Friday, February 11, 2011
60 Would Have Been Fabulous
Today would have been my father's 60th birthday.
It sounds so young when you say it, even though I am sure anyone under the age of 25 thinks it sounds equivalent to 187. Makes the tender age of 55 at which he died seem like he was just a spring chicken.
He would have been able to finally sign up for all those AARP fliers that incessantly came in the mail. Usually to my house, which was weird since my parents had never lived with me once I moved out at 20. But still, at the two different addresses I held before my father passed away, I would get those red-letter envelopes, addressed to him and I would call and taunt him.
"Hey Dad, AARP is looking to sign you up again, you old bastard.", snickering.
My mother would always laugh too, although she was 4 years older than he was, she wasn't getting those letters sent to my house.
His salt and pepper hair would have likely been a few shades lighter by now. He had thick, thick blackish hair and it as well as his staple mustache was completely turning to silver. His face fuzz had beat out his hair in the race, but it was catching up quick. He often had the craziest bed head, his signature part that had been trained since the 1960's, sticking straight up on one side from sleep.
He would have likely had Dylan at his workshop every day. It was a week before his 2nd birthday when he left us, and he would constantly ask to take Dylan to the shop to "play in the sawdust". He wanted to show him all of his tools and get his hands involved in wood, as he had done and loves since he was around 11 and apprenticing for an Old Italian cabinet maker.
He would have been beaming with pride at my brother having Dylan help in the shop he took over. Sweeping up sawdust and helping move scrap pieces of wood; a little shop helper. Pieces he would take and use to make me my beautiful birdhouse this past Christmas.
He would be getting phone calls all the time from my Uncle Paul. He liked to chide him about all the snow we got in Massachusetts, and this being one of the snowiest winters in decades, I can only imagine the frequency of the calls. Two brothers, talking about woodwork and weather. My father answering the phone “Is this you?” (The majority of my family on my dad's side had moved to Florida in the mid 80's, so Massachusetts and its frigid winter's had been a thing they had escaped, and liked to joke about.)
I can still see him, leaning sideways in his favorite chair. He never sat straight. He always leaned towards one side. He did this so often, that he had a La-Z-Boy recliner he used to sit in. It was his favorite chair. When my parents moved, he of course brought his chair with him.
One day he was sitting in his chair, TV tuned in to This Old House on PBS most likely, and suddenly my mother sitting in the kitchen hears a loud THUD. She runs into the living room, and there is my father, on the floor, his chair blown out beneath him. Of course she bursts into hysterical laughter, as did the rest of us upon hearing about the death of the La-Z-Boy.
All the flea market trips we would have been squeezing in on weekends. The antique tools you would like to collect, the t-shirts embroidered with other people names that you would get for such a bargain. Your “slap-shot” (as you liked to call them) Velcro sneakers, worn out on the outsides from the awkward way you walked.
60 years old.
It would have been a great year for you, Daddy. <3