Tuesday, June 26, 2012

family tree

Chicago is a big place. Who would have thought it possible that a family cold outgrow it?  But we have.  That is the city where I was born and raised.  Today, all but one of my siblings have moved away from Chi-town.  My parents and one sister are living in Florida, and the rest of us are in the Chicago area, but not very close (geographically) and very involved in our local communities, so that it requires a very special effort to try to get together.

 My dad had a landmark birthday, so we all made the special effort.  Saturday, the day before Father's Day, we got our families together, and invited a few other friends and former neighbors.  Dad knew that the local siblings would be there, but as far as he knew, we were just going to hang out.  He didn't know that we had a surprise party in his honor.

Boy, was he surprised!  We had food catered at 2:30, and he was supposed to show up at 3.  But Dad wanted to come earlier.  The Floridians arrived the night before to a timeshare that is approximately an hour West of the place we had our party.  Dad was eager to spend time with his kids and grandchildren, and couldn't understand why Mom and Sis (who were in on the surprise) didn't want to leave earlier.  They wanted to relax and hang out and that really tested Dad's patience.  When he arrived to the party, and saw all those people, and the party decorations, they all laughed while he apologized for being so pushy and trying to rush them out.  I'm glad no one's feelings got hurt.

[thanking his guests]
 These days, I hear lots of people lamenting bad relationships with their dads, and I feel for them.  I hope I never take it for granted that I have a dad who loves his wife and children, worked hard and honest, and stayed faithful to God.  I have nothing but love and respect for this man who, although he only stands at 5'1/2" (153cm), he will always be a man of great stature in my eyes.

And even though I enjoyed spending time with my siblings and their families, I am grateful to be able to settle down and hear myself think once again.

[Mom, Dad, & their 6 monkeys]


imac said...

You're just a kid at heart - likes to climb the trees,lol
Nice to have a get-together, what land mark has your Dad reached?

Jackie said...

What a great post!! Belated happy birthday to your Dad. You are blessed to have a Godly Father. I know how you feel, Craver, because I too am blessed to have such a fine Dad. My Daddy is 5 feet tall...so, your Dad would feel "tall" beside Daddy. We are all vertically challenged (I'm 5'2" and Mama is 5'1" tall.) But...our feet reach all the way to the ground...and we ARE grounded in the Father's love. That is the best!!
Great photos...and a marvelous blog post. I send you smiles from the deep South. We received much-needed rain (in the form of a tropical depression) and we are all trying to dry out a bit. Flooding around the area is pretty bad. Thankfully, for us, we are all doing well. Again...sending you and your family a smile and a hug.

Happyone said...

A very Happy Birthday to your Dad. It is so nice to hear you speak so well of him.

Craver Vii said...

Oh, how I loved to climb trees when I was young, Imac! I used to tie a hankerchief or bandana at the highest branches as a dare for anyone to get high enough to remove it. Those adventures are long gone, but the memories remain.

Dad is 75. That's interesting how we normally count landmarks by the 10s, except for multiples of 25.

"...our feet reach all the way to the ground :-)
Jackie, if you've got too much rain right now, we'd love to have you send some our way. I have a KFC lawn right now... golden brown and extra crispy.

Happyone, I am sure that each of my siblings (as well as their spouses) would attest to the fact that Dad has earned every accolade. I enjoyed your kind words.

Chris said...

What a nice day you organised for him. he sure was pleased... You can see that on the pictures!

George said...

I think it's great that you were able to surprise your dad with the birthday party. We're trying to surprise my dad with a party for his 100th birthday, but long-distance planning is tricky since he now lives with my sister. I only hope we will be as successful as you were.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations: firstly for your Dad's wonderful surprise party and secondly for your very happy family. Obviously such firm family ties will be very long lasting.

mr. dave said...

families that stick together are very rare these days. cherish every moment you have with them!

Craver Vii said...

Mom and Dad had a good time, and I've enjoyed talking with them about this visit. Thanks for your encouraging words, Chris.

George, I hope that works out for you. I hope it's everything you wish for. Your dad surely deserves something special for his 100th.

We're a nutty family, that's for sure, Kiwi. We like to laugh a lot.

Dave, we've learned a lot of lessons from Mom & Dad. Sticking together is one of those great lessons.

Shammickite said...

This is a really great post, thanks for showing me a picture of your family. And Happy Birthday to your Dad. We only get one dad in this world, and I'm so glad that you appreciate yours! Does he read your blog? I hope so. I hope he knows how much you love and respect him.

Wendy said...

What a great post, one of my faves! I especially love the last picture of all of you, it should be framed for sure! :)