October 23rd - Happy Birthday, Dad!  

bustinout20202 64F  
767 posts
10/23/2021 10:58 am
October 23rd - Happy Birthday, Dad!


He was a Scorpio, I am a Pisces. In the zodiac scheme of things, we should have gotten along famously.

When I was a we did. As a baby, I can remember him coming home from work, seeing me and putting his hand on top of his head in a satirical “Marilyn Monroe glamour pose”. I would then copy him and it pleased him no end. He even snapped a photo of me at two years old, doing that.

He used to make pancakes on Sundays, and let me help with stirring the batter and watching them cook in the pan. When there were just enough holes in them, I’d tell him it was time to flip ‘em. Sometimes it was banana pancakes and lots of times, he colored them green. He made some strange recipes that have been a part of the family lore and tradition: squared potatoes [we also call them “blackened square potatoes” only acceptable with enough char on every side], Spanish rice, cooked in a cast iron skillet with slices of cheese melted on them, and his anchovy dressing. Anchovy dressing had to be my Dad’s take on Caesar dressing; only he flavored it with Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and liquid smoke. Seriously, I loved it as a , and I have yet to duplicate it adequately. Maybe that’s a good thing!

He loved talking politics and football. Adored his 49ers, and called out mistakes on plays before Howard Cosell could critique it on air. He’d barbecue on those days. We still have a standing joke about “Put the burgers on the grill and check ‘em at half-time!” Oh the hockey pucks we’d have to douse in ketchup in order to eat them!

Talking politics made for some interesting dinner talk for my brother and him. I was a bit of an angst-y , who was more interested in psychology and relationships than I was in those conversations. So, that is probably when the divide began.

Or maybe it was when I finally realized he was actually Santa.

He had me believing for a very long time: he’d throw rocks on the roof and then, back in the house, excitedly say, “Did you hear that? I think it’s reindeer on the roof!” From Thanksgiving till Christmas, he’d drop hard candies throughout the house; by the sliding glass door, or on the window sills and say, “Oh, lookit that there! Santa’s been here checking up on you!” One night he strung sleigh bells diagonally across our bedroom window, and hiding under the window outside, he used a stick to reach out and ring the bells when we were in bed. Scared the Bejesus out of me!

As I grew older, the divide widened. He was gruff and argumentative so it became easier to hide and do things behind his back rather than take the issue head on. Being around him was like seeing Archie Bunker live and in person. He didn’t like me growing up and meeting boys; when I moved out on my own, he called me a slut. I think to guilt me into staying as I was the youngest, and the last to leave home.

When I eloped to Reno with the hubs it took me two weeks to finally tell him.

When my brother announced they were going to be parents, he was not excited about it, but rather pulled my sibling aside and said, “What about your political career?”

We decided “Gramps” was not a fitting title for him; “Grumps” was his moniker from that point on.

We didn’t notice the Alzheimer’s was an issue early on. It was a very slow progression. He’d come up with funny nicknames for people. We thought that was just Dad being Dad. We realized later, it was because he couldn’t remember their real names. Then there was the time we almost missed a flight to Arizona because we couldn’t find Dad. Turned out he was at his shop; like a normal Saturday. He grumbled all the way to the airport.

He started talking about his siblings that had already passed. He’d say they came and sat at the foot of his bed, and just talk to him. Sometimes it would be just their heads. He’d realize it was just a dream after a minute or so of talking about it but sometimes it was hard to shake; they looked so real, he'd report.

In later years, when I was pregnant with my , I went to visit him at the adult family home he was at. He kept calling me “Dot”, the pet name of his younger sister, and asked me if I had met Patty Ann yet. Patty Ann was my mom.
Those last few months brought us around full circle. All the pain of harsh words and harsher actions just kind of melted away. I used to joke and say we got along better when he didn’t know who I was.

He passed three weeks after my was born. He met my just a few days before.

He wasn’t a perfect Dad. Theirs wasn’t a perfect marriage. We weren’t a perfect family. But, there was always the ability to laugh in the midst. I attribute that to him. He was a clown, a comic, a cook [?] and a charmer.

What I wouldn’t give to see that Monroe pose again!

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/23/2021 10:59 am

He was a Scorpio, I am a Pisces. In the zodiac scheme of things, we should have gotten along famously.
When I was a child we did. As a baby, I can remember him coming home from work, seeing me and putting his hand on top of his head in a satirical “Marilyn Monroe glamour pose”. I would then copy him and it pleased him no end. He even snapped a photo of me at 2 years old, doing that.
He used to make pancakes on Sundays, and let me help with stirring the batter and watching them cook in the pan. When there were just enough holes in them, I’d tell him it was time to flip ‘em. Sometimes it was banana pancakes and lots of times, he colored them green. He made some strange recipes that have been a part of the family lore and tradition: squared potatoes [we also call them “blackened square potatoes” only acceptable with enough char on every side], Spanish rice, cooked in a cast iron skillet with slices of cheese melted on them, and his anchovy dressing. Anchovy dressing had to be my Dad’s take on Caesar dressing; only he flavored it with Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and liquid smoke. Seriously, I loved it as a kid, and I have yet to duplicate it adequately. Maybe that’s a good thing!
He loved talking politics and football. Adored his 49ers, and called out mistakes on plays before Howard Cosell could critique it on air. He’d barbecue on those days. We still have a standing joke about “Put the burgers on the grill and check ‘em at half-time!” Oh the hockey pucks we’d have to douse in ketchup in order to eat them!
Talking politics made for some interesting dinner talk for my brother and him. I was a bit of an angst-y kid, who was more interested in psychology and relationships than I was in those conversations. So, that is probably when the divide began.
Or maybe it was when I finally realized he was actually Santa.
He had me believing for a very long time: he’d throw rocks on the roof and then, back in the house, excitedly say, “Did you hear that? I think it’s reindeer on the roof!” From Thanksgiving till Christmas, he’d drop hard candies throughout the house; by the sliding glass door, or on the window sills and say, “Oh, lookit that there! Santa’s been here checking up on you!” One night he strung sleigh bells diagonally across our bedroom window, and hiding under the window outside, he used a stick to reach out and ring the bells when we were in bed. Scared the Bejesus out of me!
As I grew older, the divide widened. He was gruff and argumentative so it became easier to hide and do things behind his back rather than take the issue head on. Being around him was like seeing Archie Bunker live and in person. He didn’t like me growing up and meeting boys; when I moved out on my own, he called me a slut. I think to guilt me into staying as I was the youngest, and the last to leave home.
When I eloped to Reno with the hubs it took me two weeks to finally tell him.
When my brother announced they were going to be parents, he was not excited about it, but rather pulled my sibling aside and said, “What about your political career?”
We decided “Gramps” was not a fitting title for him; “Grumps” was his moniker from that point on.
We didn’t notice the Alzheimer’s was an issue early on. It was a very slow progression. He’d come up with funny nicknames for people. We thought that was just Dad being Dad. We realized later, it was because he couldn’t remember their real names. Then there was the time we almost missed a flight to Arizona because we couldn’t find Dad. Turned out he was at his shop; like a normal Saturday. He grumbled all the way to the airport.
He started talking about his siblings that had already passed. He’d say they came and sat at the foot of his bed, and just talk to him. Sometimes it would be just their head. He’d realize it was just a dream after a minute or so of talking about it but sometimes it was hard to shake; they looked so real, he report.
In later years, when I was pregnant with my son, I went to visit him at the adult family home he was at. He kept calling me “Dot”, the pet name of his younger sister, and asked me if I had met Patty Ann yet. Patty Ann was my mom.
Those last few months brought us around full circle. All the pain of harsh words and harsher actions just kind of melted away. I used to joke and say we got along better when he didn’t know who I was.
He passed three weeks after my son was born. He met my son just a few days before.
He wasn’t a perfect Dad. Theirs wasn’t a perfect marriage. We weren’t a perfect family. But, there was always the ability to laugh in the midst. I attribute that to him. He was a clown, a comic, a cook [?] and a charmer.
What I wouldn’t give to see that Monroe pose again!

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


CleavageFan4U 64M  
68311 posts
10/23/2021 1:57 pm

What a touching, and painfully real, tribute to someone who likely was just doing the best he could.

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Paulxx001 64M
21904 posts
10/23/2021 3:14 pm

Parents aren't perfect, they're just mothers and fathers — normal people with regular defects. Just like you and me... and the rest of us out there.
Yep... I understand. 🌹


CyberBlade929 50M
11 posts
10/24/2021 12:32 am

huh, got me thinking...my fathers' b-day is the 25th, he's a scorpio I'm a pisces and we do not get along famously, haven't seen or spoken to him in 20 years, maybe someday things will come back around for us as well. Thank you for sharing your story.


spunkycumfun 61M/66F
39322 posts
10/24/2021 2:10 am

No parents are perfect. Often it's the imperfections that we remember fondly or not-so-fondly.
Your post is a touching tribute to your Dad. I miss my Dad too.


upsidedownsky 41M  
606 posts
10/24/2021 2:55 am

Oh my...

Heart rending, stunning, poignant...

but above all else...

Beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful.

I think to take a life experience,
such as this, and make something beautiful,
has the ability to heal the writer as well as the reader.

This really resonates with me.

*. *. *


HughJardon62 59M
9 posts
10/24/2021 3:47 am

Poignant tribute!


Go_Down_Cowboy_2 60M
923 posts
10/24/2021 5:46 am

What a story. What a tribute to your dad. A wonderful story through the eyes of a loving daughter who watched a man, a father grow up.
I see my dad, and I see some of me in there. I am watching my dad go through the beginning stages of dementia.
I wonder how my two daughters will remember me? I know my oldest daughter will remember me as a loving dad (she still calls me Daddy!) She lives in CDA and is close enough to visit often. My youngest daughter lives in California and we don't see each other often. In fact, last time I saw her was at her wedding, 4 years ago. She has just givin me my first Grand baby, a little Grand daughter. So I am planning a trip to see her...hopefully this year. But with Covid, my folks, work...ya know...
Anyway...I loved your story. Sad, but real. Time for reflection and time to take a self evaluation of my life and where I am. A cowboy's life is a lonely one, but its a choice. "Nothing counts as much as Blood". I taught my girls this as youngsters, and they still finish my sentence when I start it! I also taught them "Boys are stupid...throw rocks at them!" lol
Thank you


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 8:53 am

Thank you Cleave! It's my own way to acknowledge his birthday, not that anyone who knew him would see it! It was good to think about the good times with him, tho'.

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 8:54 am

    Quoting Paulxx001:
    Parents aren't perfect, they're just mothers and fathers — normal people with regular defects. Just like you and me... and the rest of us out there.
    Yep... I understand. 🌹
funny how it sometimes takes years to let go and realize that very thing!
Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 8:59 am

    Quoting CyberBlade929:
    huh, got me thinking...my fathers' b-day is the 25th, he's a scorpio I'm a pisces and we do not get along famously, haven't seen or spoken to him in 20 years, maybe someday things will come back around for us as well. Thank you for sharing your story.
I know right? , who was the brainiac that said those two signs were compatible? I think we are supposed to get along with Cancers too. My sister is a Cancer and we were oil and water till she moved out of the house!
I hope you do reconcile with your Dad. Families are so complicated, are they not?
Thanks for the read and comment. {=}

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 9:00 am

    Quoting spunkycumfun:
    No parents are perfect. Often it's the imperfections that we remember fondly or not-so-fondly.
    Your post is a touching tribute to your Dad. I miss my Dad too.
I know we all probably say this, but he truly was one of a kind!

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 9:03 am

    Quoting upsidedownsky:
    Oh my...

    Heart rending, stunning, poignant...

    but above all else...

    Beautiful.

    Absolutely beautiful.

    I think to take a life experience,
    such as this, and make something beautiful,
    has the ability to heal the writer as well as the reader.

    This really resonates with me.
Thank you my friend.
It's funny, when I think of him, I remember the bad times. But when I wrote this, I could remember the precious, everyday things too. Yep, there's healing in that...

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 9:04 am

Thank you! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! always appreciated! mwah! {=}
~Busti

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/24/2021 9:07 am

    Quoting Go_Down_Cowboy_2:
    What a story. What a tribute to your dad. A wonderful story through the eyes of a loving daughter who watched a man, a father grow up.
    I see my dad, and I see some of me in there. I am watching my dad go through the beginning stages of dementia.
    I wonder how my two daughters will remember me? I know my oldest daughter will remember me as a loving dad (she still calls me Daddy!) She lives in CDA and is close enough to visit often. My youngest daughter lives in California and we don't see each other often. In fact, last time I saw her was at her wedding, 4 years ago. She has just givin me my first Grand baby, a little Grand daughter. So I am planning a trip to see her...hopefully this year. But with Covid, my folks, work...ya know...
    Anyway...I loved your story. Sad, but real. Time for reflection and time to take a self evaluation of my life and where I am. A cowboy's life is a lonely one, but its a choice. "Nothing counts as much as Blood". I taught my girls this as youngsters, and they still finish my sentence when I start it! I also taught them "Boys are stupid...throw rocks at them!" lol
    Thank you
Hey Cowboy! Thank you so much for the read and comments. Hope you do get to see your youngest soon. I know it can be hard to get away, but its time to spoil the heck out of that grand baby!
I gotta ask, did your girls throw rocks at 'em?? lol
~Busti

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


kamaruhl3 60M
3821 posts
10/24/2021 3:48 pm

Very touching. Made me think about my dad. thank you


Erogedyne 69M
895 posts
10/26/2021 5:28 am

Thinking back on parents is really tough! There is so much life experience with them, both good and not so good, that reminiscing is always bittersweet. I love how you have expressed your relationship with your father in this post. It's as though you've opened a window to your inner being and invited us all in. Thank you for sharing!

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bustinout20202 64F  
929 posts
10/26/2021 10:38 am

    Quoting Erogedyne:
    Thinking back on parents is really tough! There is so much life experience with them, both good and not so good, that reminiscing is always bittersweet. I love how you have expressed your relationship with your father in this post. It's as though you've opened a window to your inner being and invited us all in. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you ever so, Eros! It was an interesting piece to write. I wasn't planning on it either. It just kind of materialized because I noticed the date.

~~~" Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." --Mary Oliver~~~


citizen4722 63M  
73480 posts
10/30/2021 1:55 pm

I wish I had the chance to grow up longer with my dad being around. I was only 14 years old when he died in his mid-forties of a heart attack.
My gran was the first in the family to get Alzheimers, followed by my uncle and then my mum.


Go_Down_Cowboy_2 60M
923 posts
10/30/2021 7:06 pm

Busti...
NO! They didn't listen to their daddy. But thats ok. Their both married and very happy! I mean, the kinda happiness you read about in fairy tales! My youngest daughter, the one whom has just blessed me with a grand daughter, has the most amazing husband! I really like him...I dont just put up with him. I couldn't have picked a better man for her! They are a perfect couple.
My oldest daughter, with whom I am closest to and closest with, She has a husband who is wonderful and perfect (in her eyes). I think they are a good match, he's a wonderful provider, makes lots of money, has two boys from a previous marriage, and my daughter and him gel perfectly. I see him as a little boy who has not grown up, matured, and kinda childish. He is a pretty boy (BMW guy) and I put up with him...for her sake.


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