My Dad has been gone for almost 7 years. I think a great deal about him and have moments when I wish I could call and tell him something, especially about the boys. They were 7, 5 and 3 when he died. The Big Brother is really the only one who has a memory of him. Funny what he remembers. “I remember Grandpa Ron was pretty cool, he ate my peas once so I didn’t have to when you weren’t looking.” Grandpa, the “Hero”. What makes this funny, is that Grandpa Ron was the kind of guy who ate anything and didn’t have what you might call, discerning taste buds. Also, proof that being a Grandparent changes a guy, this was a man who probably started The Clean Plate Club. I’m pretty sure me not finishing my peas would not have been an option.
I do love to hear these little tidbits. I remember him visiting and helping Big Brother finish getting ready for school. My Dad was not that comfortable making small talk with small children but there were certain things that broke the ice. A big one was that Grandpa Ron attended Catholic school back in the Scary Nun with Ruler days. So, helping with belts, tucked shirt, combed hair, shined shoes. That was his area.
I do wish he could know The Big Brother now as a “young man.” Because although the Big Brother is a carbon copy of The Captain. I mean the apple hit every branch on its way down.
Mere strangers and acquaintances have stopped to remark on the “mini-me” factor. Except the Big Brother is not so mini anymore and is just a few pizzas shy of being taller than The Captain.
That being said, as time passes, and he is becoming himself, I have begun to think he really reminds me of a man I knew once…Dad. Not big obvious ways but in subtle ways. For starters, like I said, it is pretty much a done deal that he will soon be the biggest person in our house. His wrists are the size of a forearm, and well, more than one person has informed me…”That’s a Big Boy you got there.” I’ve noticed something in his stance, which seems so familiar.
My Dad to was a Big Ol Boy with wrists the size of a small person. He was a guy’s guy, biggest sports fan you would probably ever meet. But also could Waltz, Fox Trot and loved musical theatre. To this day when I smell Comet, I think of him cleaning the kitchen listening to “Camelot.”
He played softball as long as I could remember. I remember he would always hit the ball but as you could say, he was not built for speed. Not the best player but the best TEAM player. Come to think of it, he pretty much did everything at his own pace, just like a certain Big Brother I know.
These little reminders hit me out of nowhere. The Big Brother is not always the best athlete on the team but he is almost always the best sport. Don’t get me wrong he can hit that ball, but like Grandpa Ron, not the fastest guy around.
Like Grandpa, Big Brother is a boy’s boy, that kid can take a punch and hasn’t heard the bad “pull my finger” joke yet. He to, likes musical theatre and when he was younger was in Les Mis and Big River.
It warms my heart to see this “Gentle Giant” type personality coming through.
This morning at church as the ushers were picking up the collection I was hit by a wave of memories. For as long as I could remember my Dad was an usher at church. He was baptized in the same church his funeral was held so he was a familiar figure. I was sitting having these thoughts watching the usher in a “sport coat” do his job. On the hottest of days my Dad always wore a “sport coat” to church. This brought a smile to my face to remember him tapping me with the basket to put my money in. (It was Scout Sunday and the Scouts were helping as ushers, unbeknownst to me. ) I then turn to see an usher with that familiar stance and forearm and feel my eyes fill to see Big Brother doing usher duty.
Not a HUGE event but it was one of those days that I wish I could run home and call and say, “Guess what Big Brother did.” Almost as much as I would have liked for him to watch him play ball, I would have loved for him to see Big Brother as an Altar Boy, as an usher and in his school uniform I think it is these little things that were learned from his example, being passed on, that would be the greatest gift for him to witness.