23 December 2009

The day before tomorrow

It's an up and at 'em day. Unfortunately the 'up' started at 4 AM, but I can deal with it. It's the last work day before a 5 day vacation. I'm at Borders drinking a decaf latte. It tastes delicious but it's missing the kick. That's OK. I have lots of caffeine to look forward to in the coming days. I had a few things to buy at Borders and wanted to be here at 8 when they opened. It's quiet. No lines. Empty parking lot. Laptop and latte. What a great way to start the day.

Today is my father's 82nd birthday. I spent some time this morning thinking about his life. He grew up in the tenements in Brooklyn, NY. His father died when he was 6 (I think) and his mother was left with 2 children and no money. His mother was a bitter woman, and my father had a very unhappy childhood. He quit school when he was in 8th grade. Left home at an early age. Later he joined the army and spent time in Korea. He was best friends with my mother's brother, and eventually my parents married. It's not been a good marriage. As I write this, I realize I'm painting a bleak picture. My dad is a people person. He'll schmooze with anyone. They know him at all the local grocery stores, Best Buy, Walmart, the Senior Center, etc. He's very generous. I don't think he's had a happy life. I wish it had been different. I'm glad he's my dad.

My parents and my sibs in April

Well, I'm starting to fade. Sure wish I could have just a little caffeine. I need to get to work so I can be busy.

Happy Wednesday friends!


Forsythia said...

I'm sorry your dad had had a not-so-happy life. If he likes to schmooze, it sounds like he's got some resilience and manages to get some enjoyment out of his life anyway. Happy birthday to your dad and more power to him.

Lauralew said...

I second what forsythia says. I think many of our parents have not had happy lives or marriages because, as someone told me once, it did not occur to them that they had to be happy. They didn't have time to ponder that (she said), as they worked too hard to think.

KathyA said...

Knowing this about your dad saddens you, I'm sure -- especially since it affects your mother as well. My grandmother was a sad (not bitter, though) woman. She lost a few of her sisters during the cholera epidemic in Italy, and she lost her husband when she was in her 40s. She had a lot to be sad about. Just goes to show how much influence 'nurture' has over 'nature'.

Leann said...

I think it saddens us when anyone we know has had or has an unhappy life. Especially those who are closest to us.

I hope you had a wonderful day shopping and you finally got that kick of caffeine you were craving :-)

Jamie said...

This post gives me something to think about. Like the commentor above, I'm not sure that generation ever considered happiness. It seems to me that wanting to be "happy" sort of came along with our generation, Cheryl. I think of my now long-gone relatives and I don't believe any of them were happy...and I suppose I can take that a couple of ways. One is that is how folks were then. The other--no wonder I struggle with the big HAPPY. :) You even say it yourself "you choose to be Happy". But anyway..too much thinking for four am.

Hey--Merry Christmas. Big hugs and much love. :)

Cindy said...

I think it's wonderful that you recognize the way your father must feel. I'm sure the unhappiness had an impact on him in many ways, but it sounds like he didn't let that affect you or your siblings in the way you were raised. You obviously are happy he's your dad, so he's done many things right in spite of his life's direction.

Cheryl said...

PS...I asked my dad about quitting school when he was in 8th grade. I was wrong. He quit when he was 16. When I asked him why, he said it was my Uncle Bernie's idea. Uncle Bernie says it was my dad's. Hmmmmm

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