Saturday, June 14, 2008

To MY Daddy

Tomorrow is Father's Day; I don't really do too much for my hubby because I remind him that although he is the father of our son, he is not MY father! It's my son's duty to do something special for him. I wanted to do something special for my daddy. I don't know what to get him anymore; he seems to have all the gadgets and gizmos and anything else seems like overkill. Anyway, those are all THINGS. We really don't need things. do we? A heartfelt message carries much further than things. The image you see above this is the earliest image I have of my dad; he is the second one from the right in the first row with the small drum at his feet. He is holding a clarinet. My dad can pick up any instrument and play music from it even if it's the first time he ever had his hands on that kind of instrument. He can play any tune by ear and his voice rivals that of Frank Sinatra. Really. Calpack is the name of the pineapple company on Molokai that provided jobs for eveyone. Short for California Packing Corporation. Now known as Del Monte Corporation. It was a tightly knit community back in those days as you can see by the sponsored band with uniforms. Impressive, eh? I have no idea where this image was taken or when, but by guessing from the info on the back (indicating the studio it came from), it appears to have taken place in Hilo, Hawaii. Why my dad was there, I have no clue. Perhaps he will tell me after he sees this. He is that really handsome young man on the far right. Kinda looks like Marc Anthony (the singer married to J Lo), doesn't he?
This is on his wedding day (to my mom, of course). He was married to her for 30 years and it did end up in divorce...somehow I could not crop my mom out of this picture. It didn't seem right since they are both my parents. He's been married to Joyce now for almost 25 years and I love her too. Life is too short to hang onto unrealistic ideals...
I think this is one of my most favorite pictures of my dad. It was taken at my sister's house when she lived in Haiku, Maui and we all went to see her that Christmas and New Year's which was the dreaded 2000 (remember the doom and gloom predicted for that year?). We had just gotten up and the grandkids did a 'dog pile' with Grandpa and I love that Dad's hair (which I've always seen in a perfect state all my life thanks to many jars of Pomade) is all over the place. That's my son John lying down on the left, nephew Tomas in the middle and niece Catherine (now in college) on the right. Don't know why she's pouting though.
Fast forward a bit and this is Daddy on his 70th birthday. We all chipped in and got him a mandolin (he can play it really well). I later found out that dad's fingers don't fit the standard mandolin, so it's really hard for him to play it.
A few years ago, dad was diagnosed with diabetes. He probably had it all his life, but he is reluctant to go to the doctor. His kidneys are shot. Anyway, he now has to do dialysis three times a week. This is "Aunt" Bea with him and this is dubbed, "dialyisis buddies".
One of Dad's favorite things to eat is top ramen. It's his afternoon snack of choice which is something he's had to give up as a diabetic and especially as a dialysis patient as it is too laden with sodium and very dangerous for non-functioning kidneys. It's a hard thing for him to give up. I love it too and find it my comfort food of choice in spite of it being nutitionally void of anything. I think of my dad eveytime I sit down with a bowl of this stuff. Asian 'chicken soup'... Even with a shunt in his arm for dialysis, he stills plays music and has done the Salvation Army thing (around the Holidays) each year. I don't know if he'll be able to do it this year, as time is taking it's toll.
Daddy with his custom made guitar from Albuquerque (Pimentel Guitars); this really fits him. Dad has a whole slew (or is the word, sleu?) of guitars and ukeleles at his house. It's a passion, you know. He is a natural musician.
A more recent shot of my daddy.
I took this one last summer when I was hanging out with him; we were sitting around watching his favorite; Korean drama series. I don't know what to call them as we really don't have an equivalent genre here. They are epic stories done out like a soap opera, but in a historical setting. All subtitles. They are fasicnating. The photo is out of focus; I was trying to capture the moment and he moved and the lighting was tough. But I really cherish all the sweet moments I spend with my daddy throughout all of my life. I do my best to follow his example (execpt my singing and music playing is horrid even though I love it). He has been playing music in church all my life and even with all the complications he has today from his illness, he insists on playing music at funerals. Oh, and he does it non-gratis.
That's my daddy; he's my hero and a living legend. He's my daddy. I wonder if he knows how many lives he has made a huge impact on with his music, ukulele lessons, his generousity, his example of faith, and his all around stellar example?
I know he has on mine.
"God Bless my daddy, who's over there...said a tiny little girl in a tiny little prayer."
I love you Daddy, Happy Father's Day!
Your #1 Baby ; )


robin bird said...

hello paula! i am so glad you came to visit me so i would be led here to you! i read this post through each photo and description of your father and all the reasons you love and honor him. it was a great way to be introduced to you as well as him.
your friend, bird tweet robin from down the road

smith kaich jones said...

What a wonderful post. I enlarged every photo & yes, he does have a Marc Anthony thing going on. Including the music. I hope he reads this - he will be so pleased & probably embarrassed. Thanks for letting us get to know him.


joyce mina said...

I'm finally catching up on reading your blog and LOVED this one about your Dad. I am definitely one of those who he taught ukulele to and will always hold those memories close to my heart. Love your dad and love you too!


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