bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘dad’

The Ol’ Wells Place

I was cleaning up my desk today, and found a black and white picture of my dad sitting in his recliner in the house I grew up in. I have no idea when the picture was taken, but I do know that there was no tv in the corner, so it had to be in the late 60’s.

The picture brought back so many memories. The peg and plank floor in the family room where I used to stand up playing cards between the boards. I think I did that for hours. In my mind, the Queen of Hearts was of course The Queen, but her love was the Jack of Clubs. The King of Spades was the bad guy.  And 7 always loved 6, but 8 was jealous.  Yep. All that with a hardwood floor and a deck of cards. We didn’t have a Wii or computers. Heck, our tv was black and white and rolled across the floor on a metal cart.  AND you had to GET UP to change the channels, kids!

Wow, I got off track there. I played on the floor a lot in family room of that house. I liked being around my parents and my brother. We didn’t have to be doing stuff together, just being in the same room worked for me.

The rug in the picture also brings back memories. I think everyone had one of those rugs in their houses. It was oval, and it was braided and had different colored ovals. This made for a great race track for my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. Yes, I played with cars. And cards. And, don’t worry, Barbies too. (I didn’t play much with dolls. I had a lot of stuffed animals that took up my time. I didn’t have time to take care of babies too.)

I also can see the french doors that led out to our patio. Everyone else had a sliding glass door. We had french doors. I always wanted a sliding glass door. Do I have one in my house now? No. What does Karen wish we had? Sliding glass doors. Tree, meet your apple.

All those memories from a 3×3 black and white photo.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad is 70 today.  That doesn’t even seem possible.  He doesn’t act 70.  (Just like I don’t act 42!)

I have been told by many that I am like my dad. 

We are both a little jumpy, to put it mildly.  I remember my mom asking my brother and me to go wake Dad up from a nap and tell him it was time for supper.  Oh, man.  That was like taking your life into your own hands.  We’d argue about who would do it.  I remember walking into his room very quietly and then whispering, “Dad?”  He usually didn’t move.  A little louder, “Dad?”  “WHAT?  WHAT?  OH!”  He jumped as high as I did.  Every single time.  He and I really hate to hear people put away dishes in the kitchen.  As he puts it, “It sounds like they are dropping the dishes from the ceiling!”  I agree.

We are both pretty emotional.  As in soft-hearted.  I like that trait, honestly.  I don’t like to feel sorry for someone (like a homeless woman on the side of the road), but when I do, I feel human.  Like I have a heart.  Dad passed that one along to me. 

He saved my life once.  My family was swimming in a pool when we were camping.  My brother, who could not swim, was floating on a beachball and had drifted into the deep end of the pool.  My dad asked me to go and get him.  No problem, so far.  When I reached my brother, however, he let go of the ball and jumped on my back.  I sank to the bottom of the pool like a lead weight.  I used my feet to push off the bottom and get some air, but then I would sink back down.  I just couldn’t handle the weight of my brother.  (Who, by the way, thought I was playing and giving him the ride of his life.)  I did this several times, and then the last time I thought, “I can’t do this anymore.  I’m just going to have to quit and drown.”  Then I heard a splash and my dad was there, pulling me out of the water to safety.  I have no idea where my brother was, all I knew was that Dad had saved my life.  He sat with me on the side of the pool while I sobbed.  Then he told me to get back in.  I looked at him like he was crazy.  He told me that if I didn’t get back in I might never get back in since I would be afraid of drowning again.  I trusted him and got back in (he got in with me too, of course), and I’ve been swimming ever since.

My dad loves breakfast.  Oh yes.  Another wonderful trait passed on to me.  The love of coffee and a good breakfast.  My day is not complete without breakfast and I could eat it three times a day.  Give my dad some eggs over-easy, bacon or sausage, toast, and coffee and you have a happy man.  I try to always have a pot of coffee ready for him when he comes over.  He’ll always say, “Good coffee, Shell.”  I doubt that it is always good, but he says it anyway.

My dad has hugged me a lot through the years.  I always love those hugs.  He has had many shirts get tear-stained, thanks to me.  A time I remember vividly, was when I went off to college.  Prior to leaving, I COULD NOT WAIT to leave St. Louis and get out on my own.  My family was cramping my style, I guess.  But, when it came time to actually leave, I was beside myself.  I ran to my dad and hugged him and cried.  I said, “I don’t want to go.  I don’t want to do this.”  Rather than stand there stiffly and tell me to get in the car, he hugged me and said soothing words to me.  Then he shoved me into the car.  No, not really.  But, I knew he cared.  That was huge.

As I’ve mentioned before, my dad has really been there for me during this whole bipolar incident.  (Everyone has.)  Just last week, he met me for lunch when I was having a really tough time.  He was my rock that day.

I love that we can talk about anything and everything.  We both think the other one is very funny.  He has a great sense of humor that he doesn’t always let everyone see.  But, I love it.

My husband is my best friend.  My mom is my best “girl” friend.  But, I’m a Daddy’s girl and always will be.


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