Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ninety!

My father turned 90 last Monday.
 


 
NINETY!!
 
He and Mom married "late" when they were well into their 30s.  By today's standards, that's not late at all, but back then all their friends had married and had kids probably before they were 25.  So my parents were a good 10 years older than my friends' parents, and I was often teased about the fact that my mother looked like my grandmother.  My dad aged much better, and even now there are few wrinkles on his face.
 
We had a nice family celebration for him at my sister's place.  She has a place in the country, and we were blessed with a beautiful summery day and ate outside under the shade of a maple.  Dad was a bit lost in the crowd, as his memory is fading fast and he doesn't remember us all anymore.  But he knew he was amongst family, and he was happy.  Here he is listening to his youngest grandson sing "Happy Birthday" over the phone.  His two youngest grandsons were away in Scotland at the time, and unable to attend. 

 
 
He was happy, but he was missing my mother very much and tells me often how he wishes she were still with us.  Happier times for my dad ...


My parents cycled with a hostelling group in Hamilton, Ontario
 
On their wedding day ... just love  their smiles!
All of us (me on Dad's lap).

Dad is also missing his old home and being able to care for himself.  It is one of his biggest regrets to have moved into a retirement home and leave his country home of 37 years behind ...
 
"Back Acres"
 
My bedroom was in the corner (little window on end & big window on side).
 
I gave him a framed photo of his old home for his birthday.  Thankfully he remembered it well, and was happy to have it for his room.
 
 
Me (left) and my siblings and Dad
So after a really nice visit with my siblings and their families, I got a call from my oldest sister this week that Dad had got up in the night and somehow pulled his grandfather clock over and it landed on top of him.  I think he must've lost his balance and grabbed at it for support, but it came crashing down on top of him.  I cried when she sent me this photo.
 
 
I'll be over to see him on the weekend, and he can tell me all about wrestling with the clock.  Hopefully, we can find some humour in this somewhere like he usually does.  For some reason that song "My Grandfather's Clock ... was too big for the shelf, so it stood 90 years on the floor ..." keeps running through my head.  The clock had recently stopped working, and I thought at the time that it was an omen.
 
So here's to my dear old Dad and all the trouble he can get up to!  We've had many stories that were worse than this one with my dad, and I'm sure my mom is up in heaven just shaking her head "here we go again". 
  
 

 
Thanks for stopping by :)
 
Wendy

38 comments:

  1. Our fathers are special people hugs

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  2. A beautiful, touching post, Wendy! It made me teary. A very happy birthday to your dad!

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    1. Thank you Gaia, I always get a bit melancholy thinking back on how things used to be. I'll pass along your birthday wishes x

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  3. My parents too were older ones like yours, yep people thought my mum was my gran! Happy Birthday to your Dad, it awful to see them getting older and more vulnerable. My Dad, would have been 90 last Sunday, I still write his birthday on our calendar and I alway sing happy birthday too him. Give your Dad a big hug from Me will you! :) xxx

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    1. Despite the teasing, I was never embarrassed about my parents being older. I always loved them fiercely! Isn't that funny that they our dads were born almost to the day 90 years ago. Dad was born in a poorly state in his home in Sheffield, and the doctor claimed he wouldn't live to see the end of the week ... even then he was pushing boundaries! Happy birthday to your dad Ada, and I think it's great that you still honour his memory that way :) I will definitely be giving my dad a very big hug this weekend! xx

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  4. Oh Wendy, what a lovely tribute to your Dad! I love the picture of him and yourMum on their wedding day ... A very handsome couple indeed. I hope he gets over his fall, what a shame that happened to him. He's so lucky to have a lovely daughter like you!

    Love Claire xx

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    1. Thank you Claire :) Isn't that a lovely picture of them? My mom kept that wedding dress for many years (I love that it's not your traditional white, but she had it handmade by her favourite seamstress!), and my middle sister wore it to my oldest sister's wedding as her maiden of honour. I think Dad will recover well enough, apparently just bruising and some stitches to his head. I hope he's up to having me come for a visit on the weekend ... I feel so badly for him :(

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  5. Oh, tears in my eyes. So beautiful. Their newlywed smiles are incredible. I love seeing the photos of them biking. So vital. And then the losses along the way. So yeah, tears welling up.

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    1. But sort of happy tears, right? You just can't be sad for such a long and full life. I think I mentioned in a previous post of my mom that they biked across Canada together, and also through Europe. Weekends were spent biking into Toronto and down to Niagara Falls & Buffalo ... anywhere they could go and be back in time for work again on Monday. My mom had no car and she told me when she bought her bike it spelled "FREEDOM" to her, and she was off and cycling from her early 20s until her late 70s (same as my dad).

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  6. Lovely family photos, Wendy! Hope your father is better from his accident. Congratulations for his b-day!

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  7. Hi Wendy...God Bless your Dad....You always manage to make me tear up with your beautiful posts! I am glad that he was surrounded by all of you for his birthday though it broke my heart when you said he missed your mom. I hope he feels better soon...darn clock...I can tell that he is a magnificent father. I just love those early photos of him...the one with you on his lap and that last shot of him in the boat! What a handsome man! Happy birthday to your dad! All the best this weekend friend!

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    1. Such kind words Nicole :) He was certainly one-of-a-kind! Lots of fun when we were kids, always taking us out and about, but he was (and still is!) a stubborn man who wanted things done his way only! Hope you have a great weekend too!

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  8. I loved all of these photos, Wendy. What a good looking guy your dad is! And I think the photo of the five of you is lovely. I don't think I have ever seen a photo of you so how cool is this? I really hope your dad recuperates quickly ~ I'd have cried too.

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    1. Thanks Stacy. He was pretty handsome back in the day ;) I don't like posting photos of me much ... I think that's the second one in a year!

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  9. What a beautiful and touching post - how blessed you and your family are, and how wonderful to celebrate your dad's 90th all together. It's hard to watch our parents get older, but lovely to have such wonderful memories and treasured times. I hope your dad is feeling better & up and about again soon. Big hugs to you too, love Gilly xx

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    1. Thanks so much Gilly :) It's rare these days that everyone can be available the same day, so this was special to see everyone (but the two youngest) there.

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  10. Oh my 90 how cool! My Dad is 86,Mom's 81. They just celebrated their 60th anniversary.
    My Dad like yours has had some "mishaps " my Mom calls him high maintenance! She tells him " one more and your on your own". I feel very blessed to still have them.
    Thanks for reminding me.

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    1. Hi Beth, thanks for visiting. How nice that your parents have been together for 60 years! Dad had a lot of brilliant ideas which always put him (& others) at risk. Pulling the oil tank up from underground was one such endeavor that nearly left his good friend squashed in two. So I can sympathize with your mom and what she has had to go through ;)

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  11. What a beautiful and touching post, Wendy :) Wonderful photos and memories. Happy 90th birthday to your dad. I hope he is feeling better and will be up and about again very soon!

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    1. Thank you Hilde :) I hope he's feeling bit better now, I'm heading out for a visit tomorrow.

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  12. This was a beautiful post and ode to your Dad. Having worked in a nursing home as an LNA it is not a future I wish to consider but alas... getting older is so difficult on so many fronts and our society does not deal with it properly... well, that's a thought for another day. You all made his day a very happy one I am sure and from this post I can tell you love your Dad very much!
    Hugs,
    Beth P

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    1. Thank you Beth. I always feel like we're not doing enough for our dad, but he's getting good care, and we all get in to see him regularly each week. Unfortunately, my dad has always been a bit of a recluse, and he isn't enjoying the "benefit" of having lots of people around him. Family he can withstand, but not all the others. As his Alzheimer's advances, I can't see his situation changing however.

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  13. Awwww poor guy! What an awful bruise hugs from me!! My parents were 38 and 49 when I was born so I know what you mean about the teasing too. I was what they called an " accident" LOL

    This was such a touching post. It brought back lots of memories for me.

    Have a good weekend xox

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    1. Thank you Anne. My good friend's father used to refer to her younger sister with "you were just a twinkle in my eye" ... which I thought was a very sweet way of saying she was also "an accident" ;)

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  14. What a handsome man he was....gorgeous in fact...he and your mum made a lovely pair...time can be cruel...I hope he is better now.

    At least he has a lovely family to love and care for him...

    Lovely post ....Daisy j x

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    1. Thank you Daisy, just these last few years have been the real test. Off to cheer him up today :)

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  15. Happy Birthday to your Dad! My parents are the same vintage and also got married late at 30. I am sure my Mom must have felt self-concious on the maternity ward surrounded by women in their early twenties as a first time Mom at 31. They are still in their home although faltering a bit now. My hubby's parents are making the transition to an assisted living home next week as a matter of fact. I hope your Dad recovers quickly from his recent injury. Enjoy your visit with him on the weekend.

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    1. Since my parents began to go downhill, I've realized how much easier all this would've been had I lived closer. Something to remember when I get old(er). My parents were able to stay in their own home until two years ago, which was wonderful for them. Dad's just really having a hard time accepting life in a retirement home ... boredom mostly. If I lived closer I could visit him all through the week. I hope your in-laws are happy with their transition, and that your parents still manage well for many more years.

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  16. A belated Happy Birthday to your Dad. He was a looker when younger wasn't he! Ouch at those bruises. Here's hoping he heals quickly and is soon back to his handsome self.

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    1. Thanks Annie ... I did get over to see him Friday, and he was looking pretty good with a big smile on his face again. "No worse for wear" he says.

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  17. Hey Wendy, I love that green shawl as well... hmmm!:D Perhaps I'll look for that pattern... don't think it was one of the free ones. Anyway, thanks for popping by to say Hi...
    enjoy the rest of your weekend.
    Hugs,
    Beth P

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    1. Hope you've had a good weekend too Beth :)

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  18. Happy Birthday to your dear daddy! My parents also got a "late" start in their 30s. In fact my dad was 44 when I came along. People often thought he was our grandfather.

    I'm sorry about your dad's accident. I hope he is well now. :)

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    1. I guess I wasn't alone there then! I always related to that song "Your Mama Don't Dance and Your Daddy Don't Rock 'n Roll". That was life for me exactly! Dad is healing up nicely, just sporting an award winning bruise on his face. He was up and about when I went in on Friday.

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  19. Happy belated birthday to your dad. What a handsome man he was and is. So sorry to hear of his fall. 90 is certainly an accomplishment in this day and age. While at my mom's in Mississippi, I met her neighbor who turns 94 tomorrow. It was such an honor to listen to her tell stories of her past. She is still as sharp as a tack. It's just her mobility that is starting to slow her down. She just gave up driving a couple of years ago. Decided that she had driven enough in her life and didn't want anything to happen while she was on the road. :) Sending well wishes to your dad. Take care! Tammy

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  20. Congratulations on your dad's big birthday! Hope he is well on the mend now.
    Great to see such fab family photos through the ages... to see you then...and now!
    Ali x

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

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