Father’s Day…..A tribute to my dad…..

My dad.  So many things I can say about my dad.  He’s always been there and always fought for me.  He’s made me laugh, and of course, he’s made me cry (when i was a little girl and he would say no!)  Today, he called me up.  I said “hello” and he launched into this long winded story. When he finally stopped I said “Happy Father’s Day by the way.”  His response: ” Yea.  so i was thinking.. oh. Thanks. so I was thinking…….”  ahhhh Dad.      Or his infamous line that our family will never forget EVER…we were in a drive through (KFC or some chicken place).

Lady taking our order asks my dad “French Fries or Potatos?”
My dads response “Yes please.”
Lady: “Um French Fries OR potatoes?”
Dad “Yes please.”
Kids from backseat and Mom in Front “WHICH ONE DAD?!! ONE OR THE OTHER!!  French fries OOOORRRR potatoes!!!!!!”
Dad: “Oh, potatoes”(while driving to the window) “i can’t understand what they say in those stupid things always crackling…..”

Or the fact that he REFUSED to get new glasses for so long because he didn’t want tri-focals.  Bifocals were bad enough for him.  He couldn’t handle the trifocals.  So instead, he has his bifocals, and then two different pairs of reading glasses that he puts on OVER his bifocals.  Occassionally a magnifying glass…….. oy vey……..  Finally, I don’t know who did it, but one of us kids, or even mom, convinced him that he had to simplify and just break down and get the new glasses.  But, it was quite a sight.

When he got his first cell phone that could take, send, and receive pictures (about 6 months ago), HOLY COW!  THAT was hilarious.  The puppy I gave him for Christmas became the object of all the photos.  However, I would send him photos and he would always say “I can’t see what it is Chris, its too small.”  ZOOM feature!  Zoom!!!  Dad says, “what?!  there is a zoom??!!  NO WAY!”  hahaha… always making me laugh.

And even when I was a little girl, I was daddy’s little girl.  This was before my sister was born in 1991, so I was the first child, AND the only girl.  Daddy’s girl.  He was always listening to tons of music with me, mostly Pete Cetera and Chicago.  The Beatles.  Every summer it was Oldies 104.3 with Dick Biondi while we ran around in our bathing suits (my bro and I) and played in either the sprinkler or the pool (depending on the year, the pool got bigger and bigger as we grew).    He liked to break out his guitar and bust out a few tunes.  (Thats where I get my musical talent from)  I would dance and dance around.  Even when times were hard, my parents always found the money to make sure I played my instruments, went to my concerts and on the special trips to play in other states and countries, and always made sure I had the money for my dance lessons, which then turned to cheerleading.
When I got to college and came home and cried because I had to tell my family of my eating disorder, my dad was upset.  He read and read and read about it, trying to understand and trying to help.  When I walked through the doors of the hospital to admit myself  a few years later because of my bipolar, I was supposed to have dinner with my dad and brother.  My mom and sister were out of town on a trip to New York.  My sister loves New York sooooo much.  When I finally got to call my dad close to dinnertime to cancel dinner, I had to tell him where I was.  I made him promise up and down and swear on everything that he would NOT tell my mom and sister because I did not want to ruin the trip for them.  No way.  And, my dad kept that promise.  He came to the hospital.  I cried and cried as I was so embarrassed to be in the psych ward of a hospital.  I felt I had let him down.  That somehow, I had turned my life into some hellhole that could never be saved.  I felt horrible.  The second hospital admission the Wednesday nite before Thanksgiving.  My brother and dad come to the house.  I have a knife (i don’t even know why) but my next memory is sitting in the hospital again, in a padded room with my Dad.  My dad tries to open the door to leave, and realizes its locked.  He’s like “why do they lock it from the outside?”  I calmly reply, “Because dad, if they didn’t lock it, us crazy people could just walk right out the door.”  “OH. hmmm,” he replied and sat nervously in the room.  To ease the tension, I said “Hey dad!!! Watch this!!!!”  and knowing the walls were padded, I banged my head on them a few times and laughed.  Yeeeaaaaa… Dad didn’t think it was so funny…..at the time…..  He asked the nurse if he could go make a phone call or two and waited til the meds knocked me out.  He waited and then walked with the nurse to bring me to the psych ward.  Yup.  Crazy daughter and all.  That was the very first year I didn’t get to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since I was basically born.  There were no pillsbury cinnamon or orange sweet rolls for breakfast that day.  But, Dad (and Mom) still came to see me everyday.  Dad came to my graduation of my therapy program and had tears in his eyes.  He thanked everyone there for giving them back his daughter.
Through break-ups and break-downs, my dad has always been there.  Even when he was having his own break ups or break downs.  He did everything he could to give me everything he could.  Most of all, he has given me unconditional love.  He has loved me when I made bad decisions and loved me when I made good ones.  Loved me through the times I was scraping the floor trying to pull myself back to life, and when I was sooooo full of life we thought nothing bad would ever happen.
My dad had been through hell and back in his own life, but has always made us kids (and mom) his priority.  For that, I thank you Dad.  I thank you for everything.  I thank you for rescuing me from as much of the bad as you could and for learning about and trying to understand that which you couldn’t rescue me from.  Unconditional love is something that is rare.  And you have always, always given that to me.  Even when you wanted to rip my head off for getting arrested in Disneyworld, or any of the other stupid things that happened.  I thank you for all you have given.  You truly are an awesome Dad.  And I love that you still support every single thing I do……including checking the Ask A Bipolar website for every post that I write and that you accept my phone calls every morning between 5am-7am!   I love you Dad!!!!!!!!  So, this post is for you!HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Christi


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