Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Should Have Been Birthday Dad! I miss you every day. I think about you when I watch "Jeopardy!" I guess you know that I spilled the beans to the guys about how "Jeopardy!" came on earlier here in Texas and I would tell you on the phone the hard answers and you'd impress the hell out of them with your "knowledge." The funniest part was that they were all surprised and thought you knew all of that stuff. How funny was that? The funniest part was when Alex would name the Final Jeopardy category and you would "guess" the answer before the question was asked. Those guys thought you were a frikkin' genious! Those were fun times.
I miss all of our trips. It was so sweet that you wanted to make up the New Orleans Halloween trip since you broke your ankle the first time but came anyway. How funny was that that my costume was Tonya Harding and you were on crutches? I don't even remember now what my costume was going to be on that make-up trip. I just remember telling them that they needed to cancel because you had died.
I know you are tickled that Lo and I are going this year. It's the 10th anniversary of our first "deathaversary" trip together. I remember how happy you were that Lo and I liked each other and that you were confused about how we met. That's because you refused to accept the fact that you took naps. We met during one of your naps and you always asked about it. You were so funny that way. "I'm just resting my eyes" you always said, but Dad, people don't snore when they are resting their eyes.
You know how much I love the beach? So many of my memories revolve around you and the beach. I guess you know now that all those Saturday or Sunday mornings when we all wanted to go to the beach, they sent me into your bedroom to wake you up and ask "Daddy, can we go to the beach today? Mom will make fried chicken and pimiento cheese sandwiches. Can we go? Please?" And I loved going out in the ocean on your shoulders. And the very best thing was late in the afternoon when Mom would decide I had had too much sun and she'd put one of your great big white t-shirts on me.
You were always the fun Dad. All of our life every kid said, "I wish my Dad was like your Dad." You made our yard the games yard. Every kickball game, "Mother may I?," freeze tag, "Ain't no bears out tonight" and "One, two, three redlight" game in the neighborhood was played in our yard. And once a year or so you threw one of your brightly colored smoke bombs from your National Guard service out on the road for us. Not to mention the fireworks every 4th of July. Oh, and Christmas. Even the years we were very poor, you always made Christmas special.
Speaking of being poor, I'll never forget that one year that we could not afford to spend a week at the beach. You made that very special too. We spent the week at the Holiday Inn in town and that's where we saw the moon landing. I remember I was just learning to dive in the pool and then watching the moon landing that night in wonder. And with probably a little chlorine ring around my eyes.
You took that job in the Dominican Republic and I had my first plane trip and then when I was 16 you took me to New York to see Duke play in Madison Square Garden. That was truly awesome. I felt like such a grown-up! One of my favorite stories is of us in that bar. The bartender asked, "What'll you have?" I replied, "I don't think you've heard of it." He responded, "I've been bartending here for over 30 years. You can't name a drink I never heard of." So I said, "Galliano and 7-up." He sort of froze and said, "Okay, you got me there." I love telling that story complete with the bartender's accent. And Dad, just for kicks I tried that about a year ago and it was hideous!
The best part of the New York trip of course was meeting Rodney Dangerfield and that was all you Dad. I've already posted about that and I certainly know you remember it. And really what I learned from that trip was HOW to travel. You always made a big deal of not doing the touristy things and finding your own cool things to do. I still do that today.
I guess what I miss most about you now is not so much what I am missing, but what your grandkids are missing. I so enjoyed bonding with my nephew but later I realised that he was only 3 when you died. It breaks my heart that he will never know you but everyone says I am just like you so I hope some of you, through me, will get through to him. And I will tell him stories. Because you always had great stories. I miss your stories and I miss you. Happy Birthday Dad. You rock.
As you would say, "Life is but a dream, sha-boom, sha-boom."


Big Brother said...

Sounds like a great guy geewits. Hang on to those memories they're precious.:o)

XUP said...

Damn you, I'm at work here and now everybody thinks something awful has happened because I'm all teary and sniffly. What a wonderful, wonderful Dad he was. I know you're keeping him alive for the little ones by telling them all these great stories. And what a lucky girl you were!

Lolo said...

Happy woulda been birthday Joe! Girl, your Dad was sooo awesome, I am honered I was able to know him and have great memories with him. Yeah, he was silly about how we met.... uhhh... he was asleep in his chair!! Hee hee hee. I'm so glad that you and I have such a wonderful friendship and I can't wait till Halloween in New Orleans with you! I loved reading you post this morning, brought a few tears to my eyes. Your Dad thought you were the best, and I have to agree. Life is but a dream... sha boom sha boom!!!!

Mr. Jazz said...

A great "tearful" post but it goes to show that humans will live in some form or another as long as there are people to remember them. Happy B'Day Mr. Geewits!

geewits said...

Big Brother,
~~If I ever lose those memories, I'll need to be put away.

~~I really was a Daddy's girl. Sorry I made you sniffly. Dad would prefer you just smile.

~~I knew you'd like this post. I'm so glad he brought us together.

Mr. Jazz.
~~That's what I've always said: People are never really gone until they are forgotten.

Carole said...

Gee, I know your Dad through you, and he is a wonderful guy, and he has a pretty terrific daughter too! I never even met him, yet I can see his imprint on you so strongly. I'm really glad to know you.

What a beautiful birthday sentiment for your dad.

Carole said...

Gee, hey look. Our timestamps are exactly the same on the last two comments. Kismet I think!

geewits said...

~~You always say the sweetest things! I have some video of Dad on VCR that are funny. It was during his weird beard phase.

Jazz said...

You made my eyes leak with this one. It's a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. Thanks.

geewits said...

~~Aww. I know you hate it when your sweet side shows.