With Father’s Day coming up, one of my Aspire and Inspire BSG challenge team’s blog assignment is to write about my father. What are some special memories I have of my dad or life lessons I have learned from my dad?
I thought maybe I did this blog once before, so I searched, and it was way back in 2014. Since then, my dad has passed away - a year ago this past March. He was 87, and he died from complications of his dementia. Of course, Father’s Day is tougher now, since I miss him so much! But there are so many wonderful memories to make me smile! My dad was so dear and precious to me!
I am the keeper of the photos - I scanned tons of them and put together a slide show of my dad for the memorial service we were going to have. So, I will include a lot of different pictures.
My dad was the youngest of nine children. He was little Billy to his brothers and sisters, who were very protective of him - In fact he was so young compared to them, he was an uncle when he was born! He, in turn was very protective of my mom, sister and me. He grew up without much money at all, during the depression, but had fun with the simple things in life - playing stickball, jacks and marbles. I think he did his fair share of mischievous pranks, too - he told us some funny stories!
These are the only two pictures I’ve ever seen of my dad as a child.
He taught me that love and family are the most important thing in life, much more than money and things. He was always champion of the underdog, and I get that quality from him. My dad was very smart, but the family could not afford to send him to college. One of his sisters actually offered to help him pay his way through, but he refused. He was in the Army’s military police during the Korean War, and he came back when his dad died, I believe.
Here are a couple pictures I have of him from the army.
My dad worked at several automotive parts store as a manager, salesman on the road, and counterman over the years. One of the store owners went bankrupt and fled to Africa, and he lost all of his pension. But Dad was always upbeat, or at least showed that side to my sister and me. My mom had a lot of emotional challenges, and my dad always was cheering her up, by being silly! She meant the world to him, and he treated her like a queen. By the way, they met on a blind date!
Here are several favorite pictures of my parents together.
on their wedding day in October of ’57
and on their 50th wedding anniversary
As I said, Dad was very protective and loving of “his girls.” Here are some of my favorite photos of Dad and me and some with my sister.
My dad loved to watch sports, particularly the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles. I have good memories of going to baseball games around Fourth of July and seeing the big fireworks at Veteran’s stadium in Philly. Here is the last time we went to a Phillies game together in 2008.
And here he is ready to watch the Eagles win - so wish he was around to see them become Super Bowl champions this year!
My dad never had a son to share his love of sports (I did my best to watch with him,) so when I had a boy, he was thrilled. Sean was his first grandson (out of three) and they shared a special bond, doing lots of things together, especially outside - washing the car, raking leaves, tending to the garden, as well as watching the sports games on TV. I have SO many pictures of the two of them together. Here are a few of my favorites.
Oh, he loved his other two grandsons just as much - I just didn’t take as many pictures of them with him! LOL Here are a couple.
After my dad was diagnosed with dementia, I was so saddened to see his mental faculties deteriorate. But during most of it, his fun personality still shone through. I didn’t see him as often the last three years of his life, because we moved to Florida, and I feel sad about that. But I talked to him on the phone just about every day possible, and when I visited, I had some extra special time with him. We played with the koosh ball, took walks at the park or in the backyard, and sang songs.
Happy Father’s Day in heaven, Dad! I feel so blessed to have had such a great dad in my life! I will be eating some ring bologna, cheese and pretzels in your honor on Sunday! Love you forever!