Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Today was my Dad's 75th birthday. We all met at his house for a party. A lot of people were bugged, but I made us all pose for pics.
My sister-in-law had this cake made.
My sister and I with Dad.
Without getting too maudlin, I need to pay tribute to him.
Here are some items of interest (i.e. for posterity):
Things always in his bathroom/dresser: Rolaids (original flavor), menthol cough drops, Chapstick (original flavor), antihistamines.
Things always in his car: bucket buddy full of tools
Fondest memories: resting my head on his tummy, playing backgammon after dinner, watching BYU basketball
My dad worked for IBM my whole life. He was a 9-5er. He wore suits to work every day. Seriously. Jacket and all. He suffered from year-round allergies and heartburn. He always smelled like a Rolaid or cough drop. He always carried real handkerchiefs in his pocket. He almost always kept a big Hershey bar in the fridge. He'd chip away at it during the week....
He could fix and/or build anything. We figured out the other day that he's built 9 basements between his house and all of ours. Every night after dinner he and I would play a game of backgammon, and then he would work on some kind of project. He built a 3 ft high rock wall around most of the property. My little brother and I went out in the hills by the "B" and collected rocks for it with him. He smoothed the concrete between the rocks with the back of a spoon. I wish I remember how long it took him to complete it.
He was a voracious reader. There was always the latest paperback on his nightstand. He made sure that we learned how to snow ski and we always had a boat. He worked hard and then rested hard.
After he retired he spent about half a year writing his autobiography. It is a work of art. He is a gifted writer and had amazing recall for dates and events.
This miserable disease (Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia) has robbed him of so much. I am so grateful that he took the time to document his life as he saw it...
Now that I've started this post, it's just too hard to sum up a life in a few sound bites. It'll probably only be interesting to my kids or other family who reads it. We all know that this guy is a man of incredible integrity, strong work ethic and unselfishly, wholly loves his family above all else. I know that everything he ever did was for us.


Jillian said...

Wow you are a quick blogger. :) I loved reading about Grandpa. :) Also, my eyes are closed in that picture and I'd be much obliged if you'd pick another. :)

Bea said...

Great post and tribute to your Dad. Dad's are special people, my Dad (and perhaps your Dad) would still treat me occasionally as "his" little girl. I miss that. Happy Birthday to your Dad. Give him an extra hug cause my Dad isn't here for me to hug.

Lilian said...

What a nice tribute to your dad. I do wonder about the candles by the cake though?? One set said "75" and another set of candles said "50" so I'm curious!

Karalee said...

Ha. We have one "family" birthday party a year. It's always in April because 4 of us have April birthdays. This year, my dad turned 75, my sister in law turned 50, Andrew turned 42 and my nephew turned 19. The 42 and 19 candles were on the other side of the cake...very observant of you though! :)

Karalee said...

Oh, and Jill. I fixed the picture :)