Gratefulness for Fathers

I sometimes think what my life would have been like if I had not been adopted.  What would life been like for me if I had remained with my birth mother instead of been adopted by two of the most loving, hardworking parents I have ever known.  Would she have been a single mom raising me without a father in the picture? It could have been that way, but she wasn’t thinking of herself when she signed those papers.  She was only thinking about how much she loved me and couldn’t give me the things she wanted me to have in this life.  One of those things, may have been, a dad.

My dad is a gentle, quiet soul.  He is an Irishman from the old country.  As he ages, he becomes more like my grandfather in many ways.  I was blessed to have my grandparents in my life while they were here.  My grandfather W, died at the tender age of 91 in 1981.  I remember this because I was in 6th grade and I must have had an unusual pained expression on my face instead of my normal smile.  I loved my grandpa and have great memories of him.  He was a peaceful man, like my dad.  Just don’t get them upset.

My dad is very peaceful as well.  He is slow to speak about much of anything, but his mind is always at work.  His hands are always busy and and his heart is always full.  He is one to says very little, but when you get him going, watch out! He can amuse you with many stories and anecdotes from times gone by. I could sit and listen to his stories for hours, even days, if that ever happened!

My father is the most generous man I’ve ever known.  He helps out everyone in need.  If a family member needs something and he can help, he does.  He’s always there to offer advice, but will never give it unsolicited.  If he judges you, he will only tell you if he thinks if will help you.  He and my mom had such a perfect love story.  Some of you have read about their love before.  It was a love that transcended time.  It was a love that began many years ago and drew through 55 years of wedded bliss.   Now, dad is stuck with just us crazy kids, but he’s still the happy person he’s always been.  He always has been able to maintain his composure.  But that’s just my daddy.  I love you to the moon and back daddy.  I just wish I could show you more or tell you more often just how much I appreciate you.

The other most important dad in my life is my Hubs, of course.  He took on this job when I was a single mom with 3 young girls.  Not only that, but although my girls known him for their whole lives, they were a little leery having someone take over their dad’s job.  In time, they grew to love him very much and we have all grown to rely on him in our lives.  When we were young, I used to write in my diary that I would marry him.  I was 12 at the time.  I had the only diary I ever had.  I still have that diary.  I never dreamed that it would take us so long to get married, but I thank God every day that we found each other again.

When I asked this man to just date me, he knew I had baggage.  He knew I was just divorced and that he and I would have to get to really know each other again.  Yes, we had remained friends for 15 years, but it was a very simple, carefree and innocent friendship.  In fact, I was trying to help him date other girls during that time and trying to give him hints and courage to ask them out.  I’ve never been so happy that he didn’t bother, or that they said no.

When he entered our home and my life through marriage, he ultimately changed my world.  There have been times I was not as grateful as I should have been, but those days, luckily, are long gone.  Over the years, he has grown into a man who serves God and his family.  He has stayed up with the kids until way past the bewitching hour to work on projects, he has gone out at strange hours of the night to get some ice cream, chocolate, sanitary pads, school supplies, etc, for all of us.  He is, in one word, amazing.

I couldn’t go through my life without my husband by my side.  My children with grow and start their own lives.  That is what I want for them.  I just need my husband by my side.  He is my everything.  He is the love of my life.

I am so grateful for these two men.  I am filled with thoughts of love when I think of how they have made my life better.  They have shaped my life and given me so much to be grateful for.  They have impacted my children’s lives and made them better people too, even though they may not realize it just yet.  I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

If We Were Having Coffee

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If we were having coffee today, I’d hope to meet at my favorite coffee place here in town..not only for great coffee, but tasty treats, too! We would catch up on what the kids have been up to this week.

All my kids are out of school. It’s hard to believe another school year is over. I now have a 4th grader, a sophomore and my 2 oldest girls will both be out of the house in college next fall. Where has the time gone? My second daughter graduates tomorrow from high school. I can hardly believe it.

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I would tell you how the kindness challenge is going well. I’m enjoying the changes I’m seeing in my life as a result. I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks now and I love it. I can’t say much more accept that it’s awesome and everyone can join.  revofkindness.jpg

I would share with you the absolute joy that I was nominated for the Liebster Award. Yes, me! Can you believe it? Someone thinks my writing is good! Good enough that I should get an award! Exhilarating for me! I never win anything or receive any accolades for anything I do so what a highlight to my week!

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Dad also got his driver’s license back. His eye surgery was a success so far and the full recovery isn’t even complete! He had let his license lapse several years ago due to his sight, but he is a realist. He knows his limits. This week, he passed his test and bought a car. I’m so proud of him! Watch out though if you see him. He was always a bit wild!

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Lastly, I would have to tell you I’m really disappointed in the last two games my St Louis Blues have played in the Conference Finals.  I mean, really, they are playing The San Jose Sharks game instead of making the Sharks’ play the Blues’ game.  C’mon guys, don’t fail us now!  We are so close.  Your fans can taste it!  We have another game tonight and we are counting on you.  If there isn’t a turn around tonight, I am afraid this season is over for us.  I am a Blues fan.  I have my jersey, my t-shirt, my blanket, my garden flag, my van sticker, etc.  They’ve come so far, we are so close, but these last two games this week, well, they choked.  No goals scored in two games.  I know in my heart they can do it.  They are sort of like the Cubs of the NHL. We can’t go 100 years without the beautiful Stanley cup.  We deserve it this year.

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So what’s new with you this week? What new with the family? The writing? Anything fascinating or simply ordinary happen? You know me, I love our coffee weekends together! I never want our time together to end!

My Dad’s Apple Pie

wp-1462056657340.jpgThis gorgeous masterpiece is my dad’s apple pie.  Yes, my dad!  Never did I imagine that he would be making beautiful pies like this at 85 years young.  In fact, a month ago, he didn’t know how to make one.  He has learned to cook so much in the last 5 months and I am so very proud of him.  He never ceases to amaze me with his ability to learn new things.  He is the most awesome role model for our family. That being said, I never thought he would become such a good chef.  I guess I also didn’t want to think about that possibility.

Mom was an extraordinary cook.  Ask anyone and they will agree.  When mom had her knee replacement, she was unable to do the cooking so dad had to learn.  They were never big on take out or even going out to dinner.  Who would when mom could cook so well! You’d have to be mad to say no to her cooking.  I miss her cooking and I know dad does too, but he is learning. He’s come a long way in these last 5 months.

20141107_163830_HDRI showed dad how to make his favorite pie just once.  He ate the whole thing.  I didn’t even get a bite and I was a bit disappointed about it!  It looked so good coming out of the oven.  We talked about the kinds of apples, and dad assisted in the preparation of the first pie.  Since that pie a few weeks ago, he’s apparently made several.  Did I mention that he really loves apple pie?  Let me tell you, he’s becoming an expert.  This man can do anything!

We talk about food now among everything else.  He’s come a long way from asking if he should use the bake of broil setting on the oven. He cooks all his own meals and does a fantastic job.  His specialty is potatoes, but he’s an Irishman.  If he doesn’t have a potato for his supper, he hasn’t eaten yet. Perhaps we will take on pound cake next if the notion hits him.  Yes, the most delicious pound cake from scratch.  Life is always an adventure with dad and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He is the greatest dad a girl could ever ask for.  I thank God every day for blessing me with such a wonderful dad and role model.  And dad, if you do happen to read this, I love you with my whole heart, always.

 

I Should Be Sleeping…

Oh the joys of waking in the middle of the night. I’ve got just a few things in my mind in these wee hours but perhaps sleep will be kind enough to take me back for another dream or two before my day must truly begin.

My sweet boy is now the newly 9 year old. Where has that time gone? We had a lovely family celebration tonight complete with mashed potatoes, a burger bar, homemade baked beans and corn on the cob. What more could a boy ask for! He received some new clothes, which were needed and new hockey gear, including a new curved stick! Heaven! Those of us present for his birth were all there, minus his oldest sister.

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Of course, now we have my dad present for all these important occasions and I couldn’t be happier! I know how much mom would have loved being here if she were here, but having dad makes me so incredibly happy. He’s relaxed, hilarious and so very kind. For so many years, my parents were in another state for these big events and holidays. They were the missing pieces of the puzzle. Now, even though mom may be gone, having dad here completes that puzzle and makes our family whole. How could I ever repay him for all that he does for our family everyday? All I can do is to show him my love and to be a good daughter. I want him to be proud of the woman I’ve become.

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I shall attempt to sleep again now, to dream of far away places and new lands. Each day is a new day and I want to greet it refreshed and renewed! Good night my dear readers! Sleep well!

Just a Few Thoughts for Today

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The Headstone for my mom’s grave

This evening I reflect on my day before trying to head off to sleep, which I may actually be able to accomplish tonight. I’m so blessed by the happenings of this day.  I have had such a splendid day and I wanted to share some of it’s highlights.

First, morning came way too soon, since I got those 2 precious hours of sleep last night, but I was able to have a brief siesta later in the morning for about 45 minutes which helped immensely.  My dad and I went on another one of our magical adventures this morning.  It’s not that we ever do anything that is out of the ordinary that makes it a magical adventure, it’s just that we get to spend time together which is what makes it so enjoyable. Dad had an errand to run but when he went there, the person he wanted to see was in a meeting so we had to find something to occupy us for a little while so, we went to the cemetery to visit mom’s grave.  The grave site is now complete with a beautiful headstone which turned out perfectly.

I know exactly where to find my mom’s grave because I visit there quite frequently.  She hasn’t been gone very long and now to see the headstone in place makes it really complete.  I know Dad wanted me to see it with him.  He had the opportunity to go with my brother the other day but wanted to wait until I was able to go too.  He decided that my brother could go on his own.  I so love my daddy.  He will always be my daddy no matter how old I am.  He’s always been my protector.

I have to tell you that it’s very strange to see your parents’ names on a tombstone.  I reflected, only to myself, of course, that it must be even stranger to see your own name on one, as I watched my dad say a prayer at mom’s grave today.  Their love was one that could never be equaled.  My dad would never show that emotion.  He is the strongest person I know, but you know how difficult that must be for him to be there, see his love’s name there, know that her body is buried there and see his own name engraved so nicely on that beautiful piece of granite.  This was the first time he had been there since mom was buried December 1st.

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My nanan and I on my First Holy Communion Day. May 7, 1977

When he was finished there, he said, “well, let’s go see Mrs. Sharkey’s grave.” I told him, while pointing, “it’s just down this hill and across the road.” So, we trekked on over to her grave where we said another prayer before walking back to the van.  She was my babysitter for the first 13 years of my life, but she was far more than that.  She was like a grandma to me.  In the last couple years of her life, her health was not good.  She suffered terribly from emphysema and was on continuous oxygen.  We were her family since she had no children and her husband had died many, many years before. I called her Nanan. She was my everything for most of my young life, besides my immediate family.  I talked to her everyday, I visited her all the time, even at the nursing home.  I even put on shows at the nursing home.  I played piano, flute and guitar as well as sang for the residents there while she lived there, because she lived there and I could share my talents with them.  I would do anything for her.  Thirty-two years later, I still miss her.  I can’t believe she’s been gone for that long.

When dad and I were done with our galavanting, I had a lovely lunch with Hubs.  It’s so nice to spend an hour undisturbed with the one I love so much.  I told him of my escapades with Dad as we shared our lunchtime. We chatted and before we knew it, it was time for him to get back to the grind, as it were.  I am so blessed to have such a great husband.  He had texted me earlier to ask how I was feeling.  My response was, “like having lunch with the cutest boy I know.”  Apparently, he knew that I meant him.  Good deal!  He even paid for lunch! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

This evening was very busy.  I was invited to go to a birthday celebration with some of my old co-workers and I had a blast.  I so miss those friends.  I wish I could say I miss the job, but I don’t.  I do, however, miss my friends.  They are such a bunch of fabulous human beings.  We were mostly nurses, but there were also a couple of physical therapists and an occupational therapist there as well.  My goodness I miss there camaraderie. Just to sit down with so many of them at one time and enjoy a good meal and great conversation and not have to worry about getting out of the office to make visits made it most enjoyable indeed.

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My Parents and me and our mad selfie taking skills. Go St. Louis Blues. Hope mom is praying in heaven for my team!

The icing on the cake to my great day. you ask? My St. Louis Blues won Game 1 in the first playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks  1-0!!!! My home is a house divided.  Hubs is the best man in the world, but has one flaw.  He’s a Hawks fan.  We watched on his Chicago channel so I didn’t even get to see who was tonight’s player of the game, but I’m thinking it had to be the goalie, Brian Elliott.  He was incredible.  But I say this and I should say they were all amazing and Backes made the only goal of the night! Hallelujah!  You know that I love my hockey!  Poor Hubs.  He has to live with me for this whole series.  Go Blues.  I saw something that describes me perfectly. We all Bleed Blue.  Well, I can speak for myself and the Boy and for certain, We both Bleed BLUE!!!! Go Blues!

Ah the Green

 

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40 Shades of Green in Ireland

Green, the color of lush grass on a beautiful spring day.  The color of St. Patrick’s Day and the strange color they dye the river in Chicago. The color of a cat’s eyes. It comes in so many shades.  From kelly green, to emerald, to olive and mint green.  The colors are endless and bring about so many different feelings.

With the color green there are also different tags attached.  People hear being green and they think of recycling.  They think of being kind to the environment.  We think of the Green political party.  We even think of the symbol for recycling.

We think of being green with envy, or the green eyed monster of jealousy.  So many implications for one little color.  I love the color green but not under those circumstances. I’m not into jealousy or envy.  I wish being green had a good emotion attached!

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Many shades of green

My favorite implication for the color green is all that comes from those associated with my favorite country, Ireland.  Ireland is the home of my family.  In Ireland, it is true that there are at least 40 shades of green.  The Aran Isle is one of the most beautiful and colorful places you could ever see.  This is the place that makes me happiest, besides being in Southwest Florida!

So, as you can see, green isn’t just a color anymore!  It has many connotations.  For me, I’ll always think good things about green.  I love it just like my dad does.  He even has a green front door and green carpet.  He’s a good Irishman.  Gotta love him! I do.

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Dad and I on a sunset cruise in Florida 2015