Today would have been my dad's 76th birthday.
Above all things, he loved his family most and close behind were golfing and gardening. He spent at least 3 mornings a week at the golf course and all his other spare time tending to his impressive garden.
He also walked 4 miles a day.
He had 2 triple bypass heart surgeries - 18 years apart.
Pulmonary Fibrosis is what finally did him in.
He never lived to meet Sissy, but he and Buddy had a particularly close relationship. Buddy was the first grandchild on my side and my dad just thought he could do no wrong. Buddy loved spending time with his "grampoo", too.
Buddy was 6 and a half when Dad died. I don't think he ever really could wrap his mind around it then, and I know he still struggles with Grandpa's death to this very day.
When Buddy was born prematurely and spent 6.5 weeks in the NICU, the nurses said they could set their watches on Dad's arrival (visiting hours didn't start until noon, after the doctors had done their rounds) and my dad was there at precisely noon for 48 days.
Dad, you have a beautiful granddaughter now, too. She would light up your life just like Buddy did.
In his honor today, I worked in my little patch of dirt and plants. And thought of him tending to his own tomatoes, cabbage, onions, etc. There wasn't anything he couldn't grow.
Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you.