Excited at the pending birth of my first child in February of Nineteen eighty six the year felt promising. We had a gorgeous new home with a spiral staircase on an acre property, Vancouver's expo eighty six, a six month celebration to look forward to, and I was turning thirty, which I wasn't too thrilled about!Then Christmas of eighty five dad was diagnosed with cancer. Between Christmas and New Years he was opened up but nothing could be done so they sewed him back up! He was home for a bit, lost tons of weight and got progressively worse.
Just before Cupcake was born in February the family was told he had about six weeks to live. Which they withheld from me until my intuition tweaked. I forced them to divulge what they knew. Dad died six weeks, to the day, after Cupcake was born. On Saint Patrick's day!
Anyone who knew my dad knew he LOVED to party, dance, sing, play the harmonica, drink and be merry. He was an amazing ballroom dancer and taught me to dance at a young age! Women spoke of his talent years after he passed!! He was kind to everyone and really enjoyed a party atmosphere!
His bad boy side often enticed him to pop into the pub for a few pints of beer and game of shuffle board under the guise of slipping out to buy cheese!! Sometimes causing turmoil in the marriage!
So when dad, a party animal, born in Scotland, with an Irish mother, died on St Patrick's Day I figured he went out in style on the perfect day. He couldn't have planned it better himself! He'd never be forgotten!
That year in May we attended Expo eight six with three month old Cupcake in tow. It was quite the celebration. Music galore, many wonderful sites it was such a memorable time.There were open bar restaurants such as Irish Rovers Unicorn pub. We often landed in there for lunch or dinner. Celtic music free flowing, everyone was happy!
Even my alert three month old baby bobbed on my knee in time to the music. People trickled by to remark what a wonderful happy soul she was! Fed and changed she slept contentedly through many sets of the Irish Rovers music while we enjoyed the experience!
Older women scowled, men smiled welcoming affirmations, and some addressed us saying this is how all families should be. Many young people hovered with positive comments.
Most rewarding was a comment from a child care worker who'd been watching us all evening. She stopped by to say she has never seen a more well adjusted happy baby so well loved! I beamed with pride.
She continued to praise me by saying she sees hundreds of children but Cupcake was the happiest baby she'd ever seen. Her loving statement was exactly what a new mother needed and trumped all the negative gestures from those giving me the stink eye! In that instant I knew my indulgence was okay!!
Forward thirty years, today, on the thirtieth anniversary of my fathers death, St Patricks day, my Cupcake is attending the Irish Rovers 50th anniversary concert tour in Vancouver. Even though she may not remember her last Irish Rovers concert I have no doubt she will enjoy it just as much!!!
Maybe that first concert at three months old solidified her love of music and live concerts. To this day it's first on her list of things to save for! She has seen such an eclectic array of musicians, old and young, every genre, rock, folk, punk, country, Celtic, you name it... Willy, The Stones, McCartney, Young, Cohen, Springsteen, Snoop, Eels, Dylan, Grohl, and hundreds more! I'm sure she'd have gladly carted her grandpa along to a few had he been alive!!
Happy St Patricks Day one and all!
Thinking of you today dad and how proud you'd be knowing Cupcake
is at a concert having fun celebrating you!
Do you have any bittersweet memories?
Do you find the happy overtakes the sad, or
the other way around?