today, pa would turn 86. 86 is a lot of years. fortunately, he got to live almost 82 of those, and i got to share almost 26 of my years with him. he was easily the most amazing man i ever knew. pa was quiet and a little reserved, but he loved so well. growing up, my mom & dad had some issues, so ma & pa stepped in and raised me. it was a lot for them to take on a little person…but they did so in such a way that it never felt weird or awkward or like they resented it. it just was what it was, and we all made the best of it.
pa had a fantastic sense of humor. he would say things at thanksgiving dinner like, “did you hear about the new study they did? they found out that diarrhea runs in your genes.” and as a little girl, he taught me my favorite joke (which i, in turn, re-told to him at least 17 million times). what happens when a duck flies upside down? it quacks up. ha! i still laugh, and i love that it is now leslie’s favorite joke. there are so, so many memories that i am grateful to have shared with him, but this was probably my favorite:
pa walked me down the aisle when michael and i got married. i’ll never forget what he said to me when he saw me – “well, you look like a bride.” to which i replied, “well, that’s good. it’s a bad day for me to look like anything else.” and we laughed. and then we walked down the aisle and he gave me away. it was perfect. because three weeks later we were back in the same sanctuary for pa’s funeral. sometimes, timing is everything.
so today i will remember the good times and be thankful for pa’s time on this earth. and if you were lucky enough to have known him, you should do the same.