Dad would’ve been 86 today. I loved that man dearly and pray for his soul everyday. I would like to spend a bit of time thanking him for being my father. I have many memories of Dad but I just want to highlight a few of them this morning.
Playing catch on a Sunday afternoon in the backyard. All my brothers would line up on one side of the yard and he on the opposite. He would take turns throwing to each of us in turn. It didn’t matter that at one point, there were 6 of us on one side of the yard each taking turns – the simple truth was we wanted Dad to throw to ball to us, not some unworthy brother of ours. And yes, it was only Sunday afternoons because Dad was at work the other 6 days of the week.
Bar-B-Que. My dad was a master at this – especially his chicken. He was a Maull’s man – which is still my favorite sauce even though my sibling’s have moved onto more sophisticated sauces. Bet ya their jingles aren’t as catchy as the Maull’s jingle was…”Don’t baste your bar-b-que – Maull it.”
Sunday morning breakfast. We had 20 meals a week – no more, no less. Dad was in charge of the cereal and frozen pancakes/waffles Monday thru Friday, we fed ourselves on Saturday morning (cereal and toast). Mom was in charge of all the important meals like lunch and dinner with the exception of breakfast on Sunday morning. Dad would religiously (OK, pun fully intended here) go to 7 AM Mass on Sunday morning and then come and fry 12 pounds of bacon, bake 12 dozen biscuits, mix the thickest version of Tang you can imagine and then cook, by the individuals choice, three eggs for each person. Fried (over easy, over hard, sunny side up), scrambled, soft boiled. It was his meal to take care. Shout out to Grandma Hilbert here – when she stayed with us, she always bought donuts to have with our Sunday morning breakfast.
Friday night bowling leagues. My dad bowled in the Holy Name Society bowling league for years. Every Friday night, one of us would be lucky enough to go watch his team. He would order one soda and drink half of it and then give to me (or whoever was lucky enough to go with him that night) to finish. It was a ritual. I would slowly sip the rest of the drink and then consume each ice cube in the cup one at a time. Sounds boring, right? Wrong, we looked forward to that night out with Dad. It was a late league – I don’t think they started bowling until around 9 PM, so it would be well after midnight before we got home.
Sunday afternoon sports. As I briefly mentioned early, most of my childhood, Dad worked 2 jobs at a time and worked 6 days a week doing this, do come Sunday afternoon, it was sports on TV. Mass, breakfast, yard work and in the lounge chair by 1 PM. St. Louis Cardinals baseball (at that time, the only game televised was on Sunday afternoon); St. Louis Cardinals football; golf; basketball; Indy car racing. He would sit in his chair, flip on the TV at 1 PM; the TV would warm up and have a visible picture by 1:30 PM, and he would be “asleep” by 1:35 PM. It got to be a game. Once he started snoring, you would walk up to the TV and change the channel (because they didn’t have remote controls at the time) and without opening his eyes, he would yell “I’m watching that – put it back on!”. And would be back to sleep within minutes of that exchange.
Haircuts. Wait a second, those weren’t fond memories – I’m moving on.
I could go on for hours sharing memories about my Day, but 6 AM is approaching quickly and I’m about to get bumped from using the facilities. Happy Birthday Dad…I love you.
Do something great for out Lord today – thank Him for blessing us with men like my Dad.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Post Script: Happy Birthday Liz…want me to share my memories of you? 🙂