trying to travel to the places where they lived as well.

  2. Grant, thanks for your comment. I am trying to preserve my memories of my dad for my grandchildren as well as my younger brothers and sisters who may have been too young to notice these things. Last Spring I was fortunate enough to travel to Norway, where his father was born.

  3. Donna ~ I love your "random" memories!! It's all the little things that add up to making us see a person. Thanks for sharing your Dad with us!

  4. Thanks Diana. They really were random weren't they?