Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dads and Birthdays and Favorite Stories

Happy Hump Day

Hope you don't mind but I'm going to start with something a little different today.

My father was a great story teller. Not fiction, he'd just tell stories of his life but he was so good at it people always wanted to listen. I remember my brother once complained that his friends would come over to hang out and end up gathered around Dad, just listening to him talk.

This week I'm thinking a lot about a story Dad loved to tell. It's the story of his 24th birthday - the day I was born. I'm going to try to tell it the way he did, in his words.

I was working days and going to school nights on the G.I. Bill, like most guys after the war. It was about 10:30 at night and I got off the bus a couple blocks from Kay's parents place. We were staying there so they could help take care of Corky - he was about two then - while Kay was pregnant. I was coming down the sidewalk and I saw the car at the corner, with Kay and her mom and dad, waiting for me.

I said to myself, "Well, isn't that nice? They've come to take me out for an ice cream for my birthday." I didn't want to spoil the surprise or act too excited so I was playing Joe Cool, sauntering down the sidewalk, taking my own sweet time. As I got to them, I said, "Hey, what are you guys doing here?", like I wasn't even thinking about it being my birthday.

Kay's dad, who never swore, smacked his hand on the steering wheel and yelled, "Will you get in the G-- damn car. She's having the baby."

I got in and we raced to the hospital. I was wheeling Kay in - you know, in the wheelchair - and this nurse stops us. She's got a clipboard and a pen and she says, "Hold on. We've got to complete these forms before we take you upstairs."

And Kay, in that quiet way of hers, said softly, "Oh, I don't think we have time for that."

Something must have told the nurse Kay was right because she shoved the clipboard at me, told me to start filling it out, and took Kay upstairs.

Fifteen minutes later, Linda was born.

I know I don't tell it as well as he did but I just felt like sharing it today.
He always said I was the most expensive birthday gift he ever received.

Growing up, there were times I actually resented having to share my birthday. Every cake always said, "Happy Birthday - Linda and Dad".

As I got older, I loved sharing that cake with him and singing "Happy Birthday" to each other..

I'm very lucky that we got to spend all of our recent birthdays together. Including his last one.

This Saturday, May 9, will be the first birthday I haven't shared with my Dad but I think I'll sing to him anyway.  And I'll put both our names on the cake.
Happy Birthday, Dad.

Okay, I know it's still hump day and you need your funny, so here's a quick joke. (Dad would have loved this one.)

Two little old ladies, Connie & Evelyn, were sitting on a park bench outside the town hall where a flower show was in progress.

Connie leaned over and said, "Life is so boring. We never have any fun anymore. For ten dollars I'd take my clothes off and streak through that stupid flower show."

"You're on," said Evelyn, holding up a ten dollar bill.

So Connie slowly fumbled her way out of her clothes. She grabbed a dried flower from a nearby display and held it between her teeth. Then, completely naked, she streaked (as fast as an old lady could) through the front door of the flower show.

Waiting outside, Evelyn heard a huge commotion, followed by loud applause and whistling. Finally, the smiling Connie came through the exit door surrounded by a cheering, clapping crowd.

"What happened?" asked Evelyn.

"I won $1,000! First prize for 'Best Dried Arrangement!"'

Come on, you know you laughed.

 And, of course, I wouldn't leave you without your "aw".

How about this one?


That's it. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my dad today.
Hope we got you over the mid-week hump and cruising to the weekend.
Have a good one.

See you next week.

Thought for Today:


mshatch said...

Aw, that's such a sweet story and how nice you got to share your birthday with your dad! He sounds like a great guy. And I did laugh!

Angela Brown said...

Awww... that is for you and your dad sharing birthdays and for the snuggle buddies.

And I giggled a bit too much at that funny. Lol!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you won't get to share his birthday with him. Then again, he almost missed your initial birth date!

Carol Kilgore said...

Great story! Happy Birthday early :)

Karin said...

Happy birthday and Happy anniversary! Let's get on the calendar for next year!! Loved the story about your Dad. I never met him but I know I would have loved him. Enjoy your sweet memories of your time together!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a funny story. I'm glad your father was able to relate it to you.

LD Masterson said...

Mshatch - Thanks, and I'm glad.

Angela - you can never giggle too much.

Alex - Yeah, but he was always there when I needed in.

Carol - Thanks, for both.

Karin - You really would have. Happy Anniversary to you guys, too. I e-mailed you about next year.

Diane - When we were all together just before he died, he was telling old family stories (including that one) to his grandkids and I had the sense to pull out my phone and record him. They're not great videos but I'll treasure them.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

LD ~
That joke was so funny! I did more than just laugh - I guffawed!

And I can just look at those pictures of your Dad and KNOW I like him.

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, L.D.

That's a great story. Imagine what you father had felt to have his own child born on exactly the same day as his...Such a special bond. It shows in your pic with him.

My brother and father were a day apart. Which as a kid I really enjoyed. A birthday cake on one day followed by another the next day!

dolorah said...

It was a really good story Linda. You told it well :)

Best dried arrangement: I love it.

Anonymous said...

Loved the story. Thanks so much for sharing!

Linda G. said...

I'm chuckling and aww-ing with watery eyes. Such a great story about your dad! Early Happy Birthday to you. And your dad, who will always be there in your heart to share it with you. :)

LD Masterson said...

Stephen - Yay! I love a good guffaw.

Michael - My brother wasn't quite as thrilled. Since the joint birthday always falls within a couple days of Mother's Day, he had to come up with a gift for everyone in the family while he got nothing.

dolorah - Nah, Dad told it. I just repeated it. Thanks.

barbtaub - Thank you.

Linda G. - Thanks. Yes, he will.

Al Diaz said...

I was in the aw moment since your father's story. Reminded me of my grandfather. Happy belated birthday, LD. Dragon Hugs!

Lexa Cain said...

What a wonderful story about your father. No wonder kids liked to listen to him talk. That's so cool that you were born on the same day. I'm so sorry he's no longer with you, but I love the idea of putting his name on the cake.

"Dried arrangement" - Hahaha!

The "AW" is AW-esome!

Have a great weekend and very Happy Birthday!

Maria Zannini said...

Happy birthday, sweetie, to you and your dad, who I'm sure still celebrates with you. :)

Cate Masters said...

Your dad sounds like a wonderful guy. How cool that he was a great storyteller.
Hope you have a wonderful birthday, though I'm sure it will be bittersweet without him.

LD Masterson said...

Al - Thanks. And you're not "belated" yet. Our birthday is tomorrow.

Lexa - I got you with the joke and the "aw" - yay! And thank you.

Maria - Thanks, hon. I believe he does.

Cate - He truly was one of a kind. I was blessed to have him for my dad.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a wonderful story. You even made my eyes leak a little. I know your dad will especially be in your thoughts tomorrow, and I hope you have a wonderful day, filled with happy memories, and creating new ones. (Have a second piece of cake for him!)

Jemi Fraser said...

Happy Birthday Linda!! Hope you have a wonderful day and revisit lots of lovely memories of you and your dad. He sounds like an awesome man! :)

Love the pup at the end too - such joy!

Stephen Tremp said...

Happy Birthday! I'm sure your Dad is looking down and celebrating!

And that's a great story. My roommates, a married couple, were stuck and traffic and had their second born in the back seat of their car.

LD Masterson said...

Susan F.S. - Thank you. I'm having that leaky eye problem myself.

Jemi - He was truly that. Thanks.

Stephen - Oh Lord, I'm glad my mom held out till they got to the hospital.

Mike Keyton said...

Fabulous story, understated and powerful. AND I love your thought for the day. It should be on every bathroom mirror as you clean your teeth. Like someone else said, I'm sure he's still with you in more sense than one.

Julie Dao said...

Sounds like your dad was not only a wonderful guy, but a wonderful storyteller! How nice that you shared a birthday, and that you got to be together for his last one. I hope you yourself had a lovely day <3

cleemckenzie said...

Yes to all of this! From the super story by Dad to the pup and kitty, to freedom of the open gate!

Kristin Smith said...

That was the best story and such a sweet tribute to your dad. I hope you had a happy birthday! I'm sure it was bitter/sweet.

I laughed out loud at the "dried arrangement" joke. Great one!! :)

Crystal Collier said...

Happy birthday--late. What a sweet story. He sounds like quite the character, and I love that you had his name on the cake too! Sending virtual hugs and cheese.

LD Masterson said...

Mike - Thank you. I believe he is.

Julie - He was both, and thanks, I did.

C. Lee - Hey, I'm glad you liked it.

Kristin - That joke cracked me up. I love that kind.

Crystal - Late is fine. Especially when it comes with hugs and cheese.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

The picture was cute, but the story was the best Aww. What a great memory of your dad.

LD Masterson said...

Thanks, Jenn.

farawayeyes said...

I love this post. One of your best ever. You not only share your birthday with your Dad, but you look like him. This first part was the best awe moment EVER. It brought a tear to my eye, in a good way.

My Dad will be gone 15 years this coming Dec 1 and I still miss him every day. He was a great storyteller also.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi LD - what a lovely story of your birthdays and am so pleased you were able to share so many of them with your Dad ... Men - "Joe Cool .. sauntering down the sidewalk ... " fantastic - he had a sense of timing though.

Love the dried flower arrangement! Cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

I loved the story about your dad. He sounds like he was a wonderful man, and now I know where you got your terrific sense of humor! Though it must have been sad, I hope that you were still able to have a nice birthday, LD. Thanks for cheering me up with the "dried arrangement" joke! Oh, and I enjoyed seeing the cute photos of you and your dad!