06 October 2016

dad time.

i was eight when my parents divorced,
and ten when us girlies (4) and mom
moved from illinois to california.
a new beginning.
not growing up in my
father's presence had
drawbacks .. and benefits.
hindsight allows wisdom
to take center stage,
along with mercy.
and grace. 
and perhaps deeper understanding
of history, reasons for particular
actions, treatment, or even
the private wounding
{self inflicted or cultural}
wrought by an old world family
or thoughtless counsel.

no matter the reasons or cause ..
i love my father without condition 
and am thankful for the time spent 
with him. having my 
next oldest sister with me
was icing on the cake 
and support during difficult
moments of the visit.
i'm hopeful that i
was support for her as well.

many years my father donned his
santa suit and played the role
every Christmas season. 
twinkly blue eyes, jolly face,
and booming ho ho ho laugh..

his birthday was saturday .. 87th!
shirley and i loaded a gift bag
with little things to make him smile,
including a whoopie cushion.
once hot air made the cushion puffy
he instructed us to place it on the couch
under the coverlet. we did. then
we waited for his brother our uncle 
who lives 45 minutes away,
to arrive. and sit. and make the anticipated
*toot* sound. it took our uncle 3 tries.. ?!?

at one point in the visit we were
being silly .. and took a picture
in which dad made a face.

we also worked.
hard. and the work wasn't
necessarily for the faint of .
masks and gloves. & tools.
and the hope we wouldn't
become physically ill...



in his younger years and really on until about 10 years ago he was a strong man, even featured in Muscle Man magazine. back in the day. years of heavy lifting and back breaking work have taken their toll on his knees and feet. 

those mobility issues have prevented regular 
housework from being completed. he refuses to have a house keeper come in ... with overall good reason (theft)
but still wish i could find a trust worthy person to care for his home on a regular basis. 

he did however sign a contract to allow for pool maintenance. while there his pool was drained and filled up again - and the filter function set. every week a man will visit and care for dad's beloved pool. yesterday he said it's getting blue and clear again. i doubt he'll ever be able to get in and swim .. but at the very least he can sit out on his deck area and enjoy the view. 
for that i'm thankful. 

deep cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out the refrigerator and scouring until it gleamed, removing old food, dusting, vacuuming, clean 3 sets of mirrored closet doors with an inch thick of i don't know what .. it's part of the deal. it's part of blessing a man who simply can't get around like he used to so things go undone - for a long time. the shower needed to be re-grouted along one floor seam so that was taken care of as well. narrowing down the cause, we thought that was why water was leaking through to the other side of the shower into the hallway. nope. 
troubleshooting continues.

we had some selfie fun ..
sherry on left * shirley on right

the kind of fun that leaves you in giggles
and sends you galloping for the potty like 
an inebriated hyena!
with the hope you make it in time!!!

4 sisters.
2 eldest have stylish short do's.
2 youngest have stylish long do's.
here's to top-knots!

every evening we'd make our way back to the hotel .. 
and every morning back to dad's.
good sister time. good daddy time.
we're thankful to have spent time with dad
and to bless him by taking on jobs
he can't otherwise complete
taking on these tasks
without complaint
amounts to respect & honor
of a man who used to
be able to
do it all.

what needs to be done in his
home could take a month 
of regular work .. shirley
and i only had a matter of days.
same for our other sisters
when they visit.

sure wish he lived
out west so all his girls could
have opportunity to be of help
and to love on him more often.
time with him was treasured.

the trip home was long. 5 hour flight
to our first stop .. then a long wait
before venturing off in separate 
flight paths toward the safe haven of home
and the embraces of our husbands. 

♥     ♥     ♥


Shirley said...

I will forever the treasure the time we had together on this trip and also our time with dad! I absolutely love these pictures (even the crazy ones! ha) We need to plan to go again and I just hope next time that those 'skitos don't get me...I had 8 bites!!! I love you Pee...

Anonymous said...

You two (all three!) are so cute!!! I got a good chuckle from it, thanks! -janice in Camarillo (T@B trailer)

Red Rose Alley said...

This is such a special post of you and your sisters taking care of your dad and spending sweet time with him. He certainly does look like Santa. And I love the picture of you and your sister being silly together. What a great reunion with the family. And bless you for putting a smile on your dad's face. :)


Cheryl said...

My heart is so moved as I read this post. I love that you are living in grace and forgiveness and that you are honoring your father. I know that is pleasing to our Father! (I pray another prayer that as you sow grace, you will reap grace.)

Oh, and I love seeing the smiles as you make the most of (ahem) difficult work. :D

I am praying for your father today as the storm passes through...

Sherry said...

i love you shirley!

Sherry said...

hi janice. :) every time i think on the silly selfies i laugh anew.

Sherry said...

yep .. i know dad really enjoyed the silly factor of the visit!
laughing is healing.

Sherry said...

per my eldest sister this morning .. dad made it through the hurricane! tried calling yesterday - no answer - so this news calms my heart. :)

Jan R. said...

I know you gals were such a blessing to him and to each other. Also, having fun during the visit leaves such great memories! So glad you and your sister could do this together and I know it blesses the other sisters who go at other times. Honoring our parents in the ways that they need is such a faithful calling.

Sherry said...

thanks sweet friend. the example you set in caring for your own father is such an inspiration - and one i hold dear to copy. love you.

Adrienne said...

What a treasure this trip of yours! Time spent to bless and honor and cheer your father will never be forgotten. So glad to hear he came through the storm well. Love seeing the photos of him and the crazies of all of you!

Sherry said...

thank you, ad! :)
i didn't include the picture of me in pigtails. wink.

Patti said...

What a blessing that you and Shirley were able to do so much to help your dad. I'm sure it meant the world to him. Is there any chance that Dad would relocate, so he could be closer to y'all?

Deanna Rabe said...

Oh Sherry! This blesses my heart! How sad for your Daddy living far from you girls, but what blessing to know you all go and visit and do what you can to help.

There is so much richness in this post, forgiveness, love, grace and mercy. I pray you will reap abundantly.

Cheryl said...

Praise the Lord!

Sherry said...

it has been the hope of all 4 of us that our dad would be willing to relocate out west. so far it's a 'no.' everything he knows and holds dear is there.. the history of 40 years with his sweet louise (wife.passed on 7 years ago), the VA and doctors, his grocery store (yes, even this was mentioned), etc. it's what he knows. and really, such a change even though he'd be near his daughters, may be traumatizing to him personally at the age of 87. we'll continue trying to convince him but ..

Sherry said...

thank you deanna. ♥
shirley and i are already planning to return.
need to save a few pennies to make it happen.

Sherry said...

hoping my daughter will be safe through the storm in myrtle beach (last location we know of and assume still to be). praying...

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post. Honoring and loving him. So encouraging!!!! ~tammy

Sherry said...

Deanna said...

Love the selfie of you two girls. Appreciate you sharing about your Dad. My Dad will turn 90 in November. I pray he makes this as he is failing quickly. I saw my folks for a few minutes this morning. My Dad no longer knows me. Really hard for my Mom as she's his caregiver. My relationship hasn't been a warm fuzzy one through the years as I had to go to the Lord in prayer about having a distant Dad. It's wonderful that you and your sis could support one another for this visit. Looks like you had a super time together. God bless.