Thursday, June 3, 2010

for my dad

big daddy in his robe

Happy 75th Birthday to you!  Three quarters of a century young.  I posted this picture because you frequently mention how you enjoy lounging in your home while wearing it.  You are a true survivor and have had quite an adventurous life so far, with many more memories to make.  Retirement has been good for you and you have your daily routines to get you through the day.  You are the second son of four boys and live in the house your parents once lived in.  Mom made sure it was cozy and comfortable for you.  What a difference from when all 10 of us lived together.  How did you manage to put all of us through Catholic grammar and high schools?  You worked two jobs to get this done while Mom took care of us.  You worked at Rock Island and Metra Railroads for 45 years, ending your career as a Supervisor in Management.  Now your goal is to win the lottery.  You were married for 51 years and spent many enjoyable vacations in Las Vegas.  

When you were younger, you studied at a seminary and wanted to be a priest.  You were a football quarterback, bowling aficionado and excellent drummer.  Now I know where my Danny gets his talent.  You were the best of the best when it came to entertainment, for all the extended aunts and uncles loved your parties, especially when you pulled out the accordian and played so fabulously.  Later you did the same with the guitars.  You are father to eight children and grandfather to 17.  Your famous line is the secret to immortality is through procreation (Socrates.)

To me, you are my eternal optimist.  That is the greatest gift you have passed on to me.  Whenever I needed sage advice, I would call you, sometimes at 5:30 in the morning since we are both early birds, and you always encouraged me to think positively.  Everything will be alright.  Count your blessings.  The conversation always reverts back to how blessed we are to have healthy children and family to love.  With so many different personalities, it is a miracle we all got along so lovingly for the first 40 years.  I was proud of all the siblings, in-laws, and kids, for we had such great memories for so long. Not many families experience this in their lifetimes.  We did.  This was a testament to the love and foundation you and mom gave to us.  You did your best. Always know your tenacity and perseverance is appreciated. Thanks, Big Daddy, for all you do. 

Happy Birthday (hoo)...and many more! xo