Friday, November 16, 2012
Today would have been my Dad's 74th birthday. I did really good today, even with not feeling well, I held myself together and did what needed doing (except water class, I did go to Dr instead). Now, I'm tired, sore, and missing him something terrible.
He had a stroke several years before he passed away (it will be 2 years this december 22) and was non-verbal and bedridden since then. When they called me to tell me he had the stroke, I was told it was a "mini stroke and he'll be fine in a day or two". The proper tests were not done in time for him to get treatment for a significant recovery. I'm the only one in the family that knew better, I was too far away, by the time I was told it was too late for me to make a difference. They said I didn't need to go since he would be fine, I drove down the next day. 600 miles. I did not make waves over the failure to test and treat. I knew how my dad would expect me to act and I behaved accordingly. My sister...well, we don't go there.
I had to come back to Wisconsin, leaving him to be put in a "residential care facility" because mom didn't want people in and out of the house and she couldn't take care of him herself. Dad would have expected me to support her decision, so I did. He had ups and downs for several years. My husband (then fiance) lost his job and we ended up going back OTR, and hiring a nanny for my son. Any time they called and said Daddy was really bad, we dropped everything and I was there. I had to be, that was my Dad.
When I was growing up, I was Daddy's girl. I was out in the garage, under the car with him. I took shop class, we rebuilt lawnmowers, fixed mom's car (dad never did drive) tore stuff apart, put it back together...I remember coming in the house one day and he was trying to assemble a 10-speed for my sister-he had the directions laying on the floor (right side up) and the bike upside down on its handlebars and seat and couldn't figure out why the chain wouldn't thread through the derailer like the diagram. He was fussing and swearing and asked me why the ^%$& thing wouldn't work, the instructions must be for the wrong model, I just turned the paper upside down, said try now and went out the back door. I think it was about 5 minutes later he brought the bike out all done. That was Daddy.
When I would bake cookies, I would have to make like 4x the recipe,because daddy would come in from the living room, grab a handful of raw cookie dough from the bowl and zip out the back door, then go back in the front door so he could do it again. It got to where I would keep an extra wooden spoon on the counter just to swat at his hands!
I miss that. I miss the grumbling. I miss going to visit and not even getting my coat off before he's dragging me to the basement to help fix something. I miss having him steal the cookie dough.
I hope he is proud of me and the progress I am making.
Happy Birthday, Daddy. I miss you.