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Friday, December 28, 2012

Visiting My Father

My father's birthday is December 30th.  He was the youngest in the old year/ not quite in the new. My father was a tall man, a big man, solid not fat.  He loved to tell jokes, and was a story teller, and a writer.  He was handsome. I visit him on his birthday.  Some winters snow covers the ground for weeks and months.  I cannot get to the cemetery, even though it is only twenty minutes from my house.  My father would not mind, he would say, " come when you can".

For a big man his grave is small.  He has bushes planted on it, I think he would have preferred flowers.  My father mowed and planted until he couldn't.  He planted small trees and shrubs because he said they would continue after he was gone, and they did.

My father was a wonderful Grandpa. He studied with the kids for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.  He baby sat when I  returned to work.  He bought unusual gifts.  The Hess trucks were a seasonal favorite. In some ways my dad was very modern.  He loved computers, microwaves and gadgets.  Coupons were a source of great delight/ now I channel his passion and do couponing too.  In other ways my father was old fashioned.  He did not believe in liberated women. He enjoyed his food and never worried about the negative health implications of his diet.  He loved frankfurters, lasagna, hot peppers, and all fried food.  Fancy restaurants confused him because he believed portions should be large and you should feel stuffed after a good meal.

My father went to bed early and woke at four to read and do paper work.  He had a head for math and languages, a talent I did not inherit.  He and my mother were married for  a very long time. Family, small and extended were very important to him.  He taught me about football and explained many PSU games to me.  My father kept clothes forever. He had jackets I saw Desi Arnez wear on the " I Love Lucy Show".  My father was a soldier, and a prisoner of war, and a smoker.  The smoking killed him.  He died after a three week illness.  Deaths are shocking...  I will be going to the cemetery soon to tell my father about my grand baby, and the one on the way. I miss you, daddy.  Happy Birthday.


  1. Blessings, peace, and spiritual calm to you. May you have a good visit.

    My own visits are mental visits and in dreams. I feel his presence during activities or certain times of stress, not at the cemetery. But that is reflective of his personality.

    Being of your dad's era and a survivor of the Great Depression, my dad LOVED bargains and stocked up when there were good sales of non-perishables. When he died, among his effects were about 50 pair of never-worn dress socks, with the Mays' price tag still on them!

    Loss is never easy. We cope and find strategies to move forward.

    Be well. Have a visit with some beautiful memories.

    1. My father's dresser was full of new clothes he never wore, gifts he never enjoyed... like your dad they saved for the hard times. Thanks for sharing, this was a difficult blog. judy

  2. Hi,
    I just finished reading your blogs. They were very interesting . I especially enjoyed your story about your father. I would like to add something about my dad. I would like him to know how important he was to me. If spirits and souls could tune in to what we write, I would make sure to tell him that he was once the most important person to me. Since my mother died when I was young, he became my mother and father. He tried very hard to compensate for my loss. He spoke to me mostly in Yiddish, but he was very proud that I was an American . Being an American meant that we were safe, free, and very far from the ugly past of the haters in Europe.
    My granddaughter would say that he lived a long happy life, because he died when he was 88 years old. He never expected to live to become an old man. He surprised himself, I think. He had a hard life with many very sad turns. He never forgot the past but he always tried to continue and keep going.


    1. When you love someone, they are never "old" when they die. You wish you had them a few more years. Thanks for sharing, Sharon

    2. I am Sharon's daughter. She is a wonderful "grandma bubbie.". My daughter, Hallie, is so lucky to have such a nurturing, fun, and loving grandma. My Zayde would be so proud of the grandmother she has become.

    3. I agree Helene, your Mom is very special to us all. Judy