Curious Meanderings from an Artist's World
Where Daddys love their little girls...
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As you might have guessed, I have been back and forth to Florida several times since Christmas. It's been a rough few weeks. My husband and daughters and I did get to spend some wonderful time with my dear 88 year old dad in December, but he became gravely ill shortly after that, and died on January 29, 2009.
I debated with myself about whether to write about this on my blog or not, because I tend to want to keep my posts light-hearted and a little on the funny side, and I assume that you, my reader may want to keep things that way, too. But Iím sure youíd agree with me that life isnít easy. One day is funny and the next may be sad, and the only thing truly consistent about life is itís inconsistencies.
So when it comes to a major life event, whether good or bad, it must be shared with those of us who share our lives with each other. After thinking about it the last few days, I decided that it would be downright weird to just skip over this as if nothing happened. Honestly, I just couldn't do it. After all, dying is every bit as much a part of life as living. Thank God, in our culture we donít have to deal with it like our ancestors did, but it is inevitable, isnít it?
I donít call the loss of my dad a tragedy, because a tragedy doesnít have a happy ending, and this one does. After all, my father did have 88 wonderful years to enjoy this life, almost 60 of them had been with my mother before she passed away in 2001. They had five kids together, and gardened, traveled, did Barbershop music and other things they both enjoyed. Like my sweetly romantic husband said when I called to tell him the sad news, Daddy is now reunited with Mama, holding hands, and they are young and well and rejoicing in the presence of a loving God. Itís sad for me because itíll be a long time before I see Daddy again, but I do believe Iíll see him again some day, (a long time from now) when the time is right.
Daddy was my hero, I think I already told you. He saved me from drowning when I was three years old, and I still remember it vividly. And he had served in WWII as a tank driver, and a map and radio expert. He talked about some of the things that happened, not in battle, but in the times in between. I have all the letters that he wrote to Mama during those years before they married. He and Mama teased and flirted back and forth like young people do, and quickly married when he got home from the war. He spent the rest of his life working hard and happily supporting his family.
Like me, Daddy was an artist, but his medium was music. During the war he sang often for the troops, including General Patton. Afterwards, he sang in our church on Sundays and special services, and sang lullabies to me at night. Even my friends had their own special requests when spending the night at my house. No doubt about it, Daddy could have been a famous musician, but chose instead to be a family man.
Actually, without prejudice I can say that Daddy had the #1 most beautiful tenor voice I have ever heard. That includes all the famous singers in the world. Really. Daddy never hit an off note, even once, and sang with great, powerful love and passion for music and for the songs he chose. Every night he would come home from work and sit down at the piano, where he would play tunes of all kinds ďby earď. My sisters and I talked last week about how we would each frequently take a turn, sitting beside him on the piano bench and sing with him or make song requests.
One night I came to Daddy with a new tune request. I wanted him to play ďVenus in Blue JeansĒ for me as I believed it to be the most beautiful songs in the world.
ďI donít believe I know that one, Deborah,Ē he said. ďHowís it go?Ē I sang it to him in my best little girl voice. I remember him smiling the whole time. Daddy was always so tickled with children. And then he just started to play his piano and work the tune out with me as I sang.
...Okay. Iím not going to even try to edit this. I know this isnít the best stuff Iíve ever written, but Iím just going to put it out there so youíll know where Iíve been.
Thanks for listening. Iíll be back to my regular goofy self in a couple of day. Who knows? Maybe even tomorrow.
Until then, be happy and be well.
Little Pink Spaceship Gazette