See you on the other side, Dad

October 14, 2014 — 158 Comments

So yeah, I haven’t been around for a while. This is why.

Over the past several months my dad braved a massive onslaught—the evil ravages of severe COPD, liver disease, bladder cancer, and a handful of other medical problems. He had an astonishingly strong constitution but he was so tired from fighting such a difficult battle. Dad died on Saturday morning, October 11th, 2 months and 13 days short of his 76th birthday.

I was with him during his final days. We talked, we even laughed a few times, and I told him everything I wanted him to know. I also said I’d be pissed if he didn’t stop by every so often to haunt us and fuck with our lights.

We weren’t with him when he died—I think he wanted to check out on his own, without us hovering. I know he’s happy to be free of all that illness bullshit. I know because when my mother called to say he had just died, I felt a cloud of energy wrap itself around my head and shoulders like a shawl—it was full of happiness, relief, love, and peace. It was Dad, without a doubt, letting me know he was fine now. I couldn’t stop smiling for several hours after that. That was his final gift to me.

Everything looks strange, as if viewed through a filter or from a warped angle. I can look at something blue and know that it’s blue, but the color doesn’t look right somehow. Objects appear closer or further away than they actually are. My normal surroundings look familiar but foreign. The reality sometimes slams me out of the blue: Dad is really gone. It helps me to know he’s okay but it doesn’t keep me from crying.

Anyway, enough about me. This is about my dad. And in honor of his 100% Irish ancestry, his twisted sense of humor, and his fondness for the occasional cocktail or two, I’m holding a virtual Irish wake for him, where we’ll eat, drink, celebrate his life, and tell some stories. He’d like that.

So help yourself to some refreshments, mingle with the other guests, pour your favorite tipple—gin, tea, soda, beer, whatever—and let me tell you a few Dad stories.

For starters, Dad had the best poker face of anyone I’ve ever known. It’s a shame he didn’t actually play poker because he could have cleaned up and retired early. Between the poker face and the gravitas in his voice, he could have you believing almost anything he said.

When we were at restaurants, he liked distracting me during dessert so that I’d look away. When I looked back, my dessert would be gone. As I got older I became wise to this ploy. Mostly. One night he sat across from me and stared behind me. With a perfectly straight face and a calm voice he said, “Isn’t that strange…a three-headed man just walked in the door.” Mind you, I wasn’t a little kid at the time; I was about 16 and knew there was no such thing as a three-headed man. I said to myself, I am not turning around, he’s just messing with me again, I am NOT turning around…Β  But the expression on his face—a mix of genuine curiosity and confusion—would have convinced even a seasoned FBI profiler to check it out. What choice did I have? Of course I turned around. And of course there was nothing there. When I turned back, Dad had my chocolate pudding and a shit-eating grin on his face.

Then there was the time he had Army recruiters calling me. Those of you of a certain age will remember those business reply cards inserted in magazines, where you could send away to the Army, Navy, etc., for information on enlisting: Yes, please send me some materials on joining the United States Army. Dad filled one out with my name and contact information. I was 12 at the time. He figured they’d send me some brochures and it would be a good laugh and that would be that. Little did he know then that the gag would go even better than he expected; one night I received a call from a sergeant at our local Army recruiting office. I stammered through the call, trying to discourage the sergeant from having any further interest in me without disclosing that, you know, I was only 12 and my dad was just fucking with me. Dad was tickled pink that his prank yielded a bonus prank. He would talk about that sergeant for years. “That poor bastard…” he’d say.

Like most dads, mine had many words of wisdom. One of my favorites was the way he explained why he didn’t put any stock in UFO sightings:

“Think of the advanced technology required to travel light-years to earth. Now if you’re an alien that advanced, why would you fly all the way over here just to fuck around and play UFO??”

He was nothing if not practical.

Dad was a good-natured guy and very charming when he wanted to be. The nurses in the ICU said he was their favorite patient because he was pleasant and funny and never complained unless he was really in discomfort. That’s how he was. He didn’t make a fuss and he didn’t need anyone fussing over him.

Two days before he died, he said Mr. Weebles and I should have some fun while we were there (my parents retired to Florida, as all New Yorkers are required to do). He told us to go to Universal or Disney but urged us to avoid the new Harry Potter rides at Universal because he heard they were still ironing out some mechanical difficulties. Unbelievable. The Grim Reaper was pulling up to the curb and there was Dad making theme park recommendations. As if I’d leave him to go stand on line with a bunch of sniveling kids, obnoxious adults, and teenagers wearing TURN DOWN FOR WHAT t-shirts. As if I’d leave him to do anything.

For as long as I can remember, every phone call with my dad concluded with both of us saying, “Okay, talk to you later. Hug.” I don’t know how it started but it lasted right up to our last phone conversation—with him being 75 years old and me 46, we still said, “Okay, talk to you later. Hug.”

Here’s to you, Dad. Here’s to everything you were, and are. I love you, and I miss you. Talk to you later. Hug.

—————————————

I don’t want the comment thread to turn into a pile of maudlin. I’d rather continue the celebratory vibe, so I invite you to share a funny anecdote about one of your dearly departed loved ones.

Also, what’s that fragrance you’re wearing today? I find it especially provocative.

158 responses to See you on the other side, Dad

  1. 

    This is very sad.

    God bless your Dad and prayers for your family.

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  2. 

    Hey, Madame Weebles!! *hugs* to you and your Dad, who sounds like he’s one of the greatest men who ever lived. I’ll raise a mug of tea to him later on when I get a mug of tea. I would say “may he rest in peace” but from the sounds of it, he’d find that quite boring. So instead, I’ll pray that he’ll be haunting you for the rest of your earthly, until you can join him in the afterlife and pull pranks on each other and everyone else.

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    • 

      Amen, Lou! Dad would appreciate that—I suspect right now he’s enjoying catching up with people who died before him, having cocktails, etc. Then after the initial festivities are over, he’ll have more time to stop by, mess with my lights and hide my keys. πŸ˜€

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  3. 

    I won’t clog up your white space with sad laments because you are right, a fine Irish man like your Father would not have wanted it that way. So instead, I will honor him the way all we fine Irish folk do- with a song. It’s one of my favorites. God Bless.

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  4. 

    The anniversary of my Dad’s death was October 1. He had a similarly gruesome end and it was a relief when he passed. I was with him. Alone. My sibs had just stepped out of the room. They wanted to be there when he breathed his last breath. I wasn’t that sanguine about it. When he stopped breathing and it became clear he was not going to restart, my first reaction was, “Oh, shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!” My dad also had a great sense of humor. He was closer to my sister and brother. I’m not all that sure he didn’t know we were alone.

    This year, one year later, my sister was down. My brother was ignoring the day. I decided to remember my dad and his best friend making Chinese food on his Weber wok on the Fourth of July. As he tossed the food around, he kept shouting, “Banzai!” That was my dad.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

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  5. 

    Beautiful words. Your Dad sounds like a real peach. A good father is a kickass legacy. Mine died over a year ago. Whenever I said ‘oh my god,’ he would answer, ‘yes?’ To this day, I still hear him and I imagine I always will. xxoo

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  6. 

    As I read your post the familiarity rings clear as dad and I are doing the same dance as you write. Though mine is not a practical joker, he is a Casanova and we were just chatting about what fun it would be to chase all the pretty nurses around. I’m quite fond of Bailey ‘s and Guinness so I’ll make sure to stop off at the pub some time today and toast to them both…who says it has to be completely virtual! πŸ˜‰

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    • 

      Oh, Mrs. P, I’m so happy to see you here but I am very sad to know that you’re doing the same dance with your dad. It’s not the sort of father-daughter dance anyone wants. My dad could be quite the flirt too, I’m sure yours is quite the charmer with the ladies. Big big hugs to you, I know how difficult a time this is for you, and I’ll be raising a glass to your dad as well.

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  7. 

    So sorry to hear about your dad. You’ve given him a wonderful tribute here. What a gem he sounds like.

    But about that dessert stealing–hmm, he and I might’ve had some words over that. No one touches my chocolate pudding. πŸ˜‰

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    • 

      Thanks, Carrie. My dad and Mr. Weebles are probably the only two people on earth who wouldn’t risk a sudden, painful death if they tried to take my chocolate pudding. Otherwise, I’m right there with you, sister.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Hugs.. To honor your request, after the hustle and bustle of dad’s funeral, we returned to my mom’s house. We were sitting in the dining room when the microwave fan and lights went nuts. It happened for about 10 minutes and then never again. We all got a laugh.

    That scent is eau de garlique…it keeps vampires (and everyone else away). ;0)

    Good to see you back and hope to see more. Hugs.

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    • 

      Eau de garlique is one of my favorites. It keeps vampires away and it’s good for your immune system. I wouldn’t say it would keep everyone away, just those without a discerning palate!

      Thanks for your kind words, 1jaded1. Your dad obviously has some mischief in him as well. I hope my my dad drops by to causie the electronics in my house to go haywire too. Hugs to you as well, sister.

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  9. 

    Weebs, I am sorry. I lost my dad some time ago, but I am certain he’s somewhere much better. I am sure yours is as well.

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    • 

      Thanks bro. I’m sure your dad is somewhere better too. Also, if you should meet a recruitment officer who served in NYC for many years and he has a severe nervous twitch, it’s probably the poor bastard who called me. Be extra kind to him.

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  10. 

    Peace to you and may be many pleasant memories bring you peace.

    You asked to share .. thus a couple of short ones. In the days before my mother’s funeral, I thought a lot … and lo and behold … I delivered a sermon at the service … and I was at peace from that day in 1987. … My mother-in-law passed away 10 months ago, and she was one of those people who oozed with kindness – thus something that sticks with me every day! … Today I also think of a friend who left this world suddenly and way to early. That was several years ago, and this weekend we’ll be attending her daughter’s wedding.

    Thanks for sharing yours, especially because I’m sure tears where flowing as you wrote.

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  11. 

    Well Weebles, my fragrance speaks for itself. Eau de Lewin. It fucking rocks.

    I knew a guy in uni named Dave, scruffy hippy guy, really weird and pretty much everyone ignored him, but he had a great smile. He froze to death in a ditch during his second year; no one really noticed. Years into uni (and I spent a lot of time there), I got pissed up and stumbled out of downtown during a snow storm. Found a path underneath some trees and decided that I would lay down for a nap. Fuck, I don’t even know what was getting me down at the time, but it seemed like a good idea. Only, the ground wasn’t very comfortable. Kept rolling over and feeling something dig into my ribs. Got so tired of it I woke up and swept the snow aside. I’d been sleeping on a small monument that Dave’s family had left in the place he’d died. Figured, much as I didn’t know him well, that he was still smiling on me. I visit that plaque most times when I’m back there. Still don’t know the guy. Wish I’d taken more time.

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    • 

      I should have known that your natural scent would be intoxicating, Lewin.

      Poor Dave, that’s a hell of a way to die. He was probably looking at you, sprawled on his plaque, saying, “This really isn’t the most comfortable place for a nap, dumbass.” But I’m sure he said it with a smile.

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      • 

        I do cut a mean snow angel though. It’s gnarly.

        Glad to hear your voice, Weebles, even with sad tidings. When you’re ready, give us some of your written blog assault, like only you can. Well, and that I’m better at, but that’s beside the point.

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  12. 

    Thanks for sharing, I lost my Dad a couple of years ago too, and like you I prefer to think of the little things, and happier moments. Such as: In London a few (ok 7) years ago, when he genuinely called over (or er, shouted a rather loud “Oi!”) to *quite famous* actor, Anthony Stewart Head of ‘Buffy’ fame(!) because I said I wanted to hug him… Needless to say I got my hug!
    I love the positivity in your post πŸ™‚ May it stay with you always x

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    • 

      Welcome, Kay, it’s nice to see you here–and thank you so much. Your dad sounds funny, I especially like the fact that he beckoned Anthony Stewart Head with an Oi! and not something a little more formal. Because really, why stand on ceremony when your daughter wants a hug?

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  13. 

    Hugs and happy memories, If dad’s are good for one thing it’s teaching us how to be strong. Mine also taught me to appreciate nature and to be a good host.

    That dessert stealing trick is priceless, now go out and conquer the world.

    Sending happy hugs your way.

    Bob

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  14. 

    A virtual Irish Wake: what an excellent idea, Weebs! I’ll have a Jameson on the rocks, please!

    My mom loved bargains and she could negotiate with sales people for just about anything. Peter loved shopping with her, especially in antique stores and flea markets as she would always ask in her beautiful Southern accent: “Is that your best price?” Pretty much always, it wasn’t.

    When my dad passed (five months before she made her exit), I spoke with her on the phone after the visit to the funeral home to make arrangements for his memorial service. Her first words were: “Tell Peter they gave me a senior discount for the funeral!” Miss you, Mom.

    Sending you a virtual hug. You’re right, your dad is feeling great and he loves you so much!

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    • 

      Your mom sounds quite enchanting, Cathy. Any dignified woman with a beautiful Southern accent can probably get a discount anytime she wants! I’m sure and Peter miss her tons. Sending you a virtual hug too, for your comment and for helping my dad and for being generally awesome.

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  15. 

    Dear Weebles, this is a very beautiful post to honour your Dad. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I love his explanation about UFO sightings. Think I’m going to use this quote myself, if you don’t mind of course.

    Thanks for sharing this story. Take care.

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    • 

      Herman, my dad would be honored (as would I) if you use his explanation about UFO sightings! Thank you so much for stopping by, I know you have a very close relationship with your dad and can relate to this. Give him and Mr. Bowie a big hug for me. Also my dad would have liked Bowie very much, he was a cat lover as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 

    May the earth lay light upon him….

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  17. 

    He was a great guy. It sucked seeing him in that condition, and I think he’s relieved to be free of all that. Knowing that he had a hand in you being so awesome must make him smile.

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    • 

      Garsh. He loved you too, you know. Obviously you have better bamboozling skills than I thought. It sucked seeing him in that condition and that’s why I’m so glad he’s free and happy now. My biggest hope now is that he comes to visit and makes unplugged appliances suddenly come to life, because I know how much you enjoy that.

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  18. 

    I’m finding it hard to find the right words here, because they’re never enough are they? Your dad sounds like a hilarious, intelligent, amazing man. Stealing your pudding? The Army? Brilliant.

    I’ve no doubt he’ll haunt you here and there. Give it time though. My dad waited a few days after he died. He died a week before Thanksgiving (his fave holiday) and managed to throw my mom’s camera from on top of the piano across the room and onto the table in front of about 15 people. And my mom’s coffee pot (the one he hated) actually caught on fire and blew up the day of his funeral. Oh, my dad’s got a sense of humor even on the other side. He’s haunted me (not in a scary way of course) and shown me signs for about 23 years now and never disappoints. We were very close and he was the best dad so of course I know he’s around me all the time looking out for me.

    Anyway, I am trying very hard not to be maudlin (but that’s what I’m good at!) I know you’re in a daze right now and things are completely turned upside down. These things take time and grief is so different for everyone. I’m so terribly sorry you lost your dad.

    If you ever need to talk or cry or vent or just want someone to listen who’s been there, you know where to find me. Anytime is fine, okay?

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    • 

      You rule, Darla. Thank you so much. I’m sure my dad will be along when he’s done hobnobbing with people upstairs, so I’ll give him some time. I’m glad your dad was the best dad (because all good dads are tied for best dad), and of course he’s looking out for his little girl. I wonder if my dad has met yours yet?

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  19. 

    I am so sorry sweetie!

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  20. 

    This is beautiful. I’m sure your Dad would love how you honor him. Makes me want to meet the guy – sounds super funny. πŸ™‚ I posted a few times about my dad.(link to 1 post: http://wp.me/p4eZuF-rL) His passing was very sudden & tragic. It’s taken a long time for me to be able to talk about him without getting all misty… Hugs!

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    • 

      Welcome, ma’am, it’s good to have you here. I read your post about your Dad, I’m so sorry for your loss, especially as it was so sudden, tragic, and untimely. He looks totally badass in that photo. I can imagine it took you ages to be able to talk about him without getting all misty. And you know, that’s okay. Also, I hope the cops and tow truck driver get the karma that’s coming to them. I’m never in Williamsburg (too many hipsters, it’s bullshit) but if I should ever be at that intersection, I will think of you and your Dad. Hugs to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 

        Aww, thanks! You’d probably never find yourself in that part of Brooklyn; it’s a very industrial area. He took that route home as a shortcut. Truck company paid a pretty big settlement but I’m not 100% sure what ever happened with the driver. I remember his name, that he was 28 when it happened (police blotter in the Daily News) and that I actually felt sorry for him. Having that on your conscience can mess with a person… Well, best case scenario anyway. πŸ™‚

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  21. 

    Your dad gave you some amazing gifts. I don’t feel like I have anything profound to say right now, but I heard this poem for the first time this weekend, and I loved it and find it kind of fitting.

    The Gift
    By Li-Young Lee

    To pull the metal splinter from my palm
    my father recited a story in a low voice.
    I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
    Before the story ended, he’d removed
    the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.

    I can’t remember the tale,
    but hear his voice still, a well
    of dark water, a prayer.
    And I recall his hands,
    two measures of tenderness
    he laid against my face,
    the flames of discipline
    he raised above my head.

    Had you entered that afternoon
    you would have thought you saw a man
    planting something in a boy’s palm,
    a silver tear, a tiny flame.
    Had you followed that boy
    you would have arrived here,
    where I bend over my wife’s right hand.

    Look how I shave her thumbnail down
    so carefully she feels no pain.
    Watch as I lift the splinter out.
    I was seven when my father
    took my hand like this,
    and I did not hold that shard
    between my fingers and think,
    Metal that will bury me,
    christen it Little Assassin,
    Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
    And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
    Death visited here!
    I did what a child does
    when he’s given something to keep.
    I kissed my father.

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  22. 

    I’m so sorry about your dad. He sounds amazing.

    The maudlin portion of this comment is now over.

    Damn, it’s good to see you back here! What you smell on me is the fact that I didn’t shower over the weekend. Yes, the long weekend. It’s like that sometimes.
    When is this virtual wake? It sounds brilliant. Can we commence now? It’s 11 am and I’ve been up for hours. I could use a cocktail.
    love,
    S

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    • 

      Girl, this virtual wake is ongoing so get your drink on. If it’s any consolation, I didn’t shower the whole time I was in Florida with my dad. I’m sure I was redolent of many really pleasant aromas. NOT. And thanks so much for the warm welcome back, it’s good to be here again.

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  23. 

    So sorry about your dad, but you did him well with this amazing tribute. There is so much we can’t control in life, but you are doing well to look at the positives.

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    • 

      Thank you very much, SK, that’s how I feel too—I can acknowledge that it sucks, and that I’m grieving, but there is so much I have to be grateful for, and so many happy memories associated with my dad, and it helps to think of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. 

    I know to whom my next whisky is raised.

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  25. 

    You Dad sounds like great fun. Him and my dad would be best buds. My dad died over 11 years ago from cancer. But when I was a very very shy teenager he used to tell dirty jokes just to try and get me to blush. Once he came home from work with an ad cut out from a magazine, he gave it too me and asked me what it was. It was rings, penis rings, (I didn’t know that at the time). So I told him I didn’t know what it was and then he explained it to me. That time I did blush! He got a good laugh at that one. He was a good man with a warped sense of humor. I got mine from him. Big hugs.

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    • 

      Daayyum, your dad sounds naughty! My dad enjoyed a good dirty joke too, I’m sure he and your dad are trading good ones upstairs. The gift of a warped sense of humor is one of the best gifts a dad can give his child, so cheers to your dad, Jackie.

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  26. 

    I’m so sorry for you Weebles : (

    I love you!!

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  27. 

    I will most definitely accept a beer. Thank you for the offer. Give me a few minutes for the alcohol to loosen my lips (crowds make me want to crawl into a hole), and then I’ll tell you about my GG.
    *gulps 12ozs*
    Oh that silly silly woman. I still quote her to this day. She’d say the most backwards things, and then upon seeing the perplexed look on one of our faces she would wave her hand and dismiss it with “listen to what I mean, not what I say”. Whenever I’d get all pouty and selfish, she’d remind me to look beyond the end of my nose. When my cousin told her that she was going to be a Great Grandma, GG looked at her and said, “what do you mean? I’m already a great Grandmother.” Ha! And my mother wonders where I get my snark.
    Any time anyone gets lost (and that’s still possible even with GPS) we laugh that they must have taken the “Katherine Route” because she was famous for detours and shortcuts that never worked out quite as well as she had hoped. I saw a lot of the backcountry because of her “shortcuts” and I know it’s why I’m a road-trip travel addict now.
    She never missed a grandchild event, from soccer games to birthday parties to family vacations. That was what made her death hit, at my daughter’s first ballet recital, the first event in 34 years she wasn’t in attendance. *sniffles*
    When she was 70 she learned that the birthday she had celebrated all her life wasn’t actually her birthday (oops, her parents hid her for 3 months so the birthdate and wedding anniversary lined up) and from then on she insisted we celebrate both. And of course, we did. Every year for 22 years.

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    • 

      She’s the kind of woman I want to be when I’m older. Hell, I wouldn’t mind being that kind of woman now. She sounds like a great grandma, in both meanings. Thanks for sharing some of your GG with us, Melanie. I think my dad will enjoy hanging out with her.

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      • 

        She’s an infamous flirt. I’m sure they’ve already met and shared a drink and swapped stories. Perhaps even played a game of cards.

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  28. 

    Madame Weebles,

    I’m wearing my usual mixture of half Irish, half Yugoslavian funk this morning with a trace of yesterday’s Gillette Cool Wave Pit Jelly.

    My Dad was British (the Irish chick and the Yugoslavian stud wanted nothing to do with me). Had we grown up in the same town our fathers would have sat together at quite a few parties.

    You’ve done a wonderful tribute here Weebs and the person you are continuously demonstrates your Dad’s great legacy.

    Love,
    Mark

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    • 

      The hell with the Irish chick and the Yugoslavian stud. I’m sure your Dad was an excellent man and would have made a good party companion to my own Dad. And thank you so much for saying such kind things, Mark. It’s much appreciated, and my Dad would appreciate it too.

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  29. 

    What a wonderful tribute, Julie. Your dad is probably shaking his head at you, wondering why you’ve chosen to write this instead of riding rides at Universal.

    And because you asked, right now I’m wearing Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo. This, along with Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb, is my favorite perfume right now.

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    • 

      Homeslice, I laughed out loud at this because I’m sure my dad would absolutely be wondering that! He’d say, “What the fuck are you writing posts about me for, I told you to go have some fun.” Oh Dad.

      I’ve never tried Jimmy Choo or Flowerbomb. My favorites remain the same: Shalimar and Coco. But not the Coco currently on sale, because Chanel has fucked around with the formulation since it originally came out in the 80s. So I snag vintage formulations on eBay instead. I prefer the Original Gangsta Coco.

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  30. 

    Dear Weebs,
    So sorry that it’ll be a while before your Dad gets to goof with you again. He sounds like a great, Irish Dad like mine. I can see the twinkle in his eye and the sly smile ready to open up. Be especially good to yourself in the near term.

    Whenever her kids told her (during their teen years), that she embarrassed her, my sister Judy would smile and tell them that she planned to embarrass them when she was old and crotchety when she had wheelchair races down the halls of her nursing home with me. Sadly, she died at 47, and we never got to race.
    About 8 months after Judy died, I took my Dad to visit his two sisters. One of them, Sally, was in a nursing home. I took Dad and Aunt Marion to visit Aunt Sal in the nursing home. Marion wasn’t doing well, and asked for a wheelchair when she was ready to leave. Dad said “HEY! I WANT ONE TOO!” So the three of them literally raced down the hall. I couldn’t quite decide whether to laugh or cry. Dad joined Judy not long thereafter, as did my two aunts. Heaven’s halls are pretty crowded with crazed Irish folks! And really, it sounds like your Dad will be there, at least cheering them on while stealing their dessert.

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    • 

      Thanks, Elyse, I’ve been trying to be good to myself because I know that’s what my dad would want me to do.

      Meanwhile, that’s a lot of Irish folk wreaking havoc up there. I feel bad for everyone else May our relatives be enjoying themselves immensely, rolling around in wheelchair races, stealing desserts, and generally having an excellent time.

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  31. 

    The thing that struck me most after my dad died was that the world just kept turning, and everyone else kept going on with their lives. I spent a lot of time keeping busy and cleaning up the house, because it was easier to do that than to curl up in a fetal position and sobbing (although I did that a few times).

    I only have my cuppa right now, but here’s to all the Irish dads who like to tell tall tales. ((Hugs)) to you and yours.

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    • 

      A good cuppa is just as good as any other drink, Mary. I know what you mean about how the world just keeps going, business as usual. It’s a very surreal thing–you’re thinking, “Don’t you understand?? I lost my dad, how can you just walk around like everything is the same??” I’ve been keeping busy too, it helps to maintain my usual routines, etc, although sometimes you do just have to give into the urge to sob and curl up in the fetal position. Hugs right back to you, and here’s to our Irish dads.

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  32. 

    I don’t have any funny stories, but thank you for the drinks and the sharing. Those oatmeal scotchies were to die for. I think those we love continue to look out for us from the other side. They’re gone, but not. πŸ˜‰

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    • 

      A good oatmeal scotchie is a beautiful thing and a joy forever, Dani. I agree, our loved ones are gone, but not. They’re still around, watching out for us, maybe messing with the lights every so often just for funsies. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  33. 

    Well, the most interesting beverages I have on hand are almond milk and aloe vera juice, so I’m fairly confident I’m about to get uninvited to this wake…and rightly so. I’ve failed you both. But before I go, may I say how happy I am that he had you for a daughter, and you had him for a pop? Sounds like all kinds of awesome.

    Cheers to him.

    p.s. I’m wearing Eau de Lasagne. It brings all the boys AND girls to the yard.

    Like

  34. 

    I’ve yet to watch a parent die. It’ll inevitable, yeah, but I did watch my paternal grandfather die. In those last few days in the hospital, we both realized how little we knew each other with a small exchange.

    Me: “I like a good whiskey.”
    Grandpa: “Whiskey?! That’s some strong stuff. When did you start drinking?”
    Me: “Oh, Grandpa, I lost my whiskey face a long time ago.”

    It was the look on his face that gave it away. He was a recluse and rarely went out of his house to communicate to anyone. His last words to me were to start a bank. I think he may have been under the influence of painkillers at the time.

    Like

    • 

      To answer the second question, I’m wearing “Blue” by Channel, and “Bearglove” deodorant from Old Spice the “wild” collection (because I’m such an animal). Now, I’m going to yell and make my pecks dance.

      Like

    • 

      So have you started a bank yet?? The Corvidae National Bank?
      It’s funny, the ways you learn how much or how little you know someone. It’s too bad your grandfather didn’t know you had been enjoying whiskey for a while (and let’s face it, we all do the whiskey face at first) but at least he learned a little more about you in the end. I will hoist a Jameson’s to your gramps.

      Like

  35. 

    My grandpa (who rather was like my father to me) used to tell all kind of jokes as if they had really happened, assuring me and everybody who was listening, he was not joking. Very german my grandpa πŸ˜‰
    I am wearing Jill Sander, Style, today, I like it on working days as it is not too heavy. Unless I literally bathe in it – I once had a showergel by this … too much for my cousins nerves … I know it is dangerous for me to have Style – everybody knows that a woman with style shoots herself on her 30th birthday … And I am WAY beyond that date of expiry.

    Like

    • 

      I’m way beyond that expiration date too, sister. But in my opinion, most women under the age of 30 don’t know what to do with style; they can’t own it because they don’t have enough life experience. Now, you and I, and other 30+ ladies, we can create our style and work it like nobody’s business.

      Did your grandpa ever admit that he was joking? Or did he always leave you guessing?

      Like

  36. 

    Ok, not maudlin. Your dad was special. Mine was signatory. I didn’t know him or spend growing up years with him, yet the trip I am on this very minute in italy is courtesy of him. Who is to know what sends us in our life orbits.

    Like

    • 

      Buone vacanze, Signora! I’m glad you were at least able to reap this benefit (aside from the benefit of life itself) from your signatory father, Writing Waters. Enjoy yourself heartily and toast to the people in your life who *are* special. I will think of you when I have a glass of good Italian red.

      Like

  37. 

    “…And may you be in heaven
    half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

    Just part of a random Irish toast I remembered. Had to giggle at the Irish prankster stories…my grandfather was the ultimate Irish prankster. Even picked April Fool’s Day to leave us.

    I will remember your dad every time I see a three-headed person, a UFO or an army recruiter. You’d be surprised how often that happens.

    My scent? L’eau de Cherry Garcia with a splash of Purell.

    You’ve been missed. Love you girlie.

    Like

    • 

      Dying on April Fool’s Day? Now that’s good timing.

      L’eau de Cherry Garcia and a splash of Purell—a classic, timeless combination if there ever was one.

      And thanks, girlie, love you too–I was thinking a lot about you when I wrote this, actually. I hope all is well with you and all the four-legged children.

      Like

  38. 

    Oh Weebs, you know I am sorry that your dad is gone, but also so glad you had him. Anyone who can put a smile on your face is pretty good in my books. I didn’t know he was a dessert stealer though; kudos to him for being charming enough to get away with it. You take good, good care of yourself in the days ahead, my friend. Your dad would have wanted you to. Treat yourself to a couple rides at Universal.
    My great Aunt Eva was my grandma Rose’s older sister. She was a hysterical old broad with no filter. She lived in her own house well into her 90’s, and came to visit my grandma one last time about 7-8 years ago. My grandma is prone to the sads, and started getting weepy about Eva leaving. Eva said, very matter of factly, “Rosie, in 5 years I’ll be pushing up daisies and in 10 you will too, why waste your time crying about anything right now?” Sure enough Eva died 5 years later, never having felt sorry for herself about anything.

    Like

    • 

      You, my friend, have made these past few months easier, and I will be eternally grateful to you for that. And I’m not just saying that because you have a sweet ass.

      I say we should embrace our inner Evas. Just think, we can be two sassy old broads living in our exquisite mansion with beautiful grounds, waited on by our hot male staff. Let’s do this.

      Like

  39. 

    My mother-in-law passed away last month. She was a hardcore shopper. She also had a habit of showing up at our house for holiday dinners and proclaiming that she thought the particular outfit she was wearing would be nice to be “laid out in”. It became a family joke when I told her on one such occasion not to spill any gravy on herself if she was planning on that. When she finally lost her battle with pancreatic cancer, the thought seemed to suddenly occur to us that there was no dress picked out. When my wife and father-in-law went to her closet, the perfect dress was sitting right there. My wife swears it wasn’t there before, but my mother-in-law was in no shape to shop for a month or more before she passed. In any case, we were able to take some comfort in not having having to worry about laying her to rest in the wrong garment.
    Sorry for your loss.

    Like

    • 

      That’s a great story, 1pp. Looks like your mother-in-law made sure she would be laid out in the right outfit after all! I’ve heard similar stories from people who swear that a particular item wasn’t there earlier but suddenly appeared. So many mysterious things out there that can’t be readily explained… And I’m sorry for your loss as well, please extend my condolences to your wife too.

      Like

  40. 

    My pleasure at seeing the alert to say you had blogged was immediately coloured with sadness for your loss, and I am so sorry to hear of it. But thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories.
    It reminds me, as if I need reminding, that it is almost 3 short years since I lost my own Dad. It was 6 months before I could write about that, but I am so glad I did and I do miss him every day. Here’s a link to share in the wake http://weekeef.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/fathers-day
    I think our respective fathers might have shared a few stories.
    Take care.

    Like

    • 

      Apologies for replying to to this so late, WeeKeef—it’s taken me a while to come out from under things myself, as it often does when you lose a loved one, doesn’t it. Thanks so much for sharing the post about your dad, he sounds like mine, teaching you about making your own way in the world. I hope they’re friends upstairs now.

      Like

  41. 

    I just sent you an email, Weebs.

    I would like to point out one positive you may have overlooked. With your dad on the other side and promising to come and flicker the lights, you are now one degree closer to meeting Robert Cornelius. Set out cocktails for three. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • 

      So I suck at emailing you and also replying to your comment. That is some bullshit right there.
      You had me at the mention of Robert Cornelius, as you know you would. Well played, sir. And expect an email.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. 

    So sorry for your loss, he sounds suitably awesome. This was a wonderful tribute. My next raising of my glass once I finish typing will be to him.

    Like

  43. 

    From one daddy’s girl to another – Big Hugs, Madame. What a treasure you gave your dad. Comfort to you, now and always.

    Like

  44. 

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope your dad grants your wish with some wonderful haunting.

    My dad died ten years ago of COPD and all its horrible complications, too. Like you, as much as I didn’t want to lose him, it was a relief to know he wasn’t suffering anymore. I was with him when he took his last breath, and in some odd way it eased my mind to see that he was truly no longer inhabiting that broken body.

    My dad wasn’t the ‘haunting’ type, but the night after he died I had a vivid dream. In it, he was youngish again, maybe in his late forties, back when he was still a big powerful man. He was wearing a terrible polyester shirt from that era, and he’d obviously been working outside. His hair was windblown and his eyes were happy. In my dream I made some smartass comment, I don’t know what. He said nothing, just smiled and hugged me, and then the dream ended and I woke feeling an incredible sense of love and peace.

    Even now, sometimes when I’m driving the open roads alone I can sense him in the passenger seat, eagerly watching the countryside unfold, alert for every detail just as he was in life. Here’s hoping you get the same sense of companionship with your dad.

    And welcome back, Madame! I’m so pleased that you like my perfume, Eau de Turkey (it was Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend). I may still have a seductive touch of gravy lurking behind my ears.

    Like

    • 

      COPD really is an awful disease. I mean, they’re all awful diseases, but there’s something so awful about watching a loved one struggle just to get enough oxygen. I love that dream you had, Diane. I’m sure that was him saying “It’s all good now!!” That’s the vibe I got when I felt that energy around me right after my dad died. I bet our dads are hanging out right now having a smoke. πŸ˜€

      Like

  45. 

    He was the BEST. He is the best. And I feel so privileged to have known him, spent time with him, and will forever hear his voice on our answering machine “hullo..its me…” I’m sad you are now part of “the club”–and I’m here for whatever you need. As with many things, the journey is not linear, but his love surrounds you and your amazing presence is a testament to how wonderful and wondrous he is.

    Like

    • 

      And he was so fond of you, as if you were his other daughter. He always asked about you and how you were doing. He was very glad to hear that you have a man and a job that made you happy. Sucks that you joined the club so long ago, but I’m sure Myrna and my dad have spent time chilling together. And like you, I’ll always be able to hear his voice on our answering machine.

      Like

  46. 

    Just said a farewell to my mother about a month ago and have been on the road for most of the time since… just settling into What Lies Ahead. You might make the perfect virtual travel mate as we both excavate this territory in our heads and hearts… Momma has already made it known that she is watching me very carefully as i settle her estate and keep the family together. Clever gal, that Momma of mine… fought to the last breath, too. So cheers to your Dad, Madame Weebles! i will do my best to distract him while we both swipe his drink… Dessert theft is for rookies! ❀

    Like

    • 

      Wait, what?? How the fuck did I miss all this? I’m so sorry, my dear. Both for not knowing about your mom and for my mega-tardy reply. It’s a weird space to be in, and sometimes I wake up and forget that he’s gone until I remember. And then it’s, “yeah, he’s still dead.” Your Momma was a tough broad, just like her daughter. Cheers to her, and yes, let’s distract my dad and swipe his martini, that’ll show him!! πŸ˜€

      Like

  47. 

    First off, I’d like a Bailey’s Irish Cream. Make it a double. And for my Dad in heaven, he always had a gin martini, so I’ll get one for him. I remember one time when I was about 16 and my older brother and I decided to host a small party while at our summer cottage. Dad decided to get a partial keg of beer for all of us teenagers. It was such fun. He also made sure that no stray people were allowed in. He wouldn’t recognize the teenager trying to come in the door, so he’d get me or my brother and ask us if we knew this person. When we said no, he’d flat out tell the person to leave. Great bouncer! And don’t worry, no one drove home drunk. We were good about driving each other home. Since we all lived on a rather small island, it made things easy.

    During my Dad’s last years, when someone would ask how he was doing, he’d say that he was still on the right side of the grass. Well, he’s on the wrong side of the grass now, but right after he died, I was in the middle of taking a short class called Communication with Spirit, so I tried to get in touch with him. What I distinctly got was, “Woo hoo! I’m free!!!”

    Like

    • 

      A little late (the service at this bar is obviously really shitty), but one Bailey’s coming up. And like your dad, mine was fond of a gin martini so let’s each have one of them too. Your dad sounds like a very good guy, I’m sure I’d like him a lot.

      I had a similar experience as you, although it wasn’t an intentional communication–it was right after my dad died, I was on the phone with my mother when she called to tell me he had died. And the energy wrapped around me and I had this overwhelming sense of happiness and utter, utter relief at being free of that body prison he was trapped in. It was such an exhilarating, happy sensation that I didn’t stop smiling for several hours after that, even though he had just died that morning. So I totally get what you’re saying here.

      Here’s to our dads, M2M. *clink*

      Liked by 1 person

  48. 

    I’m sorry for your loss Weebs. I am, however, reminded of a story that my father has told my brother and I many times. My family grew up Catholic. The priest would often come over to his house for poker night, back when dad was a kid. One night, after many drinks and cigars someone decided to ask the Father what he thought of the Devil. The Father looked up and exclaimed…”The Devil? The Devil?! Fuck that guy!!!”

    Like

    • 

      Now that’s my kind of priest, BroJo. My dad grew up Catholic as well, and because of that, he stayed away from religion completely as an adult. His experience with the nuns, priests and brothers at Catholic school were enough to sour him on the whole thing. If there were more priests like the one you’re talking about here, maybe it would have been a different story!

      And stay tuned for some videos on your FB feed. I’ll find something good for you. πŸ˜€

      Like

  49. 

    Hi! It’s me Speedo…so sorry to hear about your Da. Cheers to you and him!! Loved your description of the ‘shawl’ and of your distortedness of things. Beautiful and sad all at once. Ah life, right?? Fuckitallanywayletsdrink. ❀

    Like

    • 

      Speedo! I will file your new name in my brain for future reference. Thanks so much for the kind words–yes, it’s beautiful and sad at the same time. I think you said it best: Fuckitallanywayletsdrink.

      Like

  50. 

    My condolences Mrs. Weebles. In the spirit of your request, I have no interesting family stores but my best friend, David, had a moment at his Dad’s funeral. David’s dad, Stan, had not been well for a number of years, and he would feel poorly, check into the hospital where he would rest for a few weeks, then come back home recharged. It seemed when he got out of the hospital that he was healed but he would only start to feel poorly after a few weeks and the cycle would start over again. This went on for about 2 years and each time it was a little shorter duration at home and a little longer in the hospital. One day, in hospital, he passed away with the family all gathered around.

    At the funeral, there was a family greeting line and David was standing beside his Mom, Martha, thanking people for coming. The casket was open at the front of the room. Now David has a very, very wicked sense of humor and I guess he got it from his Mom. So, they were shaking hands and hugging family and community visitors when these two elderly women came up to offer their condolences. One turned to David’s Mom and said “Oh. Martha, Stan looks so good.” And David pipes up : “He should, he just got out of the hospital.” David and his Mom cracked up laughing and the ladies wandered away confused.

    Your Dad will always be watching over you Mrs. Weebles and I’m sure you can feel that..

    Like

  51. 

    I am so sorry for your loss and wish you and your family peace and support during this difficult time.

    Like

  52. 

    My condolences Madame Weebles.

    Only my Great-Grandma has passed during my lifetime and the older she got, the more viciously racist she became. It got to the point where she was having a foul-mouthed tirade at some poor black nurse who was cooking her dinner before she realised I was sat there looking horrified. Her response to my horrified glance was to give me some cash which can only be described as hush money. She thought that she’d given me Β£5. She’d actually given me five 1p coins.

    Like

    • 

      And did you tell her that 5p was not nearly enough to keep mum on her tirade and that she would need to cough up a LOT more than that? πŸ˜€

      Thanks for the condolences, my dear sir, and I hope all has been well on your side of the pond.

      Like

  53. 

    Weebs! Oh, my deepest sympathies. Your post was so full of love and adoration of your dad. I didn’t know your dad was Irish. My mom is Irish as well. I smiled when I read about his shawl of peace and love he wrapped around you, his final gift to you. I hope you can carry that with you always. My dad plays that little game, telling me that something is there when it’s not. He had such a sweet tooth. His poker face isn’t so good though.

    Like

  54. 

    Weebs, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. But from your post, I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s had a great time reading it over your shoulder and reliving those memories with youβ€”and making a move on your dessert.

    I hope the “warm shawl” is always there for you and the lights are blinking.

    Like

    • 

      I like to think he was reading it over my shoulder too, JM. πŸ™‚ No lights flickering so far (I’m going to have a stern word with him about that) but the memory of that warm shawl is still there, and probably always will be.

      Like

  55. 

    That’s awesome Madame Weebles. He will treasure your words, I know. He loved you more than anything, from the minute you were born, and he always will. As for his messing with your electronics, no one would be more qualified than he. Electrical engineers have a special flare you
    know.

    Like

  56. 

    Sounds like your father was a delightful man. I love the dessert trick, especially after the jig was already up! πŸ™‚

    I can’t listen to a Chicago song without thinking about my grandpa and welling up, since he died around the time the band was constantly on the radio. He raised me my first five years, along with my mom and grandma, and he was my absolute hero. I wanted to read books and eat cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches just like he packed in his lunch pail everyday before leaving for his welding job. I remember him asking me repeatedly not to jump down the stairs, as it broke the lightbulb in the staircase below, and he finally resorted to thumping me on the head each time I did it. It didn’t hurt too awful much.

    Thanks for asking us to share. I wish you peace and healing.

    Like

  57. 

    This was a wonderful tribute. I do think our loved ones visit us from the other side. It’s a comforting experience during the pain. My thoughts, prayers to you and yours. Audra

    Like

    • 

      I think they visit us too, Audra. I haven’t noticed my dad visiting–he should have been flickering the lights and screwing with all the electronics, but so far all there’s been none of that. But it’s been only 8 months since he died so I’m sure he’s still catching up with people up there. Hopefully he’ll stop by soon. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  58. 

    Between my travel and annoying Internet problems, I haven’t been able to stop by for a shot of whiskey in celebration of your dad. I’m here now, so start pouring. Here’s to your dad.

    One of my favorite memories of my sweet uncle is that he would send packages to our girls at Easter. The return address always said, “Easter Buncle.” Love that.

    Find peace, MW. Your dad would want you to, I’m sure.

    Like

    • 

      Hi Robin!! Sorry I’m so late to reply to this, I hope you’ve been well and that the Stroganoff is cookin’! And now that I’ve heard so much more about your uncle, I find this story about him even more endearing.

      Like

  59. 

    First, my apologies on the death of your father. He sounds like he was definitely one of a kind. I don’t share too many personal, deeply personal, stories on my own blog. I think it’s brave to put this on your blog, and even braver to let everyone know you’d rather read more about your Dad’s life and his celebration of it rather than his death. That’s awesome. I send you peace and a great memory to recall all of your memories with him so you can keep them close to your heart, ready to remind you of him at any moment.

    Like

    • 

      Your Highness, thank you very much. I don’t often share things that are deeply, deeply personal, but in the case of my dad, I am absolutely willing to share. Thank you again!

      Like

  60. 

    Over time, I’ve loved the stories of your father… he reminds me of my mother. She too was ever the practical joker, and it’s one of the things I most loved growing up. She was the first one to jump in a swimming pool, at a party– with her clothes on! She always had everyone laughing. Here’s to your dad, Weebs, and my mom– I know they are both out of pain, sidled up to the bar, and playing a practical joke on someone. Hugs. xox

    Like

  61. 

    I was with my dad when he went to the ‘other side.’ Same flash of huggable energy. Several of my friends have experienced it also when a parent passed. Non qualifiable, but SO true. (Just made up that word, but I’m allowed to – I’m a writer.) My dad was a HUGE practical joker. Too long a story to tell here, but it could be a good blog post. I wish you many hugs – they’re still there.

    Like

  62. 

    I’m sorry you lost your dad Weebles! It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship. I’m suffering a very small flare-up with my COPD right now because of sinus problems, so I can certainly empathize with what your father was facing. Just a couple weeks ago we returned from an emergency trip to Winnipeg where we went to say goodbye to hubby’s godmother/second mother. She passed away on Nov. 1. Right until the end she held court in her hospital bed, making sure everything was exactly the way she wanted it! Her only complaint was it took too long to get this part of her life over with. We will miss her very much.
    I’m sorry I am so far behind in my reading so I only discovered this post today.

    Like

    • 

      Hiya, Benze baby! By now I hope you’re feeling much better–and no apologies, obviously I’ve taken a while to reply to comments. I trust you’re doing well now. I see from your blog that you’ve moved back to Winnipeg, I hope all is going well. I’m sorry about your and your husband’s loss, she sounds like she was a tough broad!

      Like

  63. 

    You know my sister was sick, right?
    Cancer.
    She died May 22.
    I have lost any ability to put words together… like … one after the other… you know?
    I know you understand.
    Very much love to you dear girl… Very much love.
    XO

    Like

    • 

      Janet, my Janet, I am so so sorry. I don’t think I knew your sister had been sick, and I am so so sorry for your loss. It’s been just over a year now since your sister died, I hope you and your family are holding up okay. I know what you mean, the words going one after the other. It’s one day at a time, until the sharp edges of the pain and grief are a little blunted, so it doesn’t hurt as much. Very much love to you as well, dear one.

      Like

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Yeah, I know, I know. « Fear No Weebles - April 18, 2016

    […] is mostly my dad’s fault, by the way. As many of you know, Dad had the nerve to die 18 months ago. Way to cramp my style, bro. Grief barges in whenever it wants, and it camped out with me for a […]

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