One of the most precious memories of my young childhood, when I was knee high to a grasshopper, was when my Dad would pick me up and dance with me, especially after work. It seemed extra special to be up when almost everyone else slept. He managed movie theaters, so he often got home well after midnight, particularly in the summer. Drive-Inns were still cool in those days. One could see a double feature for the price of one! Anyway, when my dad came roaring up in with his 1965 Mustang Square back, it usually woke me up! My mom enjoyed after midnight snacks. Her favorite ones were the cheap tacos from Jack in the Box. Can you believe that they were a nickle each back in the Stone Age of my youth?!
If Daddy was in a good mood, and I heard the rustle of a bag, I would call out. “Hi Dad! I love you! I love you too, Mommy,” not wishing her to feel left out. Sometimes, Mommy would put on the radio if she knew I was awake. I remember this particular occasion quite well!
I was about 3 or 4 years old. Daddy came into my room and said, “What’s up, Snicklefritz!’That was a nickname he had for me. I looked up the word on Google; snicklefritz is a word from the Pennsylvania Dutch culture. It refers to an exuberant, mischievous kid who is very chatty as well. That description fit me in those days. I gave Daddy a bright smile as he picked me up. I was named Kathy, after all. A popular doll was named Chatty Cathy at that time, so just perhaps, I lived up to that name as well!
He had me giggling in no time as he whirled me around and around to the music. I caught sight of Mommy in the doorway. She had a genuinely beautiful smile! I loved that smile! For one moment in time I didn’t think of my Cerebral Palsy – the fact that I was unable to walk. I was free as a bird and free of my wheelchair. I was just a little girl sharing a special time with her daddy – Big John! It seemed that although I lacked the ability to move my legs and feet well, I had a hyperactive, precocious mind. Suddenly I said, “Daddy, I am so light on my feet! He had a marvelous roar of a laugh – a big belly laugh that shook his whole body and a snort or two was mixed in it. I loved to make him laugh because it made him happy. Dad laughed so hard and for so long that he almost had to put me down.
I knew it was a special moment for Daddy too because he recounted it to many of his friends for years to come with that same wonderful belly laugh! When my daughter whirled around with her Daddy, my husband, about the same age, I felt the same surge of joy when he danced around the room with her. It just goes to show that it can be a fantastic thing when history repeats itself! Have a great day Pops! Sending my love up to you! There is one memory when I was about the same age that I can recall.
I remember many times sitting upon his broad shoulders when I had my stubby arms stretched out sideways as far as they would go, moving them up and down and to and fro. We both made loud airplane noise as Daddy ran around the house. We would run/fly into the kitchen as mom was washing the dishes. Suddenly, he would drop me down close enough to give her a kiss on her cheek before flying/running for one more trip around then before Flight Daddy would smoothly land me into my chair.
My Mom liked poetry that rhymed, so I wrote these two poems in her honor. Otherwise, she did not consider them to be poetry at all.
I Miss You
I – It has been over eight years since you went home to God.
M – Mary means wished for child.
I – I wish you knew how much you are loved; I hope you do now.
S – Serenity is what I hope you feel; you had little of it in life.
S – Strength, you had more of it than you knew.
Y- You were far more unique than people gave you credit for.
O – Outstanding at so many things Mom that I am not: cooking, sewing, crocheting, painting, drawing, handwriting, dancing etc.
U – Undeniably big heart for those you love.
Just 1 More Time Again
I wish we could rock in the squeaky rocking chair together once more
I wish we could crunch popcorn when watching a movie full of gore,
I tried not to watch, but you loved to scare me, that you did adore.
I wish we could have one more beach trip to watch you collect shells at the shore.
I wish we all had 1 more camping trip, it was funny watching you swat flies galore,
I wish I heard your laughter, even if it is at me, along with dad’s guffawing roar,
I admit it, I was just a bit of a ham when I was about the age of four,
I wish I could hear you sing and play the accordion before I slept, and you shut my door.
However, I she did not leave before I said my prayers, The Our Father and Now I Lay Me
Down to Sleep;
I silently also prayed to walk and for a sister or a brother before I began the process of
counting sheep. I was blessed with the one I wanted the most.