Posts tagged ‘Daddy…Loving Memory’

Memorial Day…

To all the Veterans of all the wars, including my Dad, who was in the Army during the Korean War (and especially today, because my Dad passed away on this date May 26th, in 2005), I say, “Thank you” for all you’ve done for our country.

Many gave much more than others, their very lives. Others suffered great personal, emotional, spiritual, and physical tragedy due to their times in the wars.

We can not allow the stupidity of this war to turn this country sour on our Veterans again. It was a travesty when the Vietnam war ended and that happened and I felt so embarrassed and humiliated for this country’s behavior concerning their Veterans when they came home.

I remember when I was 16 and was in an bad accident and spent some time at the hospital in Valley Forge where some of those brave souls were coming home from the Vietnam War. Many missing limbs and going through rehabilitation while I was in rehabilitation as well learning to walk again. My heart went out to them. I knew what I had been through, and it was nothing compared to the horrors of war.

In the Vietnam war and in this war. Veterans are caught between a rock and a hard place, I think, even worse than the rest of us are in so many ways.

God bless you all and thank you for your service to your country. Regardless of who put them there, or why, that’s the role each serviceman and servicewomen is living out and I thank them for that…it’s not an easy road to follow. Especially for those in areas of battle and potential battle every day. And those who have been through hell and back as war tends to do to people.

Here’s a couple articles to think about. I read them and just went Wow!

Salute to Veterans – Ron Paul – 2008 – Texas Straight Talk –

Most of my efforts on Capitol Hill are focused on reducing the federal government’s size and scope, but I make an exception for a very important group of people. Our nation’s men and women in uniform commit a selfless act of patriotism when they take up arms in defense of our country. As a veteran myself, I salute all those currently serving, or who have served in our armed forces. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices, their courage, their time away from friends and family, and the dangers they undertake. This Memorial Day we honor our soldiers and vets, we remember those who never came home, or who have since passed on. Above all, we acknowledge our respect for all who have served in the military.

War Immemorial Day – No Peace for Militarized U.S. – by Bill Quigley –

Memorial Day is not actually a day to pray for U.S. troops who died in action but rather a day set aside by Congress to pray for peace. The 1950 Joint Resolution of Congress which created Memorial Day says: “Requesting the President to issue a proclamation designating May 30, Memorial Day, as a day for a Nation-wide prayer for peace.” (64 Stat.158).

Much more in these articles! They are both on my must read list.

I have been out of sorts all day today, and I didn’t realize why, till my “baby sister” Deb called and mentioned the anniversary of Daddy’s passing today in a voice message and asking how I was doing today, and letting me know that their family was going out on a friend’s boat today.

I knew this day was coming. Realized it was only two days away, the day before yesterday. I think that subconsciously, I even realized it had arrived and that was why I have been out of sorts and feeling so down today.

Daddy, I love you and miss you so much!

EDIT: Added two articles and a quote from each. Thanks Kurt for sending these two articles to me.

To My Dad .. In Loving Memory

I have added a new Category entitled “Daddy…Loving Memory” where all the Personal items that I have written about my Dad will be easily found.

My Dad’s battle with cancer is now over. My family and I hold dear the conviction that he has gone on to a much better place where he no longer struggles with cancer or CMT. Where his legs and hands will now be free and mobile and strong as they once were when he was young and where there is no more pain.

I am really trying to do more celebrating of his life than mourning of his death and that is why I have been going over old photo albums and such … but I guess that will come easier when my own personal, and my family’s personal, grief is not quite so very sharp.

Although words are not coming very easily right now, I do however, wish to honor my Dad’s memory on this day. So maybe through these few pictures that I found while going through some very old photo albums that had some pictures of my Dad, my Mom and me in the very early days, a start can be made. The pictures are very old and not great quality, but I hope they do some justice.

My Dad and me when I was only 9 mos old:

Daddy and me at 9 mos old - pic 1

Daddy and me at 9 mos old - pic 2

My Dad, working with his Dad, on a car and getting unexpectedly caught by a shudder bug (likely my Mother or my Aunt Dottie – my Dad’s sister):

Daddy and Grandpop - 1957 working on a car and caught on camera

My Mother, my Dad and me the same year, 1957:

My Mother, my Dad and me in 1957

These are two pictures of me sitting in the Go Cart my Dad made for me out of an old baby buggy, some tin cans for headlights, an old crate, some paint, a Go Army bumper sticker for the front and an old license plate on the back, and a few other things when I was a little girl in 1962:

Black and white photo of the front end of the go cart my Dad built for me in 1962

Color photo of the back end of the go cart my Dad built for me in 1962

There were many wonderful days that were shared growing up and as an adult with my Daddy, my Pappa. I will try to remember them all.

EDIT (You may need to clear your cache to see some of the pictures again. I changed the names of the files to not have spaces so all browsers can see them. I have added items several times on 5/26 and so far once on 5/27. These ramblings are a work in progress. As I think of things, I am adding them. On 5/27, I added the part about Daddy’s love of mathematics and problem solving and worked on a few clarifications. These are mainly in addition to the previous blog entries on Daddy and I don’t think they repeat anything from the other blog entries.

The memories that I am sharing below mainly are from the very early days of my childhood on Gladney Avenue in Toms River, and some are about Daddy in general that most of our family knows or at least might remember vaguely.

The reason I am sharing the early memories is because I am the eldest of 6 children and there are nearly 5 years between me and the next child down in our family; which just means I might have a few memories of the earlier days that some of my siblings may not know about, or remember because they were too young at the time or not even born yet.)

Some rambling memories…

I remember …

Yes, I was Dad’s ‘Gus’ or ‘Gus Gus’ … it was his pet name for me when I was growing up… and he’d still call me that sometimes even as an adult and I remember how good it made me feel to hear him say it..even though I have no idea what it meant or why he called me that.

Or how as a child he would tease me when I’d run out the door and tell me to come back .. that I had forgotten something, and I’d look all around, and then he’d say ‘your footprints,’ or when he’d tickle my feet till I’d be laughing through tears crying Uncle!, or rubbing his morning beard on my face (yuk!), and so many other wonderful little things … like I’ve mentioned in earlier postings.

As a child, I remember that we sometimes would go to the Western Auto with a bag or box of television tubes and he’d let me test them in the tube tester there. He’d let me watch or help when he worked on things and I’d pester him with questions.

How he built me that go cart with such love and care.

I remember how he’d sometimes take me to Fort Dix with him and out to the ranges, and show me ‘Snoopy’ the tank, or take me with him on runs when he worked for the dry cleaner delivering clothes, or to the Island Heights Yacht Club where he also worked to make some extra money to support our growing family especially after he was ‘Honorably Discharged for Medical Reasons’ when they discovered he had CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease) and that his being in the Army was making the disease progress more rapidly — because of the added physical activities of military life. Because the disability wasn’t nearly enough for a family our size, and because he didn’t get 100% disability for many years, he was always working extra jobs to make ends meet.

How he’d stop and get us ice cream or Stewart’s draft root beer, or drive to Seaside to look at the ocean.

I remember, after all the chores and other things that he wanted to get done for the day were completed, how we’d sit and rest in the evening, or on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and watch old classic movies and musicals, or scifi flicks, or kung fu movies, war movies. He had such a wide variety of interests.

He passed along his love of movies, music, and of the Three Stooges and vintage cartoons. He really filled out my love of music to include so many other types of music besides the music of the day. He also passed on his zest for life, the sciences, electronics, and so much more.

And conversation … always respectful but in a very real sense a camaraderie.

I remember we’d work together building something, or tearing down engines and then put them back together after cleaning and fixing the parts, and tuning the engines till they purred … (“I helped” and always ran to get tools he needed, all of which he taught me to know by name).

He dearly loved to work on car engines, or other mechanical, and/or early electronic devices. It broke my heart to see him have to finally give that up little by little as he just didn’t have the stamina, strength or dexterity to do it any more.

He also loved mathematics and loved to work out mathematical problems. He was a problem solver; it was his nature, and not just in mathematics.

He would say that we can do anything that we set our mind to do. I am sure that my high rating in mechanical reasoning on test scores was entirely attributable to Daddy’s influence. I only wish I could have been as good as he wanted me to be in mathematics as well.

At one point, he actually worked in the Dividends dept on Wall Street and commuted 2 hours a day from the Jersey Shore to New York City.

And oh, boy, the big pots of delicious spaghetti sauce and chili that Daddy would make for the family.

And I will never forget Dad patiently teaching me to drive, to parallel park, and it especially touches my heart to remember when when he drove up with the lane in a beautiful light lavender convertible Corvair with white leather bucket seats that he had secretly found for me as my first car at some farm where it sat for two years before he got it (he had such plans of working over the engine and making it just so), and he was so excited that he pushed the old car a bit too hard and cracked the block on it’s maiden voyage home coming up the hill on the lane in front of the house where we were staying in PA at the time … he was heartbroken and how could I blame him for it, he blamed himself! I was sad about the car, but so touched about his thoughtfulness and his grief at breaking the car. Later after we moved back to NJ from PA, he bought another used car for me, a Galaxy 500 that he worked on till it was ‘just right.’

I remember my Dad’s early CB days, and later when he lovingly called me watermelon on the CB when I was pregnant with my first child and when he talked with his friends — folks we had never met on the CB. (I was mortified! but he didn’t mean it in a bad way … he just always loved to lovingly tease.)

I remember so many things … I remember how Daddy took care of us, and how hard it was on the family when he was still in the military and he went overseas for tours of duty to Germany, Korea. How he and mother would create tapes on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder (Mother and Daddy had matching recorders that they bought before he left on that ToD) and would send them back and forth instead of writing letters so we could all hear his voice and he could hear ours. It was particularly nice that Christmas when he couldn’t be there for Christmas. I also remember how when Daddy had the opportunity to stopover in Japan on the way home on one tour, he brought back beautiful Japanese Geisha dolls … one beautifully dressed with a lot of hats, another again beautifully dressed with an umbrella and wysteria trailing, and the third was a larger one, a bride groom in the most beautiful costume with long white hair and beard. He brought some other cool things as well such as these cool little thick rubber slippers that were so narrow I could never keep them on my feet and a carved ship.

Speaking of ships … he painstakingly built a ship in a bottle one time and another big ship, with three masts and all the rigging and proper knots and everything, very intricate (that ship sat on the old stero/turntable cabinet) … now that takes some patience!

He loved the water and was an avid swimmer. He loved to fish and actually got his picture in the paper for catching the first Striped Bass of the season (a 14 1/2 lb). The picture also hung in the store of a friend’s shop in Seaside for many years. He also had a small motor boat that he loved to take out on the Toms River in NJ.

I remember … how he wouldn’t give in to CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease), and how he’d keep walking and trying to keep walking with out the cane whenever he could, and kept creating new and innovative ways to do the things he wanted to do when his hands would no longer cooperate as he wanted them to.

I also remember, how his faith in his God kept him strong and helped him get through some of the toughest things a person will ever have to endure.

And I will always remember the great love and pride in his eyes at this daughters’ and his son’s weddings. And in the birth of each of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I have not even touched the surface of the wonderful memories I have of my Dad. I feel I have not been able to do him justice somehow.

I will always remember my Daddy, my Pappa with great love and admiration.


I recently saw a movie called Ladder 49 where I saw the life of a very dedicated fireman, who was loved and cherished by his family, his station and his friends, die in a terrible fire trying to help people live; and how his Captain during the Memorial service, noting that they would all be strong and brave as he, Jack Morrison had been (when he would go into fires when others run from them so he could help save lives), by not mourning his death, but celebrating his life.

With the emotional struggles our little family are going through right now, with my Dad in the last stage of brain cancer, this movie held some great truths for me to come to terms with in a very real way right now.

I hope we are able to be as strong and brave as my Dad has been through all of this … and that we can celebrate my Dad’s life instead of mourning our loss.

Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers….we really need it right now.

I Come To The Garden Alone

I Come To The Garden Alone:

I Come To The Garden Alone

I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear,
falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses,

And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
and the Joy we share
as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of
His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing,

And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
and the Joy we share
as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go;
through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the Joy we share
as we tarry there,
None other has ever known…

At this point, my Dad has made it known that he does not wish to prolong things, that he is ready. And after all he’s been through this past year, I can really understand his sentiments so well. I know I would likely feel the same way by now. It’s just … well you know.

Ya know, when I was a young child, sometimes when my Dad (who is generally a shy vocalist even though he has a very good voice), would sometimes be working by himself in the basement of our first home at the Jersey Shore (which was his family’s summer home when he was growing up that his Dad literally hand built over time for his Mom) on one project or another. While he worked he would whistle or sing, and often he would start singing “I Come to the Garden Alone.” If you went downstairs or said anything he would stop singing because he was shy about his singing, so I would sit at the top of the stairs and just be very quiet so he would keep singing and just listen. It would always give me such joy in my heart to hear him sing that song. Later in life, I remembered thinking that the way he sang, reverberating in the basement, reminded me of of the rich timber of Tennesee Ernie Ford’s version of the song.

Anyway, since I felt I didn’t have time to receive the actual album in the mail or find it at the stores, late night before last, I started looking to see if I could find a digital copy of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s rendition of “I Come to the Garden Alone” also sometimes called “In the Garden” or “He walks with me” by different folks.

I was looking for an mp3 version without any DRM so I could send it to my sister to play for my Dad. I found two renditions that were nice, but with no where near the impact of Tennessee Ernie Ford when he sang it. I also found albums of Tennessee Ernie Ford that included the song, and a couple sites where you could buy the song, but it seems it was likely a DRM’d version so I passed on it because my sister wouldn’t be able to play it on her computer.

Just one more concern regarding our lack of fair use over the last 7 years that’s very frustrating.

I should be able to buy the song and make use of it as I see fit as long as it’s in a substantially non-infringing manner. And to buy it to send a copy to my sister to play for my Dad to bring him pleasure at this time would certainly mean alot to him and to me.

The website I linked to in this blog entry is a loving tribute to someone else’s loved one, their Mom, who also loved this song dearly.

Daddy, Pappa … I love you!

Congratulations Daddy, you made it! 73 and counting!

My Dad, I fondly call him Daddy and Pappa, just celebrated his 73rd birthday May 1st.

I can’t tell you what that means to me and to my family. There are six of us kids, plus husbands, kids, and grandkids (great grand children to my Dad and Mother).

It is such a blessing that my Dad made it to his 73rd birthday. He has been through so much this past year. He has been struggling with brain tumor problems since last year and we have almost lost him several times in that time frame (once within the last month). But he is now home and we are hoping for the best.

He never gives up. I guess he would be considered a hacker or tinkerer, which began in a time before there were computers. He’s someone who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. He has had curiosity about just about anything he is interested in and he is interested in a lot!

He once told me a story about when he was in school and how he took notes upside down and backwards (literally), starting at the bottom right and working his way to the top left of the page. All I can say is boy, he must have thought school wasn’t challenging enough .

It is mind boggling to have seen all the things he has done in his life.

In his mid to late 60s while struggling with CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease), high blood pressure and angina, he even took on the challenge of learning a computer ~ and ~ writing, printing and locally distributing short edifying brochures.

Daddy has always laughingly called himself a jack of all trades and master of none. But if you knew him throughout his life, even for just the 50 years I have had the pleasure of knowing him, you would see that his perserverence and commitment in everything he does is simply amazing. Not to mention his commitment to his wife (my Mother) of 51 years, his very large family and extended family, his God and his world. Daddy’s intelligence, curiosity and love of learning, and his other passions including life itself, are truly inspiring.

Hey, Pappa! I love you and thank you so much for taking time with me as I grew up, and for letting a curious little kid, (even when I was a toddler), hang around and help on all the fun projects you were into as I grew up. I remember and cherish all the time we have spent in comradarie and learning and growing throughout my youth and the times we still have together when we visit. That time has served me well over my life and has given me great pleasure.

NOTE: Originally posted: May 2005 (recreated from mangled original

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