My Pop


My Dad has been on my mind a lot lately.  He is 84 years old and his health is failing.  He just stopped driving last month and today I bought Dad’s cherished 2000 Chrysler Cirrus from him.  The car had a whopping 23,000 miles on it.

Dad was a police officer and he scared the hell out of his children and the local miscreants.  He was a converted Catholic who fought the battle with the bottle for many years.  He finally stopped drinking the year that I graduated from high school.  I later found out that he quit because my brother was graduating the next year and my mother had told Dad that she was going to leave him the day after my brother graduated if he didn’t stop drinking.

He threw my three siblings out of the house under ugly circumstances.  I got married 6 months after I turned 20,  so I guess I didn’t have enough time to really piss him off.  Actually, I guess I was his favorite – I was the youngest daughter and I idolized him.  When he was young, he kind of reminded me of Andy Griffith.  He took me everywhere with him.  He bought me a car when I was 16.  He paid for my wedding.  He loves my kids and has always been good to them.

My Dad was and still is a mean, angry, funny, sarcastic, smart, bigoted, loving man.    My Mom who is 79, goes to work every day not only for her sanity, but she also desperately needs the money to pay the $1500.00 monthly rent on their apartment.  My dad sits at home watching TV or sleeping all day.  He only wants to eat vanilla ice cream.  He is often confused and my mom is worried about him every waking moment.

I almost cried when he signed the car title over to me last night.  He was a police officer – he drove a car every day for over 20 years – and last night he knew that he was never going to drive again.  When did he change from Superman to Old Man?

Life has changed for both of them, but I know my Mom is a strong woman who will just keep pushing forward.  My Dad??  I’m not sure how much longer we’ll have him.


About JJ

“"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.'” William Butler Yeats
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6 Responses to My Pop

  1. *Hugs* I’m sorry your dad’s health is failing. For good or for bad, our family is our one constant.

  2. JJ says:

    Thanks for your kind words. You are absolutely right – family is always there…whether you want ot see them or not!

  3. Bex says:

    He stopped “driving and EATING?” How can he still be alive with no eating? People are mysteries. Some you don’t love and they are wonderful just the same, some you do love and they don’t deserve it. But it seems you just can’t control whom you love. I have loved many many people over my 6+ decades of life and I don’t understand why for most of them. Thanks for sharing about your Dad. I am an orphan now. Can you be an almost-63-year-old orphan?

  4. Kathy says:

    I lost my dad in 1987. He was only 63. I miss him a million times a week! This is such a kind entry for your dad. Even though he could be mean, you still loved him.

    I love that he’s going to go out eating nothing but vanilla ice cream. Why the heck not?!

  5. LA says:

    Dearest JJ,

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays!

    You are a loving daughter, a valiant and terrific mom, a great wife, and a good friend. Gifting you with a year of good news and serendipitous happy surprises. ~LA

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