Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dad (re-post)



The picture up and to the right is my Dad holding my son, Dolan. He adored him. :-)
I apologize for the lack of focus on the photo to the left. It is my Mom and Dad - outside their retirement home just one month before my Dad died - He passed on October 22nd, 1984. The photos above are of our side and back yard views - Autumn is struggling to become vibrant with color - it is more subtle and demure - and yet still is inspiring and promising. I love cloudy Autumn days so much.

The week before my Dad died he was on a mission. It is as if he knew. On the Thursday before he died (he died on a Monday)....he and my Mom came to my house. Dolan, my son was just 7 months old. I remember my Dad saying to me - "Gimpy, (he nic-named me that when I broke my leg when I was eleven), anyway - he said - "Gimpy, if I keep hanging around here this kid is going to start calling me Daddy.". :-) This particular day he wanted to be sure that I knew how to drive my Mom to her sister's house about 30 miles away. He knew how important those visits were to my Mom and her sister. On the way back he was telling my Mom what to do should he have a heart attack while driving. On the Saturday he helped put the roof on the VFW hall of which he was a proud member. On the Sunday he helped his neighbor put together their entertainment center. He was happy to do it. On the Monday, he started his day with a hearty breakfast. Then they went to my sister's house to take care of their youngest son, Ethan - the two older boys, Josh and Clayton were in school. My Mom and Dad took Ethan to Josh's school for an event - and then returned home around 3:15. My Mom was downstairs coloring with Ethan, and my Dad went out on my sister's back deck. Josh headed off to dance lessons and for some reason went out the front door rather than the back deck - they never used the front door. And the Mom that was picking him up, for some reason, backed in to the driveway rather than pulling in - had she pulled in she would have seen my Dad. Clayton came home with his dirt bike which he always put under the back deck - but this day he did not do that and he too came in the front door. My Mom decided to color another picture with Ethan - and then said to Clayton - "go check on your Grand Pa, I hope he isn't raking leaves"!! Clayton did go check and my Dad was laying out on the deck - Clayton yelled for my Mom to call 911 - but it was already too late. My Mom screamed so loud that neighbors came running - and so that is what happened 25 years ago this October 22nd - it was 4:00.

My Dad was a vibrant, proud, hard working man. A real man's man' as the saying goes. People who know me know his fun sayings and antics because I say them and do them (most of them) often. :-) I learned how a man should treat a woman by watching how my parents loved and cared for one another. I learned what it meant to be a real friend, a good son, a loving brother, Dad and neighbor by watching my Dad. I can still recall when the neighbor across the streets house caught on fire and my Dad wanted to go in to rescue her and her dog - the other neighbors stopped him - she and her dog both died that night. My Dad never got over that. I remember when our next door neighbor left his wife and three children. The son was devastated - my Dad invited him over and did what he could to be there for him. My Dad built us a bomb shelter~!! Underground!!!! My Dad's motto was that every day he should make someone laugh. :-) And to always pick up hitch-hikers and take them as far a possible to get to their destination. We crossed state lines many a Sunday doing just that!!!

Every year me, my Mom and sister go to Chatfield Hollow state park and pick greens to make head baskets for my Dad's grave, Clayton's grave, (my sister's oldest son), and now for Kelly's grave - Clayton's Dad who just died, as most of you know, this past January. Chatfield Hollow, in Killingworth, CT is where my Dad worked as a member of the Connecticut Corp of Engineers as a young man - age 17. He and his crew built ALL the bridges in Chatfield Hollow. Every year we go we are reminded of his talents as we stand in awe of the detail of the beautiful bridges in the Park that he helped build. Also, Killingworth is where their retirement home was. :-) He came full circle.

And so this October I honor you Dad for all that you are - the legacy you left behind from bridges to values to love and to ethics to faith and to marriage and mankind. For the lives you saved in WWll and the lives you touched every day of your life. I have learned so much from you and I love you.

Gimpy-Gays

rest in Peace Dad.......

34 comments:

TheChicGeek said...

Oh, Gail, what a beautiful tribute to your Dad. (I am crying) He sounds like a treasure of a man...I wish I could have met him. He looks like a happy man in his picture too. How wonderful that he lived such a full life, with a beautiful family, building lasting monuments for you to visit and remember him, serving his country, loving his grandchildren...I love him and I don't know him. Thank you for sharing these loving memories of your Dad. You've brought tears to my eyes and put love in my heart today :D

The people in our lives, how they touch our souls and live with us forever...that's what makes life, isn't it!

Love and Hugs to YOU!
PS: I hope you are feeling better from the fall.

Happy Day, Gail!
xox
Kelly

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

This is just wonderful, Gail—a warm, loving tribute to your Dad. I lost my father in 1983, and I still miss him every day. Your Dad sounds like a special man, a real man…and I believe he'd be proud of you today, the person you've become, the courage and heart you exhibit all the time.

What a special blessing he was, and what wonderful gifts he gave you to use, share, and pass along. Know I'll be thinking of you…

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh my, you write such nice things to and about me. And yes, he ws a 'real man'....and like you said - he gave me many gifts to cherish and share.

Love to you
Gail'peace

Gail said...

HI KELLY _ 'CHIC-GEEK'

Wow, knowing that my tribute to my Dad mde you cry, I cried too! AND when you wrote that you loved him and you don't even know him - I cried with joy. My close friends feel that way - that they knpw and love him even though they never met. Amazing, huh? And yes, he did have a full life - a loving and proud life. :-)

AND I am healing nicely.

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace....

Wanda said...

Lovely post Gail...the pain of losing a parent is just there under the surface...where the smallest thing brings it to mind. My dad passed in 1980...and I can still hear his whistling...good memories ease the pain.

It was nice reading of the good man your father was and your good memories of him!

Luv and Smiles,
Wanda

cinner said...

Gail, that was beautiful. I am sitting here crying like no tomorrow, could not help but think about my dad too. It is great you have such beautiful memories!Big Hugs

Gail said...

HI CINNER -
I am honored that memories of my Dad touched you so lovingly with memories of yours. Sleep well

HI Wanda-
OH YES, THE MEMORIES ARE RIGHT THERE - AND i LOVE THAT YOU CAN HEAR YOUR DAD WHISTLING. :-)

lOVE TO YOU BOTH
gAIL
PEACE.....

Teacher's Pet said...

You had a special Dad...one you could use as a role model...and one that I can tell you love very much....even to this day. I would feel the same, way, Gail.
Thank you for a lovely tribute to your Dad.
He would smile...and say, "Well done, Gimpy. I love you, too."
Love,
Jackie

Diana said...

Hi Gail,
I think that I figured out why you love October so much. It was filled with bittersweet memories. Bad things happened yes. But the bad memories ultimately made you remember the good ones. I am with you. I love cloudy Autumn days. There is nothing like the feeling that they give.
Love Di

The Rambling Taoist said...

For me, this is what immortality means -- people who live on in other people's memories.

Bernie said...

Beautiful tribute to your dad my friend.....he sounds like he was a wonderful husband, dad and grandparent....God Bless you my friend, lots of love to you...Hugs

Choices said...

Hi Gail,
What a beautiful and loving tribute to your Dad. He sounds like he was a very special man. I lost my father in 1998 and I think of him everyday. He too, was a very special man. I know he would have been very proud of me for who I am today, and I am sure your Dad would feel the same of you.
Take care of yourself.

Gail said...

@ANNE-CHOICES
Thank you SO much and oh yes - your Dad is VERY proud of you -

@BERNIE-

Thanks Bernie - he was an amazing man. Have apeaceful SUnday

@RT

Immortality indeed. Yes, that is how they live on. :-)

@DIANA-

Oh yes. October is so bittersweet AND it is why it is so active and alive for me. I love that you knew that.

@JACKIR-TEACHER'S PET

I love that you wrote as if my Dad were speaking - it brought a tear to my eye.A good tear. :-)



Love to you all
Gail
peace.....

Whitemist said...

Great tribute!
No more can be said.

Gail said...

HEY JOEY-

THANKS!!! :-)

Love Gail
peace.....

PENolan said...

Nice memories any day
Love and light

Margie said...

Gail, this is just such a wonderful tribute to your dad.
It touched me very much!

You were blesed to have a dad like you had.
May his memory always be a blessing.
I know that all the wonderful memories I carry in my heart about my parents blesses me each and every day.

Margie:)

Gail said...

@MARGIE-

Thanks so much for your loving words to me. I will hold my Dad's memory forever and shre of him often - and I am so happy that your parents live on in your heart as well.


@TRISH-

Hi there - yes, nice memories-any day, indeed. :-)

Love to you both
Gail
peace.....

Iktomi said...

aw this is really touching. i'm so glad you got to have such a wonderful dad. many people are not so lucky! :)

Gail said...

HI IKTOMI-

Yes, lucky indeed. ;-)

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

And now Dear Gail your father is known by many others through your love and your words. A vision permeates your words. Your Dad in all his endeavors and generosity of heart is felt and introduced anew. Blessed Be his soul for all he chose to be and for what he has given to you to share. He is celebrated this day for his life. And you friend have made our day richer for his memory.

Gail said...

ROSE MARIE-

Thank you so much for adding to the richness of his life by your powerful applauding words. Yes, he is anew through my shared memories - alive, so alive!!

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

MOMSWEB said...

Oh Gail, I can't tell you what reading this post did to me emotionally. I thought of my father, who is still living, the entire time.

You admired your father like I admire mine and I can't imagine the sadness you must feel from missing him. Sigh...you gave me alot to think about today. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and I'm so happy I dropped by today. What a great first visit I had with you!

Have a great week.

Gail said...

HI MOMSWEB-

Welcome :-) I am SO glad you came by AND even more glad that my shared memories of my Dad touched you and heightened you as you think of your own wonderful Dad. I will stop by your place and I look forward to us getting to know one another over time.

Love Gail
peace.....

Cordieb said...

Gail, what a wonderful tribute of love you have wrote about your father. He sounds like he was a true "man's man" indeed. Seems, they don't make em like that any more. If so, seems to me they are far and in between. I too have fond memories of my dad. We were truly blessed indeed. Thanks for sharing! Peace, Light and Love, CordieB.

P.S. I do hope you are feeling better. Sending healing energies your way. :)

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Gail, I loved reading this tribute to your dad, and it warmed my heart to think of what a giving man he was. I know someone who's a little bit like your dad was... And it's like I had to read your words to really appreciate how great of a man that type of person truly is.
Love to you, and many thanks for sharing your dad's energy here.

Gail said...

@MEGAN- Joy Girl-

I am honored that my tribute to my Dad inspired yor deeper appreciation of another man in your life. :-)
So nice to see you here


@CORDIEB-

Hi there - yes, blessed for sure. AND a real man's man. :-) If my Dad had met my husband they would have been the best of buddies - :-)

So nice to see you.

Love to you both
Gail
peace.....

Children with out voices said...

Hi Gail,

I had a mixture of emotions when my father passed away. To this day I really don't know how to feel. Sometimes it just seemed easier to hide the feelings than to deal with them.
I can tell that you have had a stable upbringing and the love of your parents, could be the reason you surfaced so well from your own trials.
I don't like to place blame but at times I think life is so difficult when you have nowhere to turn. Maybe the word is downright complicated. I don't understand violence and I myself am not violent so that it makes it so difficult to deal with daily threats and anger and fear.
To be loved is the ultimate and it builds a strong foundation one that catches you when you are slipping and falling. I am glad that you had that foundation.


Katy

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Gail...I'm crying...this is so beautiful...and reminds me of how much I miss my father every single day...and he's been gone 17 years...Thank you for this beautiful post!!! He sounds like a wonderful man!!! I'm sure you miss him a great deal!!! My heart is with you!!! ~Janine XO

Gail said...

HI CWOV-

I am so happy to see you :-) And my childhood, although strong and close family also had it's issues - I kept secret that which I had to keep secret - back then such things just weren't told. It is too much to go in to here.

HI JANINE-

I love your honest emotion and loving words to me, always. "thank you" Janine for all this you give.

Love to you both
Gail
peace.....

Mark said...

I love this tribute to your Dad. You are blessed to have had him in your life.
I do think we know when our time to depart this world is near.

Gail said...

HI MARK-

always so good to have you come by. thanks for sharing in my Dad's life wit hme :-)

love gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Gail, You are indeed applauded for your enduring quest, your loving spirit, and for all the change and resolve you embrace. A most endearing tribute to your Dad, one that celebrates his memory and brings us closer to the love you share. Thank You dear friend.

Blessings and peace.
Rose Marie

Gail said...

HI ROSEMARIE-

thank you so much for hsaring in my Dad's life with me, this day, on the day of his passing I am reminded of his goodness and purpose with great joy.

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace....