My father on the right with his brother and oldest sister
In my mind today I am not thinking of John Cougar Mellencamp, but his songs do ring true to me. I am thinking of those times when you love someone and it does hurt when they move on to their heavenly chapter. Missing them and the opportunities to show them that youlove them are not a reality anymore truly hurts.
Today is my father's birthday. He has been gone 17 years. He would be 95 years old today. My father was a colorful character with many talents and many crosses to bear. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the Pacific rim and came home an alcoholic. He struggled and battled his entire life with alcoholism. The key here is that he never gave up and he triumphed over it. He was able to become the father we needed and the precious grandfather that was cherished by all of the children in our family. He was a musician, nature lover, and such a proud man. He often tried to warn others especially in our family of the pitfalls of addiction. It often didn't take especially among his own children. I know this troubled him greatly during the end of his life here on Earth. He was just such a wonderful mess. It does hurt so good to remember him. I'm so proud of my father at the struggles that he overcame.
He had a gift for making me feel so loved even to a fault sometimes. He did the same with so many of the grandchildren in his life. Whether it be a Saturday visit to deliver a watermelon to a granddaughter that loved them so much or picking up a sick child from school and sitting with them until the parent was able to get home, these are just a few of the redemptive things he did to rectify the years our family dealt with his addiction. Saturdays were his days to pop in and visit me. He always had something in tow for my children and of course me. He taught me so much about flowers and trees. I always shed tears on this day. Not for the loss of him but for the everlasting love he gave me. It does hurt so good to remember him.
I hope everyone reading this realizes how precious time is. Your parents and grandparents will not be here forever. They have a treasure trove of memories and of times past that can help us through our current situations with the crisises of America. Please sit down and talk to them. Give them your ears and your time. People are so very important. God gives you each other to help and to heal. It's not always going to be easy, but it is so very worth it to invest in people and communities. My father grew up in the Great Depression. He knew hunger. He experienced bravery in the face of death. He knew if a person could be relied upon that was worth more than money. Did he learn all this overnight? Of course not, neither do we. As we go through this day and every day remember that it does hurt so good to remember those we love. But what a priceless treasure it is to have been loved.
Sarah Anderson Alley
Sal the Grateful for Love Gal
Me: "Daddy why are you so brown?"
Dad: "I drink too much black coffee pumpkin."
"Shoot the ball Sally!"
"Sarah Anne there is no such thing as a sale."
Me: "Daddy I want a pair of Nike shoes."
Dad: "Just get a plain pair and write Nikki on them."
Me: "Forget it!"