Today would have been my father’s 80th birthday. He was never one for fanfare or special attention under any circumstance, let alone his birthday. Were he here, we would have celebrated as a nuclear family and not bothered with gifts since he truly considered his family to be the only gift he wanted or needed.
To commemorate this day, however, I asked the family to share, in 80 words, some thoughts. Everyone is busy, the world is crazy and not everyone in my family wears their heart on their sleeve as much as I do (most people don’t). I completely respect them for that. In fact, I could learn a thing or two from them. Regardless of who did or did not write something, everyone in his family cherishes, adore and miss him.
The thing I miss most about my dad is his toothy smile and big laugh.
In fact, since childhood, my greatest joy was those times I could really make him crack up.
There were a few subjects that would do the trick so I naturally returned to them time and time again.
With him, it seems I never went too far. I appreciated that in him.
I still like making people laugh. But he was my best and favorite audience.
I think about my dad every single day. I wish he were here. To enjoy my children, little kids when he died, now young adults. To meet my wonderful husband and his family whom he’d have loved. To remind me that things always work out, to keep my sense of humor and to not take things too seriously. Or to share a donut, a York Peppermint Patty , a Klondike Bar or Celtics’Game. But mostly for his magical hug.
Aunt Barbara (sister):
About my brother…..a tease with a twinkle…did you know of the mysterious hole in the closet between our bedrooms, the toneless phone at of the 1940s, galoshes, hats and gloves stowed under the steps on the way to school and retrieved on the way home, the blare of the Long Ranger and Tom Mix every evening, stickball in the street and “meat du jour”?
Camp Lenox, the proud but short life of his first car, the not short jacket sleeves, fifty cents a football lesson…these are a few of the precious memories of the brother I loved and continue to love.
I smile to think of my grandfather on this week especially, because his values were so completely and refreshingly the opposite of those that have overtaken our country’s most prominent leaders. He was a person whose decency ordered his life, and that was a principle he and my grandmother instilled in the rest of us. Kindness, generosity, and patience were not aspirations for him; they were simply his nature. How lucky I am to have had such a role model.
It’s wrong to be selfish; Poppy never told me this, his actions did. If you ask anyone who knew him, they would tell of his selflessness. Through the years I have found myself being selfish in wanting him back. He was such a wonderful man, friend, husband, grandfather – the list goes on. I want him back, we all do. Yet, I have no doubt he is helping someone, somewhere with something they need him more for. We all love you.
Thinking of you, MJL, and all those candles that we’d have lit in your honor…
June, David, Ellie, Robbie, Julie, Barry, Becca, Jack, Izzie, Rachel, Sara, Harrison and Jessie.
 My Aunt exceeded 80 words…but since she knew him the longest, I gave her a pass. 😉
 Anyone who knew him knew that my father was the consummate gentleman. He would have been so utterly disgusted by the behavior of the man in office that I am almost glad he wasn’t here to witness it.