Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Its not just the Ides of March, but also my dad's birthday!
I got a lot of things from my dad. My sense of humor, a lot of my outward genetic make-up (see pictures of him as a child and pictures of his sister at my age, it's a little weird).
Once, when I was in college my parents came to visit me and wandered around campus while I was in chapel. As I was on my way out of the building to meet them one of my friends (who had never met them) came up to me with a confused look on his face.
"Molly, is your dad here?"
"Yeah, my parents got in late last night. They should be around here somewhere."
"Oh, ok. I just saw them and though, 'That guy has GOT to be Molly's dad.' I mean, I can see it in your mom, too, but wow, your dad!"
I love that story.
I did not inherit his mustache, though, thankfully. And unfortunately not his obsession with, I mean passion for running.

I thought I would tell you a few things about him and tell you a story, because he sure is worth knowing.

he loves dogs, of all kinds, especially big, goofy ones

he wears this on Christmas day (the rest of us often wear pajamas all day, too),
and was excited when my mom found all the pieces of this ensemble, isn't that sweet?

He brings Nannies from the nursing home to their only granddaughter's (lady exclusive) bridal shower,
and subsequently relates EVERYTHING to her because she can't see or hear that well.

And a story:
I need to give you a little back-story, speaking of weddings and bridal things.
For the wedding favors, we decided to make homemade jams, jellies and the like to put around at the place settings. Some of them were complicated and some were a little easier. All three of us worked on it over the course of the summer (me, mom, and dad), but mom and dad did most of them. I was busy undertaking ridiculous projects of my own.
My cousin Sarah came up to hang out a few days before our wedding this summer. I think that she was the first out-of-towner to get there with her sweet baby boy. They stayed at Mom and Dad's until the rest of her family got there and she joined them in a hotel.

So the story:
In the days before the wedding, Dad was in charge of taking things down to the reception site in the mornings before work because the place was close to his office.
One of these days (Thursday? maybe even Friday?) he dropped some things off. The staff had gone ahead and set the tables so he got to look at it. There was a problem, though. One of the ladies asked where the rest of the jellies were, they were about 20-30 short. Sarah and I were busy with place-cards and making sure dog didn't traumatize baby when he got home. He came in, told us, and we all counted in our heads and realized that, yes, we could see how we could be short that much.
So he went down to the fruit room, got the canning stuff and the juice, came into the kitchen and got to work. He canned the rest of the jelly. While that was going on the stove and he was waiting, he went and found the baby and played with him for a while making funny faces and elephant noises, I'm sure. And probably whistling a tune the whole time (probably the Irish Blessing).
Sarah looked in the kitchen from where we were, got real close to me, and said, "You're wedding is in two days [or one, I can't really remember]."
"Yes," I said.
"Your dad is making jelly and taking care of my baby."
"Yes," I chuckled.
"He's not even freaking out a little bit," staring wide-eyed.
"Huh, yeah."
That night, my parents hosted a cook-out for everyone who had gotten in town.
That's how it is. In fact, I've never seen my dad "freak out" in such a way that she was probably referring to, and I've probably seen the best and worst of times, along with the rest of my family. Stressed? Sad? Overwhelmed? Sure, but no drama, no freaking, no worries. Just doing what needs to be done, if possible with a smile on his face and a tune on his lips.
We love him, we're grateful for him, he's such a good example.


  1. Amen, and amen. Everyone who knows "Uncle Pat" is blessed and blessed again.

  2. Gee, Molly, you're killing me. Thanks for the kind words. I love you, too.

  3. This made me cry. And I was just thinking of that story yesterday when I opened the can of jelly from your wedding. Happy birthday, Uncle Pat!

  4. Very nice comments, Molly. I agree with you even though he is my brother.

  5. Well, that was sweet Mol! I completely agree.