Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My Dad's Birthday

My Dad was pretty reliable about Christmas presents:  while he and Mom were together he gave her money and let her do it!  After they split he discovered I really liked Month-at-a-Glance planners and so for years - pretty much the rest of his life, this is what I got.  I was fine with that.  They sometimes had cash inside as well.  My favourite one came wrapped in a folded over paper bag, held with a rubber band and with a plastic red rose (I recognised it from Grandma's 'decor') stuck in the band.  That was so like him and we both laughed for ages.

Birthdays were more hit and miss.  He actually forgot it one year and I was miffed.  I remember telling him it wasn't as though he had so many to remember (me being an only child).  I don't think he missed it again. 

However, he was good about the occasional surprise, just because.  Not often enough to make it routine, but just now and then when he ran across something.  He was really good at giving hugs and saying "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

I was clearing out my (Grandma & Grandpa's) desk one day and ran across this card, buried at the back, one of his 'for no reason' gifts.  It was probably intended to give a spouse, but I got the message OK anyhow.  I know that at some point it was cool to refer to a boyfriend or spouse as 'my old man', but this is the way my Dad referred to himself all my life.

I read a lot of books while we were in Australia and came to the conclusion that happy endings weren't currently in fashion.  With the death of a main character in one, however, there was an observation made that death made one understand the true meaning of 'never' in a way not previously appreciated.  On the other hand, alongside of 'never' came 'always'. 

I believe this to be true.


Boywilli said...

So that's where your present wrapping skills come from

Rick Stone said...

I'll be doing a blog entry today for this is my Dad's 93rd birthday. We never really celebrated birthdays growing up. Mine is in November, Bill's is in December and David's is early January. (Chester, always being the oddball has his in August.) With three birthdays so close to Christmas the folks chose to ignore birthdays. (This did tend to upset the daughters-in-law that came along later.)

Beryl said...

What a sweet story. It's interesting the ways that differents parent show their love for their children.
As to the ways they are ending books these day, my children would always avoid anything that had won an award. They figured out by second grade that awards were only given to books that ended badly. In their innocence, they would tell me that while some of life was bad, not that much of it was. And why just read about all that bad stuff?

BigLittleWolf said...

In my experience - generalization coming here - men are a little more likely to forget dates than women. Don't know why that is, but I've seen it all my life...

I guess the really important thing is the love - and knowing it's there. The rest is frosting.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's wonderful that your father gave the gifts he did. I can only recall one gift from my father in my entire lifetime...and it was something he shopped one year when he was unemployed.

Lacey R said...

Great story, especially about how the gift was wrapped. :)

Anonymous said...

That's very touching. Dads are a trip, aren't they? The relationship between dad and daughter can be amazing, awkward, and ultimately so charming and sweet. This makes me want to call my own dad, who just turned 79 this week, for no reason except to chat.

Shelley said...

Boywilli - Haven't you a wonderous wit?

Rick - That's fun that they share the same birthdate. My Dad would have been 94 this year. I think it's OK to gloss over birthdays in middle age, but boy I sure would be recognizing birthdays after 89!

Beryl - Interesting concept on choosing books! I'm sure all these sad ones had got stacks. I still enjoyed reading them, even if they weren't happy endings.

LBW - I'm pretty sure that maintaining social and family connections was and still is considered 'woman's work'. My mom certainly did all that business in our family. My dad's job was to chauffeur and eat.

Terri - Family traditions - and individual preferences - are so varied. My dad was certainly a character, but I never doubted he loved me.

LR - Yeah, that wrapping was a hoot.

Ilegirl - I envy you that choice. I'd go call him right now!