This is Daddy in one of their parlours in PA, December 1992
Jessica & PopPop cheesing it up in August 1993 at The Red Fox Restaurant.
Patrick, Jessica and I had gone to PA to have a surprise 50th Anniversary dinner for my parents at my Aunt Dot's home. It was just a small gathering with Daddy & Mom, Aunt Dot and Aunt Sis, Andrea (my brother's little girl),Patrick, Jessica and me. Aunt Dot and I planned it for July 30th and Aunt Dot prepared the scrumptious dinner. Aunt Dot wasn't a blood relative, but was my mom's best and only true friend and was one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest ladies that walked the earth (more on her in a future post). We flew in from Arizona and pretended nothing was up, and we were just going to go to Auntie's for dinner after work. Boy were my folks surprised. Both of them got tears in their eyes and I could tell Daddy (who was the sociable one of the pair) was very pleased that we celebrated this with them, despite the fact that Mom kept saying she didn't want any kind of a fuss made over them. Since their actual anniversary was in September, they had no clue what we had planned.What you can't see in this 50th Anniversary shot, is that my mom is wearing red and white checked culottes and dark knee socks! Dad was dressed in dress slacks and dress shoes, his usual "uniform". Two people could not have been more opposite! He thoroughly enjoyed his leisure time, hunting and had an amazing sense of humor. I can still hear him chuckling. He also was sarcastic and that dear friends, is where I get it from. Mom on the other hand works almost every waking hour and stopped hunting with Daddy as soon as Harley, my sister, was old enough to accompany him and takes things quite seriously. She is one of those people you have to explain a joke to....no kidding. What a pair!
August 1993. This was the last time I saw my dad as I knew him. We all said our goodbyes before driving to Elmira to the airport and as Patrick was getting ready to drive off Daddy had made his way back up to the side porch and took a seat. I jumped out of the car and snapped this picture. He loved to sit on his porch and look at his view. Lots of grass, trees and NE Pennsylvania scenery. He loved his town and his family. It's a shame that my sister, brother and I are not close. He would have wanted us to be.
Easter was April 3rd in 1994. Dad had been in the Towanda hospital for a week or so before that for his diabetes and had fallen while there. He ended up with 4 broken ribs, but though in pain (& he was a big sissy) he insisted that he be allowed to go home for Easter. And he did. Mom made her traditional ham and kielbasa and he was a happy man. A week later he lay on the floor of their home from a massive stroke. My mom called the ambulance and he was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA.
When I was called and told that Dad had had the stroke my brother and Mom said not to come back to PA that he would be okay. A week later they still weren't putting Daddy on the phone for me, so I knew they weren't being honest with me. My good friends Bobbi and Maxie told me to fly home & worry about the expense later, or I would forever regret it. I was flying back & called my older sister, Harley, in California and told her what I was doing & she said she would do the same. Well, I got to spend 5 days in 15 minute increments with my father(the stroke caused aphasia) who was in ICU. Each day I would tell him how his beloved English Springer missed him, give him a weather report, tell him what was going on in the news (he would have 3 tv's on at the same time with different news stations at home) read to him out of the Bible and before I left I would sing him the Barocha*. I got some alone time with him, and as the Lord would have it, my brother was away in Atlanta, so the stress of having to deal with him was not there. It was a special time with my dad. When Mom and Harley were chattering over him like he was a table I could hardly contain my anger, but I did. Daddy was a man of few words, and he detested idle talk, so I knew if he could talk he would have shut them up! So, once we drove the 40 miles back to their house, I told the gals how disrespectful they were being, that he couldn't talk, but that didn't mean he couldn't hear. They agreed to discuss gossip outside of Daddy's room.
He passed away when we had left the hospital for an hour on April 21st. It has been 15 years on Tuesday, and I still miss him. Still miss calling him in the middle of the day to ask his advise on something or just for no reason other than to tell him I loved him. Still miss his Sunday phone calls. Like clockwork he would call every Sunday to see how everything was going. (Mom has probably called me 5 times in the past 15 years---now it is up to me to call and I'm not an every week caller.) Anyway, the world is a little less colorful without my dad in it. I sure loved him.
Rest in peace Daddy. I'll see you when I get to heaven. That's a promise.
*Barocha. The Lord bless you and keep you.The Lord make His face shine upon you. And give you peace.The Lord be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face towards you. And give you peace forever.