My Dad's 90th Birthday - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-03-2013   #1
Old Guy in a PFD
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,106
My Dad's 90th Birthday

So, my dad turned 90 this week.

We had a party. A surprise party.

We got a special venue, and a niece made a really nice cake, it looked just his old Navy ship, an LST.

The thing is, he's 90, and legally blind, and doesn't drive and doesn't need a thing.

He does worry about money even though we keep telling him; you have 5 sons, you can never, ever spend all your money. Not gonna happen. But, he still worries about it.

So, we decided instead of buying him a bunch of stuff he doesn't want, doesn't need, and wouldn't use, we gave him cash.

And here's the point;
He was in the Navy in WWII. He never talked about it until we found out his old ship is still around, in 90' of water down in St. Thomas.

We made a pilgrimage and I can say I actually stood on the deck of my dad's war ship; in 90' of water. Awesome!

Anyway, for the first time he started telling us about his Navy days. He said it was an adventure for sure, but not one he'd ever care to repeat. We realized, his 4 years in the Navy was an important part of his life.

He would have made a career out of it, but both of his brothers were killed in WWII and the Navy, showing extreme intelligence, discharged him and sent him home, you know, so he could have 5 sons.

So anyway, my daughter is dating a Marine, so we had the idea that the Marine could put on his formal dress uniform, and in the middle of the festivities, walk in and demand that my dad present himself.

Cause, you know, his discharge had never been fully processed, so for the last 68 years, he'd been carried as AWOL on the muster roles.

But, the Marine announced, all things considered, the Navy had managed to get that pesky arrest warrant from that unfortunate incident in Sydney dismissed, and they were also going to go ahead and finish processing his discharge.

The only thing was, that meant Dad had some back pay coming.

And then the Marine opened an ammo can up and dumped a lot of cash on the table for my Dad to goggle.

We're talking serious cash. Bundles of cash like you see in a bank vault kind of cash. Enough to buy a car kind of cash.

I think we got the party done right. I can say that because for the first time in my life I saw my Dad so emotional he couldn't say anything.

I don't think it was the cash, but I know that was just the right thing to give him.

It might have been all his friends and family who showed up. Especially his lady friend that he hasn't been able to see for a couple of months, cause she's had health issues of her own to deal with.

Or maybe it was the cake that looked pretty damn good for a 68 year old ship.

Or the Marine in full dress, letting him know that pesky warrant had been taken care of.

In any case, he was one happy 90 year old.

So I guess the point is, hug your parents often and mean it.

The pay back is enormous.

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Old 09-03-2013   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Great story and advice!!
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Old 09-05-2013   #3
 
Western Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2011
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"So I guess the point is, hug your parents often and mean it."

Of all your posts I've read, and there have been many, this is the one that stopped me in my tracks. I have been wanting to talk with my dad all week but he's been gone almost 8 years. It's obvious your father raised good men. Thanks for keeping your dad's spirits up and mine too.
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Old 09-06-2013   #4
Old Guy in a PFD
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell View Post
"So I guess the point is, hug your parents often and mean it."

Of all your posts I've read, and there have been many, this is the one that stopped me in my tracks. I have been wanting to talk with my dad all week but he's been gone almost 8 years. It's obvious your father raised good men. Thanks for keeping your dad's spirits up and mine too.
Welcome and thank you.

My mom has been gone over 25 years, but I talk to her just about every day. She doesn't always answer, but I know she hears me.
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Old 09-06-2013   #5
 
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Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
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My dad, who was my mentor and guide for the love of the outdoors, passed away in February at 97, still sharp, but the body failed at last. He taught me how to read maps, to be curious about what was just around the next bend and all kinds of ways to figure out problems. Please take the time to say "Thanks Dad". I think of him each time I see my 5 1//2 year old granddaughter
wide eyed and excited over a wildflower or smooth river rock.
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Old 09-13-2013   #6
 
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Well done.
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