Friday, March 16, 2012

just st patty's day...

how do i describe what this day means to me???

5 years and probably 2 months ago
my dad and i sat at the pub and said
wouldn't it be great to spend the entire day here st patty's day
it was on a saturday
neither of us had to work
the more we talked about it the more we thought
this is actually going to happen
so my dad picked me up at 7:15 in the am to go drinking
we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into
or what we were starting
we sat at our table all day
we watched people come
and go
we watched someone come
and then go
and then come again
and then puke
and then go again
for good this time
we shared our table with complete strangers
there was no room at the inn
so we invited them to table 16
we met new friends
we sat and talked just dad and i
for hours
i heard stories that i had never heard before
my friends realized why i hang out at a bar with my dad
because he's kinda awesome
we left when they closed the place down
lights out
chairs on tables
with promises to do this again every year
the next two years we did the same
open to close
continued to meet new people
continued to hear new stories from my dad
the 4th year
3 months after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer
my dad lasted from open to about 10 that night
continued to meet new people
continued to hear new stories from my dad
the 5th year
last year
dad was too tired to make it
but i continued to meet new people
and i told dad's stories
the 6th year
this year
dad will be drinking a green beer in heaven
but i'll continue to meet new people
and i'll tell dad's stories
and i'll have a whole slew of people to celebrate with
eryca is coming in from iowa for it
it's bam bam's first st patty's day
he may be negative months old but ya gotta start somewhere
there will be more amy's than you can shake a stick at
i use that phrase
i have no idea what it means
i could probably shake a stick at them
not throw it of course
but shake - yes
it's my first st patty's day with heather
which may sound weird
st patty's day is like christmas, thanksgiving, easter, flag day, cinco de mayo, new year's eve and arbor day all rolled into one amazing day
it has become my favorite holiday season
not because of the green beer
i mean - it helps
it's something more than that
it's that i get to share a tradition
a tradition that started just dad and i
but i get to share it with everyone
i have been asked
won't this one be hard
won't you be sad
every beer that is hoisted in dad's name
every time his plaque is looked at
every time his name is mentioned in a story
every time i instinctively turn to my left to say something to him
i'll be reminded
what an amazing man he was
how many lives he touched
how lucky i am to be able to call him pop
how wonderful this life is

so please
join me
and my friends
and my family
and complete strangers
and have a beer
or a shot
or a glass of water
or coffee
whatever it is
just come play with us

and if i have to tell you when and where
you haven't been paying attention
and therefore
are no longer invited

1 comment:

Jen said...

OK, now I'm all vclempt and wishing Mike's Mom wasn't on her way to Cincy for the weekend. Maybe I'll find a way to sneak down tomorrow, but if not, you can betcha that I'll be raising a glass up here to your Dad. It may be a diet Coke, but it's the thought that counts, and Anna will raise her bottle (or more likely my boob since that's how we roll on the weekends, and sorry if that was TMI).

I loved your Dad, I love you, I love the tradition you've started, and I hope it lives on forever.