What and Who You Are to Me, Dad

A Poem By Edith // 6/30/2007

I can’t fit it all in one poem,
How much I love you,
There are just too many words to say,
How about if I speak one each day?
That way it will fill up the year
To tell you, you are so dear.

I love it when I see you work,
Your hands flying around the wood,
Even if the project sometimes hurt,
You never give up, just because of that.
I hand you the tools, hold the nails,
Use the measuring tape, even if I sometimes fail.
You are always there, when I am right or wrong.
You are always there, to sing or whistle a song.
You are always there, to tell me what I do wrong in math,
You say “That is close, but you missed something there.
Still, you’re getting used to doing it fast.”

I remember at our old house,
I would run outside and play,
And you would blast Bluegrass,
All the night and day.
Moira and Greg would sing “yeehaaw!”
and I would do the same,
We would pretend we was country singers,
Singin’ a’ loud an’ clear. Singers full of fame.

I can’t forget that time we had,
Our little rabbit, Jack,
I tried to dress him up for Easter,
But he just bit back…
Remember you got so angry at him,
When he thought he controlled your Red Chair
You said “Darn you, rabbit! That just ain’t fair!”

My goodness, one cannot forget those long nights
When you tried to teach me to read,
Then mom would just holler “Dinner’s ready!”
And I’d yank you out of the chair and say:
“Gee, dad, it’s time to feed!
Hurry! Hurry! And later I’ll read…”

Remember that one Saturday afternoon,
Mom went out food shopping and said she’d be home soon,
M and I went downstairs to play,
We sorta surprised you with that paint on our face.
Gosh, how we had trouble getting that off! It took...how long?
Seemed like thirty or more days.

I remember every Saturday night,
We would roll up to our Parish parking lot,
We’d enter the Church, genuflect, and pray,
And I could hear you whisper or look as to say:
“Dear Jesus and Mary, and all Saints above,
please guide us all, and help us each day,
Help us to learn these virtues, faith, hope and love.”

Did you forget that one time I spilled coffee on your tie?
I wanted to lift in the air, away, and just fly,
T’was early in the morning; I didn’t know what to do…!
But I stayed and grabbed the towels, which was the right thing, I knew.
Then you erased that frown and your clenched jaw,
And started laughing so hard,
You said “I didn’t want to wear that tie today.
It was much too bright for my taste, anyway.”

Do you remember the day we bought Falkor?
That was the biggest gift ever. I still want nothing more!
Oh how I remember, before, mommy saying: “Must we get a dog?? No! Ick!”
But M and I were just way too slick.
We wrote up a contract, and gave it to you two,
When you both read it, then nodded, all I could do was
Dance and shout “woohoo!”
Now mom loves Falk, and he sense-memories her too.
You guys wouldn’t be able to live without our Falk,
Though sometimes you don’t admit it all the time,
But I see the way you handle him - little big white dawg.
You always say “alright, girls, clean after the Falkinator,
cause he is yours and not mine.”
Uh-huh, suuuuure.

Don’t forget our Christmas Eve’s together,
Grandpa would come over whenever,
And he would give us a hug, and give us a card,
Gosh… he was so tall to us then, it was kinda hard!
But when he would sit, then we would hug,
And we would give him lots’a care and love.

Then grandma was there (she always was!)
She would be in the kitchen, making her cake,
And as grandpa always said to her “Hey, any more of that
And I’ll be all set for my own wake!”
But he didn’t mean it, we could tell,
The way he gobbled it up when we rang the dessert bell…
But he was always there first at grandma’s cake.

For dinner, there would be ham and ‘taters,
Sometimes lobster and other fish,
I still laugh thinking back, Grandp and Gran were really-
the only ones who ever finished EVERYTHING on their dish.
I would sit there and stare at the greens,
And say in my sweetest high-pitched voice,
“Must I eat these?”
And grandma would take my hand, and pat it light,
And say “darling, don’t you want to do it right,
Like mommy and daddy told you?
Take your greens, chew them well,
-Oh…I see…they already fell?
Well here’s a new helping,
Help yourself.”

After dinner, there would be dessert,
And, yeah, like I said, there was grandpa,
All set and alert!
Though he was a quiet man,
When he was there, that’s when the jokes began.
We would laugh so hard over our dessert plates,
Banging against the table in laughter that it would shake!
Sometimes the jokes weren’t quite understandable,
They were just too technical for me,
I mean, when you have an engineer and a programmer, (aka, grandpa and dad)
It’s just obvious a small gal like me wouldn’t be.
Funny, though, Greg understood most,
He even raised his bottle when there was a toast!
(Well…not really…but almost.)

Then we would end our Christmas Eve night,
Settle on the couches with just the Christmas tree lights.
Greg would go first; he would open his gift,
“OH WOW!” Went grandma, “it’s a toy ship!”
And Greg would go to whom it was from,
Kiss them and hug them,
And say “Thanks everyone!”
Then I would go and take the beautifully wrapped square,
Gently open it – “OH WOW!” Went grandma, “it’s a beanie bear!”
And I would go to whom it was from,
Kiss them and hug them,
And say “Thankee everyone!”
Then Moira would go and take her gift, it had a pretty pink bow on top,
“OH WOW!” Went grandma, “It’s a little toy shop!”
And Moira would go to whom it was from,
Kiss them and hug them,
And say “Thank you everyone!!”

After grandpa's and gran's and mom's and dad's gifts,
We would kneel down to pray,
Wishing Christ a happy birthday!
Greg would go first; he would sing “happy birthday” to Jesus,
Then we would all join in,
And when we were done, we would bow our heads,
And each kiss baby Jesus’ feet,
Then we would do Saint Joseph and our Blessed Mother,
That made my heart beat, faster and faster,
How happy I was on this beautiful day!

The next morning would be Christmas day,
We would go to Mass and again we would say,
“Happy Birthday” to Jesus Christ,
And thank Him. And thank Him. And thank Him again.

Dear, dear dad, there is just too much to say,
So many memories and fun days.
When grandpa would come over and help us with stuff to fix,
When Aunt and cousins would come over with just…a mix,
When grandma would come and bring us each a teeny tape recorder,
Just for fun, with her we'd play kitchen, and tell her to order.
When the L’s would come over, we would play so many things together,
And then the C’s would roll up our driveway, they would stay forever,
When Danny called to say they got a dog, her name is Ginger,
I was so happy for them I danced around the playroom.
When Mary called, just to chat with me,
Well, I always knew Bob would get on the phone anyhow,
And that’s how it was gonna be.

I remember those Easters,
Oh, I loved them so much.
We would go to Mass, come home and help bake,
Ready for cousins and grandparents, and icing the cake.
Grandma would stuff the eggs,
Grandpa would hide them in places I never knew,
He would whisper in my ear,
“There is one around here…it is especially for you”.

These times have everything, family and friends,
But if it wasn’t for you, well, what would I do then?
My parents are my love, so dear to me, forever,
I love you both and we will always stay together.

Dad, you are the head of the family,
Mom is the twinkling heart,
My life would be gone if it weren’t for you,
I would have no life, no part!

So dad, allow me to tell you how much I love you,
I say all this, and every bit is true.
Let me hug you, kiss you, give you this love,
I know I am blessed by God from above.

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