Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

His name was Jan Kaminski. I called him Daddy or Tata or Tatusz my entire life.

We ate sardines in oil on rye bread and fried shrimp and tripe stew and galareta, but not all at the same time. We drank tea. You peeled my apples and oranges until I was 19 and then some whenever I came home. You quizzed me on my spelling lists and let me listen to Super CFL in the car instead of Zenon Kwiatkowski's Polish Variety Hour on WOPA. I could always coax you into washing the dishes if I dried and put away, I so hated to get my hands wet, and slimy in the dirty dish water, still do. To say you spoiled me is a HUGE understatement.

Today you would be 89 years old. It's hard to believe you've been gone over 12 years. I last spoke with you on a Tuesday, you were so weak. Then Mom called Thursday morning to say that if I wanted to see you I should come soon. Whynot practically pushed me out the door, I thought if I stalled, you'd wait for me. I was afraid, afraid to lose you.

I almost drove straight through from J-town to Melbourne, the kids and I stopped outside of Atlanta, but I could only sleep a few hours so we piled back into the car and kept driving. We arrived late Friday afternoon. You were incoherent as I held your hand and kissed your forehead, I told you it was ok to go, that the kids and I would be fine. Whynot would take good care of us. We watched Wheel of Fortune together one last time. Saturday morning at about 3:30 you were gone. For months I couldn't drink tea without crying.




Happy Birthday Tatusz, I miss you, but we're ok.
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31 comments:

AirmanMom said...

Happy Birthday!
~AM

alice said...

It is so nice when sad things turn into good memories. Happy Birthday

Kylie w Warszawie said...

What a sweet tribute. And what do you mean you didn't eat galereta and sardines at the same time;)?

Not to break the mood but what a very typical Polish name.

Jennifer Suarez said...

aww ((HUGS)) that was so sweet it actually made tears well up in my eyes.

Happy Birthday to him

Jennifer Suarez said...

PS: I'm hosting a BIG GIVEAWAY on my blog today so stop by and enter!

Kim said...

((((hugs)))) what a wonderful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful father!

Kathy B! said...

Aw, shoot. Now you've got me crying. A lot.

Happy Birthday, Jan Kaminski.

And hugs to you, MRM.

Miz Q said...

Awww darlin! what a perfect post! Your Tatusz would be so touched! Love the dishwashing story, what a wise man to figure out a way to spend time with his daughter and make her think it was HER idea ;o)

(hugs) you did him proud!

Tiffany said...

Aww that made me tear up. So sweet! Happy Birthday Dad!!

Stacie's Madness said...

Happy birthday to your father.

Today is my sister's birthday too!

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

He's handsome and you're sweet.

I'm glad you have such great memories!

Proud Mommy said...

First time visitor.....what a great first post to read!!! There should be more like him in the world!!

A. K. said...

This is an awesome tribute!

Patricia Rockwell said...

Good daughter, nice tribute to Dad. It's strange that your father shares his birthday with my husband.

♥~♥ Tracey ♥~♥ said...

*sniff* You got me. I rarely cry, but I've got snot dripping now.

xoxo

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

How very very sweet. He was obviously a great dad.

I called my dad Tata too.

And now I know why you wanted to know what my maiden name was!!

Meghan said...

You made me get all teary eyed at work.
Your daddy looks so sweet & kind.
Any man who peels his 19 yr old's apples is alright in my book!! :>)

Michelle said...

That is SO not fair to make me cry. This is actually a sunny day and I'm in a fairly good mood. This was such a wonderful way to wish your dad a happy birthday. It sounds like he was such a special man.

♥georgie♥ said...

Lovely tribute to your daddy rita!

jill jill bo bill said...

I hope to be ableto do such a wonderful tribute to my daddy on his birthday if I could ever stop crying. Just tell me it gets easier.

Alisha said...

Happy Birthday! What a great tribute!

OHmommy said...

Oh. So sweet. My Tata's name is Janek too!

Hugs.

Kaci said...

Happy Birthday Dad!! =>

dana said...

AWK!! The memories of such a wonderful man in YOUR life reminded me of my dad and he's been gone for FORTY YEARS. FORTY!? I'm now the age he was when he died....before I knew how wonderful he was. I'm glad YOU were smarter than I.

Hit 40 said...

Beautiful tribute to your dad! Made me want to call my own dad.

Julie said...

What a handsome papa! Happy Birthday!

Lori said...

A very happy birthday to your dad in heaven. It sounds like he was a wonderful man. You were lucky to have him.

Halftime Lessons said...

Oh man...Im sad and happy for you all at the same time.

Great tribute. I miss a couple of them myself.

Jay

Julie said...

Awwww. That made me cry.

Happy birthday MRM's Dad, a little late but heartfelt nonetheless!

Dusty Brown said...

I love the picture and the sweet glimpse of your daddy through your writing was perfect!

ed said...
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