This is a tribute to the man who for better and worse
in sickness and health
has stepped in to be my dad
He is everything to me and today is his 67th birthday
Even though I know God's timing is perfect
and no one can control how much time we have here on earth
I pray with every corpuscle of my being
that I have another 30-35 years with him
Without further adieu
You mean more to me and my girls than you will ever possibly know
He has always taken his girls (all 7 of us -daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters) to see beautiful, natural sights . . . here he is showing Sassy the Columbia Gorge at the Columbia River . . . and watching airplanes fly overhead from the nearby airport (PDX) He never gets impatient or is ready to move on before one of us decides we are . . .
Another time, another adventure at the Columbia River - having lunch, getting ice cream and taking a walk along the shore . . . You can see on Sassy's face how much she loves walking with her Papa and holding his hand
He has always been interested in what interests us; from new technology to books and dance or musical instruments. Here he is playing with Sassy's new iPad. The Barbie app probably isn't what he would have chosen to play but because it was what SHE wanted to play he was more than happy to oblige
He has always been good at listening to anything we ever needed to talk about. There is nothing we can't talk to him about or say to him - not even girl stuff because he is so compassionate, understanding, and loving. This photo is from Sassy's 4th birthday and she was a bit overwhelmed so he sat with her while she just took a breather on the window ledge.
He paints his girls nails and brushes their hair - he has even on occasion cut our hair. On Fridays my mom used to paint the girls nails without fail but this Friday she had to work and so Papa volunteered to take the place of nail painter . . . and might I add he did a superb job (maybe even better than my mom)
He takes us all on fun trips . . . here he sits with Sassy on the Monorail at Disneyland in 2013 (my girls' second trip to Disney) He took the entire family for 5 days at Disneyland and California adventure. Previously he took just the girls and myself (with my gramma) in 2012 and we plan to go again toward the end of 2015 or beginning 2016 for 10 days! If anyone knows how to show his girls a good, fun and magical time, it is this Papa!
This may seem a simple and endearing photo between Breezy and her great Papa but it is more special than what meets the eye. Anyone who knows my Papa knows he doesn't like his face or hair touched AT ALL, but when it comes to his girls, he makes the exception.
He takes care of his girls regardless of the place, time or circumstance. Here Sassy had an allergic reaction to Disneyland facepaint and we had to leave Disneyland to go to the ER. He spent 3 hours with us in the local emergency room and then paid the full bill without blinking his eyes.
He makes sure that my girls are not without when it comes to 'Daddy stuff'. Here is taking Sassy to her first Father-Daughter dinner at her school. Everyone dresses up and gets their girls corsages and with Papa my girls received nothing less. This year he will take both Sassy and Breezy and they LOVE that he is going to take them. They wouldn't have it any other way with any other person.
He takes time to just plop down wherever (even at the bottom of his stairs) with a bucket of popcorn and hang out with his girls. Talking about movies or school or the play they just saw or their best friends; he always had time for what anyone else might consider trivial.
The 'tooth extractor' . . . he painlessly has removed several dozen teeth from all his girls mouths and if we cried it wasn't because it hurt but because of . . . the blood.
Always willing and ready to accept and receive all the love that all his girls feel for him and want to express. The man who sets the bar for other men to strive toward when it comes to being a father.
Happy birthday Papa-san, Poppyseed, Pop, Pa, Popioli and all the other silly names we call you!
You are loved and WE are blessed to have you in our lives.
May the Lord bless US with many many more years near you.