Sunday, December 9, 2007

the Spirit of Christmas

Well i finally decided to decorate for Christmas. I put the tree up yesturday, now I have to do the rest of the decorations. I wanted to get lights outside, but my luck, it is raining and cold out. I am starting to think I should put the lights up in August, when its not so cold, but then again the neighbors would think I totally lost my mind.

Today is my dads birthday, he would have been 60 years old. In honor of this day I want to share a little bit more about him.

I was always daddys little girl. If he went to the store, I was right there with him. When I was playing softball or basketball, I don't remember him ever missing a game. In high school I played on the church team, we needed a coach, I volunteered him, and we had a wonderful time. He wasn't angry or upset either. When my brother and I were outside, he was usually right out there with us, spending time together, playing with us. In todays society you don't see this at usually. We thought it was so cool that dad would want to play with us, knowing he had other things we knew he wanted to do, but not him, He always wanted to be outside with us. He gave us so many wonderful memories.

I remember dad would help Santa Claus, by coming to visit. Everyone would sit on Santas lap, telling him what we wanted. After the kids told santa, he asked if anyone else wanted to sit and talk to Santa. My mom told Santa all she wanted was a kiss from Santa himself. Santa said that would be fine...... My mother kissed Santa..... I still remember it like it was just last year. I got so angry. I started crying and yelling at my mom. How could she do this? I told her " I am telling my daddy!!!" I even had proof, someone took a picture of my mommy kissing santa Claus. I still have that picture. He would also help Santa by visiting other kids houses who couldn't get out to see Santa. We would often visit with the family, and Santa ALWAYS had a special gift in his bag for everyone in the family.

One of my fondest memories of dad is how unselfish he was. Even after my brother and I were grown and married.. kids in the neighborhood still always came to visit him. They would sit and talk, color, or whatever the kid wanted to do. Dad always had a drink and a snack ready for all those who showed up. If one of them missed the bus, dad would take them to school. Dads best accomplishment is the Interfaith Memorial for Deceased Children. He started it 17 years ago. Someone he worked with, lost their son, she talked to dad, asking if he knew of a memorial service geared to families who have lost children. Dad looked all around, and couldn't find one. He then started organizing one. It is always held on the second Thursday of December. He loved being able to provide this service to the community. I remember watching him do all the preparations, sending out information to people, writing the childs name on the ornaments for the tree, ordering, picking up and polishing the keepsake memorial the families would receive their first year there. Making sure the food for afterward was taken care of. He would start all the preparation right before Christmas, working on it all year long, and I can remember he wouldn't finish everything until right before the service would start. From September until the service, that is all dad would work on. I would always look forward to the service because I could see how much it meant to the families who would come. There are some families who have been there from the very first year. The first year, the refreshments could be carried in 2 plastic bags, I think there were 17 people attending. Now it is mind blowing the number are almost 300 people. Talking to the families, knowing what the service means to them, I am just as proud today as I was 17 years ago, even more so now really. Dad reached out and provided something to so many other people, something so desperately needed, yet was not available at the time.

Random facts about dad
date of birth 12-9-47
Date of death 9-8-2004
favorite color blue
favorite movie fiddler on the roof, or any musical
occupation nurse at a state run mental hospital
siblings 2 brothers 1 sister
favorite pastime watching baseball.... he loved the Baltimore Orioles
other accomplishments he was a volunteer firefighter, working on the ambulance he also played in a band, that opened for Conway Twitty ( even had his saxaphone autographed), raised 2 children, hosted countless pizza parties at home for all neighborhood kids.

Happy Birthday Dad I love you and miss you so much.

Below is a picture of mom and dad, taken July 2004

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