On February 9, 1958 he stood in a room at the Methodist Children's Home in Detroit and a social worker put a screaming "bundle of joy" in his arms. He turned and said, "we have a daughter" as tears streamed down his face. At that moment, and a great testament to his ability to exhibit unending patience, I became Daddy's little girl. I was a difficult child and a worse teenager but he met each challenge with love, patience and a sense of humor. Years later, he repeated the process when my husband left.
Dad took to being Grandpa like a fish to water. While I worked, he was the one who rode the bikes with them to and from school. He got them to their music lessons and listened while they practiced (nothing requires patience like listening to a budding violinist play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star over and over again). He taught them how to fish and he put up the basketball goal and taught them how to play. When inline skating became the big thing, there he was.
This morning I awoke to a phone call from my son saying that he was trying to reach his Grandparents and that they were not answering the phone. That has been the story of the last ten years-a phone call and a dash to the car. Ten years of strokes, heart attacks, cancer and phone calls. Ten years of doctor's saying that "this is it." Everything has changed and nothing has. He gets frustrated when we don't understand what he is saying but the moment passes and the sense of humor is back. He can't ride a bike anymore but you can see the love burst out of him when he sees his great grandchildren enter the room. To this day, he still gives my Mom a look that makes me blush. And I am still Daddy's little girl.
No emergency this morning-they were at Home Depot. Someday there won't be any more emergencies. He is a good man and he has earned that day. I will miss him.
Happy Father's Day to you all.