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Showing posts with label father. Show all posts
Showing posts with label father. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2012

#GBE2: Memory

This week's writer's post is to write about two days ago. Heck! I can't remember two days ago or much of yesterday for that matter. I'm guessing I probably hung out on the couch in my post surgery laziness.

Now ask me about forty-seven years ago and I can give you vivid details. I had my first surgery right before my third birthday. The people in the scary blue outfits gave me something and told me to go to sleep, but I didn't. I lay awake on my stomach and watched blue people wash their hands. Whenever anyone ventured near me, I snapped my eyes shut and pretended to be asleep because I was scared I'd get in trouble for not minding them. Don't worry, I fell asleep before they took my tonsils out and removed my hemangioma.

I'd be in black and white!
I remember age four. I had to go to the bathroom and was so proud of the fact that I did it without telling my mom. I still remember sitting on that toilet seat thinking, I am so grown up. Then I made a conscious decision to remember this moment. And I do.

Sometimes one can actually force a memory on a child. My father died when my kids were five, three, and eight months. The year and a half before his death was an awful time of him lying in bed with pail skin and no legs. Yet at his low moment, he lifted his head and made a funny face at the baby. That was my wonderful Dad.

I wanted my kids to remember Dad, but not the illness part--the fun Dad who was a loving grandfather. My mother was in the hospital (a story for another post) and Dad wanted to show my kids something fun. Art students had made a wonderful, life sized, wooden bus. My kids, then three and one, relished in climbing all over it.

For years after that, I said, "Remember when Grandpa took you to see the bus?" Alas, the twenty-two year old has no memory of the event; however, the twenty-four year old has a beautiful life time memory of fun with his grandfather!

A day late, but I'd like to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day. Oh how I wish I could.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Wherever You Are

Theodore Paull
On Father's Day I'm reminded of my dad and our thirty-one years together. I used to complain about how unfair it was to have had so little time with him, but after chatting with various people about their childhoods, I stopped. I'd rather have had thirty-one years with mine than sixty-two with yours. Hopefully your dad was great too, but I've heard multiple stories about abusive fathers. This is not one of them!

Although he never hit me, he could snap me into line with a look  for it was critical not to disappoint him. Unlike most children today, I had fear mixed with respect when it came to my father. When I became a parent, he told me, "Don't ever hit your children, but don't ever let them think you won't." Yep. He had me fooled.

Dad had a funny side too. Having grown up during the depression era, no one spent money on luxuries such as getting one's teeth straightened; so, Dad enjoyed making us laugh by squinting his eyes and showing his skinny little teeth with spaces between each one. Still, I couldn't wait for my handsome daddy to come home each night. My siblings and I listened for the groan of the garage door followed by a steady bump, bump, bump up the staircase. We'd charge out of bed to hug Dad who would remove his sports coat and replace it with his worn, blue terrycloth robe. I loved when Dad put me in bed because he'd tuck me in with a series of geeks, ya it was goofy but so was Dad at times. Although my kids' memories of my father are sketchy or absent, they know what geeking is all about.

He hated this picture but I love it!
Dad loved to tell pop corn, such as how his classmates nicknamed him Tadpole. A teacher with a thick German accent called attendance: Ted Paull came out sounding like tadpole, and the name stuck. Dad had his own nickname for me BooBoo, and my sibs had their fun with theories of where that name came from.

A cornier pop corn came from Dad's boyhood walk to school down Flora Place. Every morning the neighbors would lean out their windows and sing, "Theodora don't spit on the flora." Fertilize the lawn with that story, which always sounded best coming from Dad.

When an earthquake shook our house, Dad hollered, "Florence [my mother]! Quit jumping around up there!" But don't think he didn't care deeply for her. He showed his love and devotion through constant care for Mom when she became ill. He quit working and socializing to be by her bedside while she lay unconscious in an Iowa hospital. Refusing to leave her side, his stress became evident when he lost control of his Diabetes. Mom's health improved while Dad died of "total system failure" in 1993.

I miss my daddy on Father's Day and every day, but I have been blessed to have married a kind man who is much like my dad.