Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy 85th Birthday, Bullpen Grandpop!

Good morning! It's an amazing day in the BPM household. Today, Grandpop turns 85 years old. How about that? 85 years....that's a long time, although if you ask him, he will tell you that the time went quickly. Today, he celebrates with 6 children, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild (a girl:-))on the way. That's a legacy and then some.

Pop may not be tall in stature but he has a big personality. A loving one too...in fact, there are days when I arrive at their home and we cannot go anywhere until we get a big hello and he finishes his prayers. There must be 40 or so prayer cards that he reads every day after mass. Grandpop and Grandmom go to church every day and are regular fixtures in church. I, for one, am grateful that he is so devout. I can feel the prayers as I tackle difficult tasks or personal issues. I know that his family is his top priority.

So, I go back to the usual question...what do you buy a saint for his 85 birthday? Well, in the past, I have bought books written by every Pope...sweaters, heavy socks, boots, and so on....But 85 seems like it should be marked with a marching band or fireworks. This is an issue that I have grappled with over the years.....he doesn't need anything or really want anything. He likes the Philly sports teams, church, gardening, and his family and friends....So, embedded in there is a gift or two....

I am going to rule out clothes since he does not want or need them. The marching band may be tough to book especially in January. We go to the Phillies games together, so cross that off the list. Sure, I can pick up flowers, he likes them...but really...flowers for your 85th birthday?

Let's see....if I was turning 85, what would I want? Perhaps I would ask for a new hip and knees....a hair style that does not droop after putting a turtleneck sweater on, or "cushy" shoes that do not look like they are therapeutic....fashionable...you know?

What I would really want is to spend time eating and drinking with family and friends. Who doesn't like a little Merlot and cake with funny conversation? Even with his hearing aid, Grandpop can still hear our banter, which can be outrageous and often pretty funny. There is no limit on how we can poke fun at each other. Actually, we are the only ones who can do it...anyone outside of the family, would have a big fight on their hands.

And so, I will give him what I want....time, companionship, food, drink, and togetherness....a person does not have to be 85 years old to know that this is the best present of all...the gift of your self....tied up in a bow with opened arms and a big hello....

Happy Birthday, Dad....I love you.....

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