Monday, March 20, 2006

'Roody' and 'June'

Emma's First Communion ceremony is this Saturday. It's bringing back memories. Memories that evoke mixed feelings for me. You see, Anna's First Communion was only about a week before my dad died. At that time, he was very, very sick. Only, we had no idea. No idea that in a few short days, he wouldn't be with us anymore. I am still amazed and overwhelmed how he managed to go to the ceremony and out to eat with us afterwards, in the condition that his body was in. We found out later that he had one-third of the blood that he should have had, because he was bleeding internally. One-third. Can you even imagine? When I get a little sick, and think I can't make it somewhere or do something that needs to be done, I think of him at that time, and know that I can.

But that's just the kind of person he was, he'd do absolutely anything for his children, his wife, his grandchildren. When Emma (nicknamed 'Roo' or 'Roody' when she was brand new) was about a week old and had RSV, Mark was out of town a lot, traveling for work. My dad ('June', to all of his grandchildren) would come over every night that Mark was gone, and hold Emma the entire night. She was on a respiratory monitor, but it would malfunction often and sound this deafening alarm that would scare us shitless when it went out. Number one, because it was loud! Number two, because we thought she had stopped breathing. We would often hold her all day (and all night) long, so as to act as 'human monitors', rather than keep her hooked up to the thing. Gee, I wonder why she's so spoiled . .

I can still see my dad sitting on the left hand side of my couch, in the camp where we used to live holding little tiny Emma, in his big arms. I'd leave them in that position when I went to bed and find them exactly that way when I woke up. I don't think she's slept quite as soundly since. I truly believe that, at that time, they developed a bond that could never be broken. The little, tiny love of my life and the big, strong one.

He picked Emma up from her preschool for me, between the ages of 3 and 4, and he never failed to tell me and my mom a story of what Emma told him. She used to crack him up with the things that she would say and the stories she would totally and completely make up. Until she was done and she would finish up with 'Just kidding, June! That didn't really happen'.

June used to buy entire cases of those Dove ice cream bars for Emma. Poor little Emma, takes after her grandmother, and has an addiction to chocolate. She loved those bars like no other. She could be sicker than sick and not willing to eat anything else, but she'd eat one of those ice cream bars in a wink. He'd buy those Dove bars for Emma and restock as soon as the supply started to get low.

Emma told me and my mom last week (out of the blue) that she promised to never eat a 'Dove bar' again until she was in heaven. To share it with June.

When she tried on her First Communion dress in the store a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but cry. For my dad who wouldn't get to see his 'Roody' on her special day. I really do believe that he will get to look down and see her that day. I just wish he could be standing next to me when he did.

She was so much his little girl. She still is, I guess.

26 comments:

lammyann said...

Girl...what a precious story about your dad. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Absolutly precious.
hugs

Jamie said...

What a wonderful story that moved me to tears. Your dad sounds like the most wonderful man and I'm sure he will be with you all on Emma's special day. Hugs...

holli said...

I'm so sorry - I would have been in tears too. I'm sure he's watching over you all the time!! But I know that doesn't always make you feel 100% better when you remember your loss.

Big hugs.

Suz said...

((((Renee)))) Big Hugs

My heart goes out to you, I got chills when you wrote of Emma and never wanting a Dove bar again till she gets to heaven.

Your dad sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Hugs Suz
P.S. Love the pic of your kids in the blessings post!

chesneygirl said...

Aw gosh, Renee, you just made me tear up!
Such a bittersweet story!

And you're right, he'll be there, he wouldn't miss it for the world! ;)

Lots of hugs to you, sis!

Mullet46 said...

Thanks Na,for remembering the truly special love of your daddy and his Roody. When I think back of his relationships with each of the four grandchildren he was so blessed to know, I realize how much he touched their lives, and their's his. His strength was amazing, and I believe part of it was rooted in his determination to simply live, to be there for THEM.

beki said...

Aww Renee, what a special story. Be sure to archive this for Emma.

Spikey1 said...

Wow, you got me! HUGS!

Lala's world said...

wow what a beautiful story! making me cry here. I am sure that he is definetly watching her always and on her special day too!! your dad sounds like he was an amazing man! and you and your kids were blessed to know him!

Anonymous said...

hey It's Erica. I forgot my password, so I'm anonymous, sort of.

That's the most beautiful story I've ever heard. I'll have to give you a great big hug next time I see you.

It makes me wish I lived closer to my parents because my Dad loves Cole like his own and like my in-laws can only dream of. ... and my Dad is the light of Cole's life too.

I do believe that Emma's connection will never be broken and that they will someday be reunited. What a day that will be for that grand Dove bar!

May God bless you as you go through this time of remembering.

Nicki said...

Thank you for sharing that, Renee. What sweet memories you have of your father. Such a blessing.

Stacy said...

I came your way by Monkeylaurie's blog - we're liverfriends of Mr. Anthony.

Just wanted to say what a beautiful family story. My daughter has a special hold over her "Poppy" - and she's only 2. I hope that they have time to develop the kind of friendship and love that you've written about.

Cindy N. said...

June will be there standing next to you watching his Roody for her First Communion. I truly believe this.

I lost my own Dad just before yours passed, and there are times I miss him so much and this time of year is one of those times. He had Alzheimer's and he was so impressed with the 'green leaves on the trees' that come out at this time of year. He would talk and talk about them....Memories.

You just reach out and hold your Father's hand during that Ceremony, because I know for sure he will be there.

I am sending a great big hug your way.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for sharing these memories -- I hope that your daughter will treasure them forever.

momyblogR said...

What a fabulous memory you have of two very special people. It made me cry, but I believe like you, your Dad will share that day along with many others to come. Only from a different place.

What a sweet, sweet girl to want to wait to share her next Dove bar with her "June"

OK, I have to go get the Kleenex.:(

Laurie said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your dad. Thank you for sharing...now I'll got hit the Kleenex box.

Beth said...

What a sweet sweet man. I could picture it just as you described it. What wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing...great reminder on how important our families are to us!!!

Trina said...

Renee,
Oh my goodness. I can barely type this I have so many tears.What a beautiful man, and a beautiful way to share him. My heart is longing for you. Love is such an amazing thing, and some people give it sooo freely. I am sure you have the same traits as well, being as love is contagious. Thanks for sharing that, and congratulations on Emma's Communion.

Daisy Mae said...

Your dad sounds like a wonderful person who left behind many wonderful memories. They never die as long as their memories live on.

I'll never look at a Dove bar the same now.

Trina said...

P.S.
Renee I am going to put you on my blogroll if you dont mind? Have a great day!

DebbieDoesLife said...

Renee, that was an amazing tribute to your dad. I am crying as I type. Your descriptions were so much more than just saying "they loved each other". And your sweet daughter saying she was going to wait to have a Dove bar until she can be with June again. Incredibly moving and sweet.

Carrie Guevara said...

When I stop crying I'll tell you what an awesomely sweet post that was. Very touching.:)

Krisco said...

Oh, man. That Dove Bar promise made me cry. What a sweety.

Tell her when she has one *here*, if she does, he'll be happy for her, there.

Anne said...

What a sweet post. It is so wonderful that you've got so much down about your Dad for your children to read and understand. I try to do the same for my own Dad, who passed the summer before Emma was born. It's just so hard.

Ex-playgroup mommy said...

Your father sounds like he was an amazing person...and I'm sure you miss him everyday. My dad died suddenly 5 years ago and it still hurts. He was such a great pop pop (and daddy for that matter!)and I get so sad thinking about what my kids are missing that they don't even realize. Just know that he is with you and will be on Emma's special day. I'll be thinking of you!

Mary Tsao said...

A loving tribute to your dad, Renee. He sounds like a wonderful man.

And have a special day tomorrow at Emma's First Communion. I'm sure she's a little nervous; I know I was.