The ‘Rona has put a strange time warp into effect. It was March, and now all of a sudden it’s the late part of the middle of May. The time went fast and slow all at the same time. April was in there, as I recall, but it was a whirl of the new job and trying to navigate a pandemic. It shouldn’t count against us, but it went by and I have no idea when and how it did that.

May has in the past few years turned into what August is to me: A mess of 31 days I need to just get through and hope it doesn’t cause too much damage. (August tends to be a shit show, for those of you who don’t know.) And May brings the birthdays of both Mom and Dad, although both are no longer physically here, I still in my own way pay tribute to and celebrate their births, as they both lead directly to my existence.

I woke up with a little jolt around 4:22 this morning, and I immediately knew it was Dad’s birthday. Good old Ed, he had been in my dreams, I know that but I don’t exactly recall what it was. In my experiences, dreaming about Ed, Mary Jane or Darlene is their way of visiting me, checking on me, letting me know that they are around, even though they aren’t. It’s comforting, and then a little devastating when you wake up. Because you don’t ever know when they will visit again. I don’t get a schedule ahead of time. I am surprised I don’t dream about them more often seeing as they are never far from my thoughts. But enough of that, let’s celebrate Ed a little!

May 19, 1933 is the day Edward made his presence apparent to Grandma Julia and Grandpa Joe. I never really knew them, Grandpa died years before I was born, and although I knew Grandma I have no real recollections of her even if my brothers tell me I should. I remember her funeral, but that’s about it. I am sure it was a magical day, after all, it was Ed!! By all accounts, even his own, he was kind of a rotten child. He was smart, but always into some mischief. My aunt used to tell us how at the end of one school year, she was sent home with a cigar box full of spitballs that he was responsible for producing. He probably could have defended himself against a few of them had DNA testing been available back then, it is conceivable someone else spit a few of them. Doubtful, but possible. First hand accounts tell us Grandma spent a lot of time saying “Oh Eddie!”

Dad was in the Army, he went to school at UW Madison, something he was always very proud of accomplishing. He was smart, but didn’t always get the best grades. Busy with other things, wink wink. He asked someone else’s girlfriend to the prom, which he was the King of the Prom. We loved teasing him about that when we heard that one! He was also president of his class his junior year, a feat he accomplished as a result of his buddies rigging the election, from what he told us. The prom king thing had more to do with his buddies than him too, by his recollections.

He was a good guy, people really liked my dad. It’s getting more rare as years go by, but I still occasionally will meet someone who knew him from Kimberly or from working with him, or an old client. Most of his friends and colleagues are either themselves passed on or retired and moved away from the area, so I don’t get that kind of interaction too much anymore. But it is fun when I do, because I always get a story.

Ed was my hero. It’s so hard to put into words what he meant to me, I think it is for all of my siblings and people who loved him. He died when he was only 57, which is so young, especially since I am 50 now I can see how young that truly is. When I was just shy of turning 14, I had an accident that smashed two of the toes on my right foot. Dad was out with Dar and Jolene and her first husband, Rob, when it happened. We called the restaurant, and they came right home. It is all kind of a blur, but I remember Dad picking me up, carrying me to the car and driving me to the ER. He seemed calm, but I know he truly wasn’t, he was good in tense situations like that. Dad handled that, and I will never know how he reacted about the whole thing when I wasn’t around, but he never let me for a minute think it wouldn’t be alright. It was alright, in the long run. I had to have part of those toes amputated, and a lot of that is a blur too, but I will always remember him scooping me up and taking care of me. My Hero, always.

Today I celebrate Edward. I do everyday, but today I justify eating some ice cream in his honor. He liked taking us out for a treat. We would hit DQ, Baskin & Robbins, any place with ice cream. 87 years ago he was born, and he had a sweet tooth. You gotta show respect for that, so a little sundae or cone today will be a part of that. Thanks for the little visit in my dreams, Dad. It’s always good to know you haven’t really gone anywhere, and that a piece of you is alive and well in my heart and the hearts of my siblings. I hear your laugh when the boys laugh. Margie loves corny jokes and puns, and that’s you too. I know you are here, and knowing that gets me through missing you. But you will have to get your own ice cream.

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