Ten years ago on Thursday
-- ten years! -- we lost Dad. To commemorate his lovely self, I'm looking back to then . . .
We miss you Dad, you gorgeous man.
MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2010
Even on Mondays
I love the New York Times Crossword puzzle.
So did my Dad.
I do it every day. Well, except for Mondays and Tuesdays: those are chump days. My Dad, though, he didn't care. He did it every day. Every day for 50 years.
Dad at 35 in 1968. Looks pretty relaxed for just having had his sixth daughter with mom, doesn't he?
Anyway. I've got a story to tell, and I've got non-related photos to share. Bear with me, won't you?
Every day during his years and years working at Norwalk Hospital, he and another doc would share the NYTimes crossword puzzle: whoever got to the docs' lounge first would photocopy the puzzle, put the copy in the other doc's pigeonhole, and take the original for himself.
He did that every day for about 40 years. Then when he retired . . . he still photocopied the puzzle every day, for his beautiful bride. He took the copy, mom took the original. Naturally. Mom would have it no other way.
Easter 1966. I'm the wee one. The wee happy one.
I love this photo because Mom is about to have Julie -- she's 9 months pregnant. But mostly I love it because . . .
. . . I'm rocking my Dad's "Hello my name is Joe" sticker.
Anyway. Oh dear, these photos are distracting, aren't they?
Anyway, Mom and Dad came to Fort Davis, Texas to visit Bill and me in 2007 and my dad was absolutely chagrined to discover we couldn't get our hands on a NYTimes out there, and I couldn't do the puzzle every day.
There was only one thing to do at a time like this.
Dad photocopied me the puzzle every day for months then sent me the stack in the mail. Of course he did.
The thing about Dad? In addition to being a great husband . . .
. . . and a great Dad . . .
. . . and a wonderful grandfather . . .
. . . and -- as Mary Beth eulogized -- "Joyful. Appreciative. Kind. Gentle. Funny. Silly. Capable. Warm. Skilled. And fully alive" . . .
. . . the thing about Dad was, in addition to all that, he was smart. He loved Jeopardy. He could quote Hamlet's To Be or Not To Be soliloquy from memory. He knew all the bones in the human body. And he did the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.
Once upon a glass or twelve of wine, Jacquie and Beth and Ellie got to talking. We decided that we were all enormously smart and clever and hilarious, and that it would be a crime not to share our unique talents with the world. We decided to start a blog together.
We needed a name, so Jacquie asked Beth: “What should we call a blog about meand you and Ellie?” And the rest, as they say, is history. We are having a blast writing this thing, and if there was any trepidation that we were only smart and clever and hilarious that night because of all the wine, our words here thus far have succinctly affirmed our mutual self-admiration.
What are you reading?
Ellie - Middlemarch, George Eliot. Finally
Jacquie - The Nightingale, Kristen Hannah
Beth - Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz