Friday, February 10, 2012

1 year ago

One year ago today, we were on our way to pick my sister up from the airport. She was coming home for our dad's 80th Birthday Celebration. Dad didn't know it at the time that we were having him a big Birthday party with close friends and family. I wanted it to be a surprise, but a little voice inside said to tell him about his party. So, after Diane got there and we were all sitting around, I told him about his party and that it would be at the Mission Church down the street from his house. He loved that little church and the Pastor and his wife were so gracious to open their doors to us, with no charge to use their hall. Dad was so excited, he started calling people and inviting them to his party. I told him that I had already invited close friends and family. He wanted to help and go to the store with Diane and I, but it was snowing and we told him to stay in and we would handle everything. We didn't want him getting out and taking a chance on falling on the ice. Diane and I headed to the store to pick up the Birthday cake and balloons. I am a balloon person and think it's very important to have balloons at a party. I knew my dad loved balloons. I found one that said "older than dirt" he loved it. I also wanted to find an iron on #80 to put on a shirt I bought him. After we got back home, I snuck in to work on his shirt, which he would open up at his party and put on. Who would have known that he would have that shirt on while riding in the ambulance to the hospital hours later that night.

He watched me bake cookies from his comfy lazy boy. He wanted to be the first one to taste one. I will never forget the smile from ear to ear on his face. He was so excited about his party and watching us prepare for it. He was the first to arrive to his party. He was amazed at the decorations and got him a seat and awaited the guests arrival. I served him a plate of pizza and munchies and he said it was the best pizza. Who would have known it would be his last meal. He told jokes and stories to everyone sitting around him. I heard some that I was hearing for the first time. We lit the candles on the beautiful cake and he blew it out. My grand-daughter, Ivy cried because she didn't get to blow it out. My dad said "light those candles again and let that baby blow it out" and she did. He enjoyed his cake. Being diabetic he watched his sweets, but this night he didn't watch it. He may have known that it didn't matter now that he eat a big piece of cake. He opened up his gifts and we all had lots of laughs. Sherry, a family member, brought her karaoke machine and we sang and had a fun time. Dad was clapping his hands and really enjoying all the singing. I wish now that someone would have video taped the party, but we did get lots of pictures. I had gotten a large cupcake pillow with a candle that all the guests signed and it sang Happy Birthday. He held it tight to his chest after we got home that night. Who would have known that we would be burying that pillow with him days later.

It all still seems like a bad dream. It was like my world stopped. My dad would never walk down the hallway again to greet me in the mornings when I would stop before work for coffee. His chair across from me sits empty.

Tomorrow we will celebrate what would have been his 81st Birthday. I got a cupcake heart cake. The grandkids will blow out candles and we will sing. We will remember my dad & Poppal. He will be smiling down & probably having a big Birthday party in Heaven.

7 comments:

Bacardi Mama said...

I love you, Rhonda. I hope you can feel the love and caring that I am sending your way. ((hugs))

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Ivy and I made cupcakes tonight for Poppal's birthday. I'll never forget walking out to the parking lot and hugging Poppal and we told each other I love you before I said goodbye.

Steph

Carolyn Vaughn said...

You know he'll be there at the party!! Just think how wonderful it was that everyone was there and had such a great time just before he had the stroke. How many people get to have a party and enjoy everyone before leaving? What if you had waited until his 81st to have such a fantastic party. Know that he had such a wonderful time. I just hope I will be a such a party just before I check out.

Erin said...

I am crying after reading this. What a beautiful tribute to your dad's last days. I'll never forget when Steph emailed that he'd had a stroke... it seemed surreal, because she'd just talked about his 80th birthday party and it all happened so fast. Love and prayers.

Nikki said...

It was a great time. He sat and told stories about when he was a kid and the things he and my grandpa used to do. I miss them so much but I know Uncle Art is looking in on all those he loved. You will never be without him, he will always walk with you. I love you Aunt Rhonda!

Jen @ One Moms World said...

Oh Rhonda! I have chills. I love you very much. You are such a dear friend. It breaks my heart. What a grand party you had for your Dad. I know he is smiling down on you all right now. ((HUGS))

crookedeyebrow said...

You all have been in my thoughts this past year.
Who would have known, but so happy you had such an amazing birthday for him.

So much love to you all...