Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Once a Year, My Dad and I Together"

This Memorial Day, I was blessed to spend some quality time with my dad. I have not always been thrilled to spend a lot of time with him, because he would usually do or say something that would rub me the wrong way, however, I have felt what I would say is the “Spirit of God” reasoning with me about my dad.

I took him to the cemeteries yesterday to put flowers on the graves he has so diligently decorated over the years. I can remember him, my mother, grandmother, and grandfather going out to decorate graves every year. Then one year “grandpa” passed away leaving this task to the three of them, and several years after that, my grandmother passed away; leaving my parents to do the same ritual. Some of those relatives (on both sides of the family) died many years ago, but “daddy,” as I still affectionately call him is very determined to continue remembering those people each and every year. My mother passed away in 1995, thus passing the torch to my dad and me. Every year since we have gone to the graveyards and remembered our loved ones together.

Yesterday after I picked him up and we headed toward Glendale Cementary, I relayed to him how much I cherish this time we get to spend together and that I consider this our time.

I have been blessed to have him for 85 years, most of which I have been angry with him for things he did in the past. By the Grace of God, even though he can still work my nerves, I am starting to realize how much I really love and appreciate him. At least as I have said in a previous blog, “at least he is still here to work my nerves as do many parents to their children.”

“Daddy” has a bladder problem (as do I), but his is much worse. He constantly has to use the bathroom. I remember when it aggravated me whenever I took him places that I would constantly have to wait for him to use the restroom. However, yesterday, I didn’t mind it and believe me, he must have used it about four times at Glendale Cemetary. We spent approximately two hours there trying to find graves we decorate every year; but it did not bother me as it would have in the past. After we left the one cemetery, we went to Sunset Memorial Gardens where my mother is buried. After another trip to the restroom,we took care of a few other graves. After that, I spent approximately an hour and a half trying to help him find a park where our church was having a picnic. He kept saying to me “I’m sorry I’m being a burden/nuisance to you. I told him to “quit it,” I don’t mind," and I meant it.

After I took him home (as we did not find the picnic spot), I watched him climb the steps to his house as he slowly went up, holding on to the rail. It brought tears to my eyes to see a man who has always been so active and a workaholic, take so long to climb the stairs. “Will this be our last year going to the graves together?” I certainly hope not and I will always look forward to this past-time with him as long as God allows me the pleasure to do so.


Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

Right now I have too many tears in my eyes to know what to say. It's hard when our loved ones grow older and stuff.

11:49 AM  
Blogger The Gig said...

Heather, you are such a sweet person.

8:55 PM  
Blogger The Gig said...

Heather, you are such a sweet person.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Brotha Buck said...

That was truly beautiful!
I've had a terrible time getting your blog this week. I finally gave up, and tried today, and once again, I'm on my third time trying to post.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I know the feeling. I cried the other day when I saw my dad. He is 72 and getting older. I think what you are doing with your dad is beautiful.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

These memories keep us going.....hold onto them. It is rough seeing our loved ones get older. My dad is only 56, and I some times want to cry because he can no longer do some of the stuff he used to be able to do. The hardest part is seeing him get frustrated.....but then I try to remember when he could do anything and everything. This helps.

6:31 PM  

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