Sunday, June 15, 2008
It's a glorious start to a Fathers Day, getting up to a see video of our granddaughter singing a song to her daddy with help from her mom. As any grandmother will understand, that child gets cuter every blessed day.
Next, of course, there were the little gifts "Gramps" got to open. When the package came from the kids yesterday, I managed to stuff it away just before he walked into the room. Then this morning I had to really stop and think before I remembered where I stuck it. Good going, Granny.
The kids are so good at pinpointing those things that are special — the beef sticks and red vines, and those wonderful flattened pennies. Those are best of all, since they say, "Hey, we were on vacation to somewhere special, and we still thought of you!" I managed to replace a broken tire pump without him knowing about it, so he was pretty happy with his haul.
For me, though, Father's Day is more in the memories, and it starts about a month early. It usually begins when I start working on the music to sing in church that weekend. My mind goes back to the music we shared, the fun and the laughter, the insults and the love.
One way we four kids liked to celebrate both Mothers Day and Fathers Day was to put on a show. We'd make up written programs and work up costumes, usually frightfully comical, I suppose. The little plays were filled with lines like "Queeny, Queeny, it's for free!" and "Oh, Glory, I'm so a-scared!"
We'd sing and dance, have our little skit, and it would all be noted on the program. Then, at the bottom of the program, as often as not, would be our little litany of how many prayers we had offered up for their souls. Don't you dare laugh at that. We were pious little devils.
I suppose the whole notion of our program, if I'm really honest about it, was in being the opening act for Daddy. When we were all done, Mama would go to the kitchen to bring out food, and Daddy would bring out his guitar, and the real entertainment would begin. He could play, by ear, as he didn't read music, songs from his Chet Atkins or Les Paul records. He did a mean Elvis impersonation, sang Hank Williams like the original, and had a vast repertoire of Irish comedic music, not all of which was appropriate for young ears. I could sit at his feet for as long as he could play.
What would you grab if there was a fire? Mama gave me his guitar. It's a 1948 Silvertone, made the year I was born, the first year the Silvertones were produced in fact. I treasure it as I do as the memories. I'd say that's the one thing in this house that no amount of money could replace.
Happy Fathers Day, Daddy. I miss you still.