Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Old Man

Today is my Diddy's birthday. He would have been eighty nine. I woke up this morning and thought about him first thing while I chugged my daily glass of Nestle Quik at the kitchen sink.

He joined the Navy when he was just seventeen years old by having his younger brother sign his paperwork as his father.

Soon after the Navy he met my momma, and married her. He was a very smart man.

I had the best childhood ever and two parents everyone adored. Everybody loved being at our house and was always full of love and laughter.

It all blew apart when momma died suddenly on August 19, 1977. I don't think any of us ever recovered from that one, just simply learned to live with it.

This is with my younger son , Zach one Christmas.

This is him installing a dishwasher for my sister in the house on Bayard street where we all grew up. He was one handy man and could fix or repair anything. I can't remember him ever having to pay someone to fix anything when we were kids...didn't have to, we had him!

It's been twelve years now since he died. In some ways seems like a hundred years ago yet in others seems like last week.

Last year for  Christmas Massey got an angel wing pendant which holds some of Diddy's ashes. She wears it every day. This is her posting "Happy Birthday Grandpa" on her Facebook status tonight.

One thing I can say with certainty is that I have survived these past five or so years because I was a "Leach".

My parents were never wealthy, far from it but were actually the richest people I've ever known. They loved each other and were loved by everyone. Money doesn't buy that, integrity and honesty do.

If I can be half the person they both were, we'll call my life a Win.

The things we've been through these past years have been trying and draining but were just "Things" nothing else. We're all healthy, happy and counting our blessings.

If the two above people had never met, fallen in love, married and had that final last kid I wouldn't even be here typing this post.

Because of them, I am me. I am a fighter and not one to give up or in. I trust and depend on God and know everything else will eventually fall into place. Maybe not on MY time schedule but on HIS.

Seems like a couple of years ago I was sitting on this station wagon with my brother and sister. See how close we are in this picture? We're even closer today. That's what being a Leach is all about.

Diddy loved John Denver. He had this album and we heard it a lot when all kids, spinning away on the huge stereo in the dining room. It was as big as a small couch, with gold crushed velvet covering the speakers in the front and all it was was a turn table and AM/FM radio.

My momma's name was Ann and this song always reminded me of the way  diddy felt about her.

I was a lucky little kid and am a lucky fifty four year old woman because of it.

Happy Birthday old man!

And just as he always said to us when we were younger, would most probably reply "That's MISTER  old man to you."

Thanks Mister Old Man, for teaching me to know right from wrong and how to love others.

The greatest two abilities a person can have.

Miss you every day and think of you even more.

Thanks for leaving me in such wonderful hands.

Til next time...COTTON

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