So I was thinking…about my Dad. Last weekend I headed to Cape Cod to celebrate my son’s 11th birthday. Saturday morning as I was out buying candles for his cake, I received a frantic call from my mother telling me that my Dad was in the hospital. Apparently his blood sugar (he’s diabetic) hit an all-time low of 41. This in turn caused him to sweat profusely and once his blood sugar started to go up again my Mom (the nurse) insisted he go to the hospital. They did a bunch of tests on him and told my Mom that he’d had a heart attack. So, I immediately left the Cape and headed for Stoneham to see my Dad. (I have always had a fear of not being able to tell someone that I love them before they…well you know). On my ride to Stoneham I was able to call my Dad and tell him that I love him. To make a long story short, he ended up having a cardiac catheterization and all was well. Turns out he didn’t have a heart attack, and now he needs to focus on the reason his blood sugar went so low.
So, after I talked to my Dad on that long ride home, I spent the remainder of my time alone thinking about my Dad and my relationship with him. My Dad is a permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church and I am very proud of that fact. He was ordained when I was 10 years old. Let me tell you, that was one L-O-N-G ceremony! I remember moving from the pew to the kneeler and thinking I was never going to get out of that Cathedral! Now, being a permanent Deacon was only his part-time job (for a while). He was also a full-time accountant. You might think I didn’t get to see much of him, but the funny thing is that I remember seeing him more than my mother. (Not her fault, she worked as a nurse from 3-11, and we were usually in school before that). Anyway, I remember my Dad taking us with him to clean another Church (non-Catholic) as part of our deal of being able to rent the parsonage on Brastow Avenue. I remember him making us all his specialties for dinner like “Beef and Rice” and “Spaghetti Soup.” Those are just a couple of many sacrifices my Dad made for us. Not only did he work a full-time job, a part-time job (for free), he also volunteered his time to the Church’s folk group. I have so many good memories of sitting with the group and listening to them practice all their songs. My Dad is a talented, talented man. He plays guitar, he sings, he paints, he cooks, but I think his best talent is being a Dad. I don’t know that he’d agree with that statement because he is very hard on himself…but I know it to be true.
For example, I remember him stopping one of his meetings to help me find my Lucy London doll that had gone missing. I remember him selling his guitar to pay for my health insurance while I was in school. I remember being so afraid to come home in third grade because I had a note from the teacher saying I was fooling around in class, and him telling me to “knock it off” and giving me a hug…and you know what? I knocked it off. He never tried to break my spirit. I’ve always tried to make my Dad proud of me. I am the oldest of four, and I take my responsibility very seriously. I wanted him to be proud of me, and now that I think about it, I was probably harder on myself than he was…sound familiar?
I was showing my friends a picture of him on my phone yesterday, and one of them said, “Wow, you are your Dad.” That statement prompted me to write this blog. I feel I can finally say “yes, you know what? I am just like my Dad. And that is a good thing.”