With Thursday’s being “Throw Back Thursday” and Father’s Day this weekend; I thought I would write a little bit about my dad. This Father’s Day, as in many Father’s Days, I will be out of town for a D.A.D.s Event.
D.A.D.s is an acronym that we have used for over 35 years and stands for Dollars Against Diabetes….D.A.D./Father’s Day…..get it, cute huh? DADs (and Moms) of the North American Building Trades will be organizing events all around the country this week to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. I’ll write more about them this week but I wanted you to know that even though they can be relaxing this weekend, a whole ton of dads will be collecting money for all of our kids.
Dads are very unique people. We do a good deal wrong but I do believe that what we do get right, we get it right pretty well. My dad was always a giant of a man to me. He was incredibly dedicated to his family, was stern, not perfect, loved to teach (baseball mostly), he loved music, LOVED to sing, he loved to write, he loved a good joke and he LOVED to laugh. Making my father laugh was an instant feeling of gratification, if he laughed-you had a good joke.
He was fiercely dedicated to organizing. Little League, his Political Clubs, Elks Club, COP, whatever he did; it was only a matter of time before Joe Karlya would hold the highest office. He also hated petty. Petty was eliminated almost immediately.
He served his country in WWII as a historian….somewhere we have a German helmet with a bullet hole in it, a Japanese sword, and actual photographs of Mussolini in a square in Italy as he recorded it and wrote about it.
When Alzheimer’s, dementia, loss of memory or whatever one wants to call it; took him for so long, it was heart breaking………………….for us (actually) more than he. He was living in Ground Hogs Day and reliving each day but at the same time he was drifting further and further away from us. His T2 diabetes was getting no better and things just started to go down hill.
He tried to stay with us…….but his stare became more and more vacant. I learned a lot about my mom through all of what was going on; she is one tough broad, my mom. 🙂
Anyone that did not take care of ‘her man’ was going to pay big time—-my mom is a very smart woman, and from Bay Ridge Brooklyn with four older brothers and a sister, she is about as strong and street smart as any woman I have ever known. So when those taking care of my father saw a ‘little old lady” walking in, they quickly learned that her white hair was woven and earned from tough education one strand at a time and NOTHING was getting by her.
Still, she did not show us her broken heart as dad’s heath was failing; when he left us she did. But she does all she can to move on.
The day before dad died (which was 4 days before my son was also diagnosed with T1—-THAT WAS a week that sucked) some of us were with him, and miraculously it was as if nothing was wrong. He knew all of us, he knew all of the nicknames he gave us, we sang, joked, and we were given a gift, my dad came back……………………………..to say good-bye. That night he left us.
Yes, we dads may do many things wrong, but when we get it right——it’s magic. My dad caused a lot of magic in his life. I miss him. I miss our talks. I miss his humor. As my tears bounce of my key board, I miss his hugs.
And on this Throw Back Thursday I share with you his most common charge to all of us, and this weekend remember it when it comes to your dad and to your family; Love one another.
And for this day only I change my signatory because I miss my Doggie Daddy.
Love you Always Pop,