It is not by chance that my brother and I are obsessed with music; no indeedy do. Our father was a rocker and wherever daddy was, he had his boom box with him. Mom went to be early, and dad would sit down by the pool, by himself (he truly enjoyed the peace and quiet)for hours upon hours upon hours. He had the coolest taste in music, and Craig and I grew up listening to dad sing to mom-when he’d had one too many martini’s, for instance. Dad also played the banjo-to this very day my favorite instrument. Next to the mandolin and sax.
Today would be my father’s 84th birthday. If he were still here he would have had a family party. We would have bought him shirts, or sunglasses or even a garden tool. He was a master gardener, he worked his butt off in his gardens and his roses were my favorite. When I think of roses, I think of my dear father, who was my best friend. He and I just got each other, from the very beginning of my earliest childhood memories. I remember a vacation right after my sister was born-she screamed bloody murder the entire time we were there. I can remember looking at her crib from outside, and wishing she would just stop crying. My father, walking up the walkway asked if I wanted to go on a short trip. We ended up at the local bar, he eating clams and downing beers-me with my Shirley Temples and enough quarters to play Mr. Bojangles for hours-bet the locals loved us.
I wish he could have seen me sober. I wish I could have done more in the last months of his life, the most stressful and agonizing time of my life. I would give just about anything to go back in time, be his little girl again. And as I was getting dressed this afternoon, I smiled at my bedside picture of him and wondered…how will you show up today daddy? Our closeness has withstood the test of time; he is always here at Christmas, and I know if his pipe is broken in half? That I am in for some emotional turmoil, and that yes, he is here.
Prior to writing this blog, my phone-across the room, began to chirp a circus tune….and I smiled, instantaneously. I picked up the phone and sure as there are stars in the sky, it was playing a game. I don’t play games on my phone. I looked up, thanked God, and said Happy Birthday to my father- most certainly the coolest dude on Planet Earth.