What a weekend I had, friends. I spent all day Saturday and a bit of Sunday morning down in Alabama with 2 of my 3 siblings helping to clean out as much of my dad’s house as we could. He lives in a 3,000 square foot home and I’m not convinced that he’s ever gotten rid of anything other than obvious garbage since he moved there in 1993.
So, yeah, there was a lot of stuff.
We were doing this because my dad needs to downsize for many different reasons, the most sobering of which is that he has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. We aren’t at the place yet where he isn’t remembering who we are, but we are aware that we will be there one day. There’s just no other way to say this: it sucks.
But as we sorted through coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments that should have been sold at a garage sale (or in some cases just thrown out) 15 years ago, we also uncovered some things that brightened our spirits and made us all smile. And let me tell you, the moments when my father was laughing so hard because he was REMEMBERING hilarious moments were the best. I seriously wouldn’t trade hearing his laugh for anything (other than a cure for dementia. I’d totally trade it for that).
This is the find that made him laugh for the longest time:
Ok, so this looks like a pile of dusty trash, right? Well, it is that. But it also has a story behind it. These are the plastic rings that went around new gallons of milk. You had to take off one plastic piece for the top to come off. And BOTH of my brothers were notorious for flicking the plastic rings up above the fridge and onto the very top of the kitchen cabinets. Why? Because it was fun, I guess. And also because it kept them from having to take 6 steps over to the garbage can. Notice that the girls in the family did not partake in this foolishness.
This cabinet is WAY too high for my father to safely reach, and so, here are the remnants of several years of plastic rings from when one of the boys was the first to open the gallon of milk. It gave dad such a good laugh that it made me sort of glad that they did this, after all.
I was also delighted to uncover lots of cards just like these from my dad:
When I was young my father traveled a lot for his job. He was a professional musician in a band. He missed a lot of important days, but he always made sure to have a card with a special message in there for me. And in fact, by the time I was 7, he traded in his music career for back-breaking yet steady work as a sheet metal mechanic, and much of the reason that he did that was so that he would see his kids every day. I know he would make the same choice again if he could because he loves his children just that much. But I still think of my daddy as a singer (and he actually does still play with his band!). I mean, check out my awesome dad, folks (he’s the singer):
Truly, you guys, my dad is a rock star. In my heart, on the stage, everywhere and all the time. And the smiles he has put on thousands of peoples faces over the years can’t be erased by time or disease.
Oral-B Power Dad’s Smile Everyday Sweepstakes
Speaking of smiles, I want to encourage everyone to take a moment to enter the AWESOME sweepstakes that Oral-B is currently hosting in honor of all the great dads out there. There will be over $1,000 in prizes, and to enter, just share a photo of your Dad on Twitter or Instagram using #oralbsweeps. You’ve got until 6/15 to get your entry in, but go ahead and do it now while its fresh on your mind! Here’s my entry: http://instagram.com/p/oyytSGQU4V/. You could win the Oral-B Black ProfessionalCare 1000 Rechargeable Toothbrush, the Braun Series 7760 shaver and a $250 Target gift card! Enter now, friends. I’m totally wanting to win the Oral-B ProfessionalCare 1000 toothbrush, as it removes 5x more plaque along the gumline than a manual toothbrush. These gums of mine have a favorite hobby, which is bleeding, so I’d love to be able to seriously attack the plaque that hangs out near them! And don’t worry, I won’t leave dad out in the cold. He’ll be all over the Braun shaver to keep his beard nice and trim.
I’d love to hear about some sweet memories you have with your father as we get geared up for Father’s Day this weekend! Here’s some inspiration for you, straight from my dad!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.