Saturday, April 30, 2011

He kept his promise

There are so many things I can remember about Mr.P. The one that I keep close to my heart is my 18th birthday. That is when Mr.P had a massive heartattack and had to have triple bypass surgery. When he got home I told him we need him around a lot longer. I said that he had to promise to
1. Walk Alisa and Diane down the aisle
2. See me graduate college
3. See me get married

Years later while sitting in his tv and he looked over at me and said Helen I kept my word. (the last promise was Diane's wedding in 2006)

So of course I told him we need him to see our kids now. He told me that wasn't part of the deal (with his big smile) Alisa would often tell me that he would bring up the promises he made and how he kept them. It just touched my heart that he remembered it!!!!
LOVE YA MR.P See you soon

-Helen

His Hands

I remember watching dad work on cars when I was little and seeing his hands covered with grease and oil, but still looking so perfect. I always thought he had such handsome hands but never really told anyone, or even him. Sometimes when we were just sitting, watching TV or something, I'd look over at them resting on the couch or holding the remote and think "Those are my dad's hands. I love those hands". They were so big and strong but still seemed so gentle.

When I was a little girl, he would always reach his hand out for me to hold when we were crossing the street, or I would reach for his hand even when we were just walking somewhere. I guess as I got older, it became less and less cool to hold your parent's hand..so I stopped reaching for it.

He would hold Alisa and I by our ankles with his hands, face us away from him, run around the house, and act like we were going to crash into the wall but STOP just in time, and say "eeerrrrrrkk...!!!" He drew really cool pictures with his hands, played the sax, cooked the best cheese eggs, cut holes in the walls to save Alisa's hampster, pull my ponytail, give me high fives and say "high five!". When I was REALLY little, we would thumb wrestle and even though my hands were half the size of his, I'd still somehow beat him...so I thought.

I even remember him telling us the story over and over about how when he first started dating my mom, he acted like he pinched off her nose and said "I got your nose" and made a fist but put his thumb between his index and middle fingers and held it up to her face...not knowing that in Korea, that's apparently how you flick someone off. Next thing he knew, she yelled "how can you do that me!?!?" and started crying. He, of course, loved that story and would laugh so hard whenever he told it.

They were the best hands. They were my daddy's hands. And I can't wait to take a long walk with him again, hand in hand.

Thanks for letting me win all those thumb wars, daddy. I love you.

-Diane

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hearing Dad's Voice

Over the past week or so, one of my biggest fears, much like my sister Laura, is that I will forget. I am so afraid that with each day that passes, I get one day further away from him, and one day further away from all the things I knew and remembered of him.

That is really, to be honest, one of the main reasons why I wanted to do this blog. So that I wouldn't forget.

I can be such a forgetful person, very much an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of person, so I was so afraid this would happen with my memories of my Dad.

And if anyone deserves to be remembered, it is my Dad, of course, because to me, he was my Dad.

But the funny thing is that lately all I can hear is his voice inside my head. Telling me how I should think or repeating his old phrases that I didn't realize I knew so well. "Keep your chin up", "Everything's gonna be alright", "The Lord never gives you more than you can handle." :)

For being the "grumpy old man" that he was so often, he was surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) an extremely positive person, especially when it came to cheering me up.

So every time now that I think about something and wonder how I'm going to deal with it, I hear his voice.

A very close friend of mine assured me the other day,"Don't worry, girl. You'll never forget your Daddy."

I am starting to realize she was exactly right.

Even if this blog got completely erased, or all the pictures I have of him were gone forever, or the little blue book where we were writing down his jokes, etc. got stolen, even if I could never physically see him with my eyes in a photo again, I realize now that it will be ok.

I carry the most important parts of who he was to me in my heart, and that will never be lost or forgotten.

I miss you, Dad. I love you.

-Alisa

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dad on Sax

We all know how much Dad loved jazz.  Whenever I heard a sax I thought of him.  One of my memories of him was when he came to pick up my brothers and I one weekend.  Before we left for the weekend, the four of us played a "combo", as he called it.  Dad on sax, Mike on drums, me on violin, and Mark on trumpet.  I don't even remember the song we played...just that we did.

After Dad's 70th birthday, Adam stayed in Virginia for a longer visit with his Grandpa.  One day he and Dad were sitting around talking and Dad was playing his sax.  Without Dad's knowledge, Adam used his cell phone to record him.  Thank you Adam for giving us the gift of not only hearing him on sax but to hear his voice as well, for as long as we want.

-Laura
video





Thank you Dad for saving my life.

While listening to my sister Alisa read about all the things she remembered about Dad, I tried to recall all of my own special memories, jokes he’s told me, words of wisdom he gave me, basically everything.  But they all were blurred, if there at all, and I was so scared they were lost forever.  Then, a few days after returning to Arizona, they started coming back to me, and one by one, I started writing them down.  I even kept a notebook and pen by my bed because I found myself waking in the middle of the night remembering one more special moment…one more story.
I want to share them with all of you on this blog because many of these “stories” are ones he’s probably told you as well and if not, will give you yet another glimpse into the life of the man we all knew and loved so much.  I have quite a few so I’ll share one at a time.
One of my earliest memories was probably the most important, the day my dad saved my life.  We were all at Grandpa and Grandma’s neighbors, the Burnsides, swimming in their pool.  I’m not sure how old I was but I know I didn’t yet know how to swim so I was hanging out in the shallow end with my brothers and cousins.  For some reason, I decided to follow by cousin Karen around.  She jumped in the shallow end and I followed.  She got out of the pool and I followed.  She climbed up the slide and I followed.  She slid down into the deep end and I followed.  Only then, bobbing and gasping for air, did I realize that was a bad decision. 
My dad was standing on the other side of the fence, talking and watching, when he saw, in his words, a little brown head bobbing up and down gasping for air.  He immediately scaled the fence and jumped into the pool and rescued me.  My next memory was him holding me so tight, trying to soothe me, and teasing me about how I made him get all wet, including his watch and wallet.
The next thing I remember was him convincing me, not pushing me, but encouraging me to get back in the pool.  He said I didn’t have to but that if I didn’t, I may never want to swim again.  I was so scared but trusted him and since I knew that’s what he wanted, I got back in the pool.
Thank you Dad for saving my life.  Because of you I was able to grow into the person I am today and not only appreciate, but experience life.  I know I’ve made you proud because you told me this often.  I just hope I told you enough how much you mean to me.  I love you and will miss you…until we see each other again.
Love,
Laura

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dad's senior high picture I believe. So handsome!

The Blind Man and the Blondes Joke

Dad loved to tell this joke and we loved to hear it. :)

"A blind man walked into a bar and asked for a beer. As the bartender served him a beer he said, 'Ok, I realize that you're blind so your beer is in front of you.'

The blind man thanked him and asked, 'Hey, wanna hear a good blonde joke?'

The bartender, a little angry said, 'Because of your blindness I want to tell you that I'm 6 feet 4 inches tall, weigh 250 pounds and I'm blonde. The guy at the end of the bar, my brother, is 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 280 pounds, is a sumo wrestler, is also blonde, and the guy at the pool table is 6 feet 4 inches tall, is a Golden Gloves boxer and is also a blonde. Now...do you still want to tell that blonde joke?' asked the bartender.

After thinking a few seconds, the blind man said...'Not if I have to explain it three times.'"

-alisa

"Probably my favorite poem"

Since dad passed, I've been wanting to have a vision or a dream about what he's doing now. Everyone kept saying how "he's in a better place" or "now he can go anywhere with us". I can accept those thoughts in the sense of his memory or him being "in our hearts" but I wanted to know that he..the person...the man of dad...his physical body-renewed, if you will, was still alive and laughing and thriving somewhere else. What would have been even better than a vision or a dream though would be a "sign" or message directly from him somehow.
I never knew dad to be into poetry, which he wasn't. I never heard him talk about any poem, ever, besides the poem Footprints, which he loved. Yesterday, I was looking through a book that Alisa and I made of his stories and jokes that we gave to him for Father's Day a couple years ago. I found a folded piece of paper in it with a poem copied in dad's handwriting that helped me. At the bottom of the page, dad wrote "probably my favorite poem":

High Flight 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
                                                                      
                                                                         — John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Have fun, daddy. I love you.

-Diane

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Will Remember

This blog is a tribute to my Father, the late and great Michael Peters. Family and friends, please feel free to post as often as you'd like, with whatever you'd like, that will help us remember him. Dad was an amazing man and his memory lives on in all of us. Let's use this blog to remember his jokes, stories, sayings, words of wisdom and any other special memories we have of and with him. Personal notes and letters to him, pictures, etc. are also welcome. The purpose of this is to give us a way to let out our thoughts while at the same time honoring his memory. Please don't forget to include your name after your post(s) if you'd like.

Thanks for visiting. We will remember you, Dad!

-Alisa