I have debated about writing a post about my father for almost a week. I have refrained from posting this news on my social media as well. I’m not one to post my private business online like other people I know. My oldest daughter who has a blog called SunburntAloe, feels that by me writing this could not only be beneficial for myself but also for someone else in blog land.
This is just a fragment of his story. Over the next few posts I will be sharing some memories of him. Before you read on please understand that if it sounds like I’m speaking badly of him I’m not. My life with him was very up and down at times. Someday in the future I will share my childhood with you all. Some may have a problem with me writing this post and future posts about my father but that’s not my concern. I’m a writer and I’m going to write whatever I want. So with that being said, here it is. Authentic, unfiltered and real.
On January 18, 2018 at the age of 76 my father died. It’s so strange to write that. He passed away in a hospital in Waukegan, Illinois where he had been living in a nursing home for the past 3 to 4 years. Prior to that he was in a nursing home in the city that I used to live in.
I know he’s with his parents in the afterlife because all he ever talked about over the years was how much he missed them. They passed away in 1995 and 2004 at the ages of 84 and 87.
There has always been an odd pattern regarding birth months and birth years on my father’s side of the family. This it how it goes:
His father February 1911
His mother June 1917
My father July 1941
My sister June 1966
Me February 1971
My oldest daughter August 1989
My middle daughter May 1993
My youngest daughter July 2001
My niece (sister’s child) September 1998
Do you see the pattern? Please take notice of the underlined births. The months of February and July are alternated as well as 30 years between each birth of my grandpa, my father, me and my youngest daughter. From my grandpa’s birthday in 1911 to my youngest daughter’s birth in 2001, a total of 90 years have passed. You will see the month of July come up quite a bit not only in this post but future posts as well.
I have a theory about when the next birth will take place which I ran by my daughters a while ago and if I’m correct I won’t be the least bit surprised. I find this extremely fascinating. This isn’t a coincidence as coincidences don’t exist. I used to believe in them but over time I realized there’s no such thing. Everything happens for a reason.
My grandparents bought a duplex in the suburbs in the early 1960’s and by the late 1960‘s it had been paid off. My grandpa had 2 plans for his early retirement. The first was to move up north to live by the lake on the Canadian border. Since my grandpa had been born on a homestead and was a farm boy at heart, think Little House on the Prairie, he wanted to get back to the country way of living. My grandma was a city girl born and bred but loved being in the country.
The second plan was to buy a duplex, get some nice renters and make some money as landlords. It just so happened that plan number 2 came true. My grandparents wanted plan number 1 to happen but as you will see later on in this post it just wasn’t meant to be since the universe had other things in store for them. My grandpa asked my grandma if she wanted to live upstairs or downstairs and she said upstairs so they rented out the bottom. They had a total of 3 tenants living at the duplex at different times throughout the years. At one point my grandparents moved from the upstairs to the downstairs and then rented out the upstairs.
When my parents were married in July of 1963, they bought a starter home and lived near my grandparents. They lived in that home for a short time and then one day decided to sell it. I’m not 100% sure on this part but I believe my parents briefly lived in the duplex upstairs or downstairs from my grandparents. I have many pictures that show my sister as a baby and a toddler in this house and they don’t appear to be just visiting.
Somewhere along the line my parents found and bought a second home which happened to be across the street from my grandparents. It was a cute place that needed some TLC. I have many memories of that house even though I only lived there for the first 5 years of my life. When I was about 4 years old which would be about 1975, my parents separated. My father moved back in with his parents across the street. We stayed with our mother in the current house during the separation and divorce process.
When their divorce became final in August of 1976, my father gained full custody of us and we were to move in with him and our grandparents. My sister and I were 10 and 5 years old. My grandparents had no choice but to give their tenants a 30 day notice to move. After we moved in my sister lived upstairs with my dad while I lived downstairs with my grandparents.
My father worked for a foundry as a grinder for 40 years. We grew up in an upper middle class home and never had to worry about anything. My father like his parents were very good at handling finances. You could say we were spoiled but in a good way. We had the best of both worlds growing up. My sister may disagree but I don’t feel that way. I appreciated everything that I received. I was extremely close to my father and grandparents.
Growing up I used to tell my grandma and grandpa how lucky they were to have their granddaughters live with them and they agreed. In 1989 my grandpa lived only long enough to see his first great-granddaughter who was my oldest be born. My oldest does have a few selective memories of him. I have many pictures of him holding and feeding her as a baby as well. My grandma lived to see all 4 of her great-granddaughters be born. That’s extraordinary in my opinion.
Part 2 to be continued.