Sometimes I just can not wrap my head around the fact that I will never see my Dad again. That I will never hear his voice. That I will never hear his laugh. That I can not pick up the phone to call him. That I will never receive another badly spelled letter. I hate that I can never be hugged by him again. However I am grateful that the last time I did say goodbye to him (when he was not unconscious) and feeling uncertain about the future I went back for one more “I Love you” and another kiss.
August 15, 2015. Today would have been my Dad’s 80th Birthday. I hate would have been. I am going to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday every August 15th and my wish is that when I am gone my children continue to celebrate his Birthday. My Dad deserves to be celebrated and not just on the day of his birth. My Dad loved his Birthday. I think I get my love for my Birthday from him. He also loved cake. He liked chocolate and I like crappy white. I thinnk it is genetics.
We would have had a big celebration to honor such a milestone Birthday but honestly we would have done it last year on his 79th Birthday. It would have been tradition. Let me explain, on what we thought was my Dad’s 65th birthday my sister’s and I planned a big surprise. Dee picked him up from work under the pretense of going out to dinner. She proceeded to drive to the airport and when he asked what was going on she handed him a card saying come celebrate your birthday with us. We picked them up from the airport wearing matching dresses (something we always did in the past. Mom ALWAYS had us in matching dresses on sepcial occasions) holding signs and drinking chamagne. We had a lovely weekend culminating in a party with people that meant the world to him. It was memorable. As we tearfully said goodbye to him at the end of the weekend he thanked us all for making it happen and then said “But girls, it’s not my 65th birthday. I am 64”. OOPS!
So, we celebrated his 70th birthday on his 69th. My wonderful Aunt hosted a beautiful family celebration. It was pretty magical. I am so grateful that Travis made an amazing DVD to remember that day. Dad gave an emotional speech that was all about family. I have taken the DVD out looked at it since he passed but have not had the courage to watch it just yet.
Last year I spent most of the day being sad. I missed my Dad. I did eat cake and wrote him a letter just from me to him.
This year I am just as sad. And I decided I want to continue another family tradition. On milestone Birthdays we make a list of things we wish for the birthday celebrant or memories we wish to remember. We for sure would have done this for Dad on his 80th Birthday. I miss my Dad.
So Dad, on your 80th birthday this is what we want to tell you. Please know this list was made with a lot of love, laughter and tears. (and some constant reminders to some sisters to get their thoughts in).
1.Thank you for being ours.
2. Thank you for wearing the bead necklaces we made for you.
3. Thank you for taking us to Riverside Amusement Park.
4. Thank you for always getting 4 olives in your martini.
5. Thank you for teaching us to make a martini.
6. I personally want to thank you for putting Marissa’s Barbie’s Fold-able Dream House together. I hated that thing.
7. We love your earlobes. The grand kids especially loved playing with them.
8. Thank you for making us t-shirts for every special occasion.
9. Thank you for the really cool Camaro. I am only sorry Jimi totaled it before anyone else could drive it.
10. We miss you.
11. Thanks for making us listen to Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Brat Pack.
12.Thank you for teaching us to ski.
13. Thank you for teaching us to skate,
14. Thank you for teaching us gamble. This includes Jake, Marissa, Sam and Mario. Some of them listened better than others. (Sam).
15. Thank you for teaching us to play tennis. Some of us got it better than others. Ok, I never got it. I apologize for throwing my raquet.
16. Thank you for teaching some of us to play raquetball.
17. Thank you for being wise enough to realize you should not attempt the raquetball thing with me after the tennis fiasco.
18. We loved watching you ski,skate,gamble,play tennis and raquetball. You did them all so well and with such enthusiasm.
19. We really loved watching you dance. Thank you for dancing with us.
20. We miss you.
21. Thank you for the amazing vacations.
22. Thank you for driving all night to surprise the kids in Disney World.
23. We hate that you were not here to meet Gwyneth Georgeanne and Emma Stowe. You would have been bursting with love and pride.
24. We really hate that both of them will never know you. It’s so unfair.
25. We like to remember that you wanted your middle name to be Oscar instead of Angelo so your initials would be G.O.D instead of G.A.D.
26. We love our nicknames. Thank you.
27.Thank you for wearing the really tacky ties we insisted on buying for you.
28. Thank you for paying for the ties with your eyes closed so that we could “give them to you” on your Birthday,
29.Thank you for teaching me to drive.
30. We miss you.
31.Jake, Marissa, Sam and Mario thank you for letting them muss up your hair.
32. We miss the way you pronounced the days of the week. Mondee, Tuesdee, Wednesdee, Thursdee, Fridee, Saturdee and Sundee.
33. Jake wants you to know that he apprcitaed you letting him convince you that he was Batman. I believe he still thinks he is Batman.
36. Hidden Cove.
38. Jake, Sam and Mario are so grateful for the advice you gave them. They remember it differenty but they live by it. Jake says “Find something you believe in and then sell the heck out of it”. Sam says “Find your passion and then chase the shit out of it”. Mario is somewhere between the two and Marissa just took your advice. She is following her passion. See! They listened.
39. We all listened.
40. We miss you.
41. You would have loved that Jake recenty graduated from a program at work. They asked him to chose a song to play as he walked to the podium and a motivational quote to flash on the screen. He quoted you and chose “Fly me to the Moon’. You were with him.
42. You are always with us.
43. Speaking of which, Thank you for the signs even though Ugo is mad that I am the only one getting them.
44.You would be so proud of the kids.
45. Mario says that when he is stuck in his bussiness he asks himself “What would Pop do?”.
46. You would be happy to know that Marissa still gets the giggles.
47. Thank you for making us laugh.
48. Thank you for imitatng Steve Martin so well and thus making us laugh.
49. Thanks for bailing me out when I lived in Boston.
50. We miss you.
51. Thank you for incuding our friends. They miss you too.
52. Thank you for paying 5 millon dollars for all of our lessons. Dance, Riding, Gymnastics, Sailing. It’s funny how the price kept going up every time you mentioned it. I do the same thing to Marissa.
53. Thank you for making all of us feel we could do all of the things we wanted to try. You made us feel like we would be the next Prima Ballerina or Olga Korbett and we knew that wasn’t happening with my shoulders.
54. Thank you for attending all of our performnaces and productions. Even the ones we did in the iving room.And thank you for paying th fee.
55. I remember the year we all were in The Hartford Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. You flew in watched the performance and then turned right around and flew back to Boston. But you were there and we knew you were there. Always.
56. We love that you took such pride in being a blood donor. We trry to follow in your footsteps. And as Chase so eloquently put it in his Eulogy for you, we know you did not do it for the cookies.
57. We wish we could hear you say one moe time “I am just resting my eyes”.
58.Andi hopes you knew how sorry she was that she blew up the glass bowl trying to make rice crispie treats. She also apologizes for taking the blender out of the mixing bowl while the batter was still in there. You would be happy to know she is no longer allowed in the kitchen.
59. We apprcaite that you always let us order a side of pancakes with our breakfast. Especially at Dupar’s.
60. We miss you.
61.Thank you for teaching us to ALWAYS split Aces and Eights.
62. Travis is grateful for your influece on Jason. He reminds her of you everyday.
63. Thank you for never stopping at red lights and saving us from the car blowing up.
64. Which reminds me, thank you for making the car dance when you drove.
65. We love how much you loved donuts. And Dunkin Donut’s coffee.
66. Shirley Bassie and a bucket of chicken.
67. We miss your white socks worn with jeans that are too short.
68. Your biriefcasse. That is all, we just miss your briefcase.
69 Going fast. In the car or the boat we remember going fast and loving it.
70. We miss you.
71. We can picture you opening your birthday cards and looking for money. Shaking the envelope and looking on the ground in case you dropped something. It always made us laugh.
72. Football, football and more football.
73. Thank you for taking us to Tower Recotds and letting us buy albums.
74. We remember playing 20 quetions on our car rides to New Hampshire. Jimi says I cheated but you knew I know a lot of stupid information and I won fair and square.
75. Jimi remembers something about you setting up our swing set and sweating it out. I do not remember that just like I do not remeber cheating at 20 quastions but she is the oldest sister so we will trust her on this one. I do however remember the swing set. That baby got a lot of play so thanks for the swing set. And the bikes, the Surrey, the skis, the tennis raquets, the riding equipment, the balance beam and the approxiamtely 1.000 pairs of dance shoes.
76.Thank you for one small fortune cookie soap.
77.Thank you for ALWAYS listening.
78. Thank you for taking us to the Buckboard Restaurant, letting us order Shirley Temples, giving us quarters and letting us dance to our hearts content in the banquet room.
79. For teaching us early to dance and sing in the rain.
80. We miss you.
Dad, we hope you are dancing. Happy Birthday. We love you.
For what is it to die but to stand
naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from it’s restless tides,
that it may rise and expand
and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river
of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.
- Kahlil Gibran