Some people have Dad's who are big and loud and make their presence known as soon as they walk through the door. Or dad's who enter public life or seek fame and fortune or attention in other ways. That is not my dad at all. My dad is the kind of guy who doesn't usually make a fuss, who is easily pleased and who has pretty simple needs. He's the kind of quiet unassuming guy who always worked really hard, sometimes at two jobs, just to provide a wonderful life for his family. He doesn't need a lot for himself. Give him a good meal and he is happy. Surround him with family and friends, and his heart is full. Give him another pair of socks or a tie and he pleased that you remember him. Let him read his paper or watch the Patriots without disturbing him and he is good to go. He's the kind of guy who would drop you off that the door and then park a half mile away and walk the rest of the way himself on a rainy day and not complain.
My dad was a letter carrier back when letter carriers walked their entire route. He delivered in rain, snow, sleet or blazing sun. He worked late on Christmas Eve every year getting as many cards and packages delivered as he could. Like I said - he worked hard for his family and he didn't complain.
He was the kind of dad who took us to all games and practices, to the local swimming hole at the Lithuanian club and taught us how to fish. He built a deck to making getting in and out the pool easier. He took us to drive ins, and to see the fireworks in the summers and skiing and skating in the winters. And of course, camping all over this country, including that 6 week cross the country trek. He had to unhitch the camper, get it up and down daily and pack and unpack, but in is typical fashion he didn't complain.
By the time David proposed to me in 1974, my dad already had plans to have both his hips replaced in early 1975, as his work had taken a toll on his joints. For years he would come home from work and my mom would lay heavy thick heated packs on his hips. He lived with that pain for a long time and finally he was going to get some relief. He was going to be out of work for quite awhile - they hadn't perfected the surgery yet back them. But he didn't let that stop me from having as nice a wedding as he could provide. We even joked about renting him a top hat and black cane to walk me down the isle. The night before my wedding, during the rehearsal, he was indeed still walking with a cane.
But my dad was determined to walk me down the isle on his own two feet the next day, and he did! That just how my dad is.
When my kids were young and my parents lived on Cape Cod for several years, my dad (or Bampa as my kids still lovingly call him) would take them to the town beach to fly kites or just to swim. He has his handicap sticker so they could park right close to the life guard station of course everyone knew my dad. He's always been like that -a real people person. And on the way home from the beach, he always took the kids for ice cream or penny candy. Nothing but the best for his grand kids.
Over the years, my dad's hip needed more and more work and were replaced again until one side finally gave out. The surgeon removed the joint and never put one back in. Since that time, my dad has had to walk with a lift in his shoe and crutches and his mobility is limited, he can't sit up straight or bend down to put on his own socks or tie his shoes, and he can't do what he once did, but he still does as much as he can -and he still rarely complains!
You can occasionally find him outside pushing snow or pushing leaves with a rake, or in the grocery store doing the weekly shopping. That has always been his job and he knows his prices and is the best coupon cutter you'll ever want to meet.
At Jay's wedding reception in May, he even got up to dance with my mom for a special dance Jay and Angela had planed to honor both sets of grandparents for being married over 55 years. He looks pretty darn good for being 86 and for all the physical pain he has endured in his life, don't you think? He still has that sparkle in his eyes.
So dad, on this Father's Day weekend, I want thank you for all you did to support our family all these years and enrich our lives. I love very much!
And now you know the second half of my parent's story and you can see why I say - I am one of the lucky ones!
Until next time - hugs, Linda