Keeping a Steiff upper lip
Wednesday June 05th 2019, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Family

Dad put me on speakerphone into the party. His voice was strong, happy, laughing, sounding like Dad always has and at his happiest. My older sisters, brothers-in-law, a niece, and I didn’t quite catch the others and of course Mom were there celebrating his day.

“Tell a memory!”

I thought, Quick, think of something good!, and so I came up with this. While also marveling at how energizing love is. Go Dad!

I told of Mom and Dad coming here to visit and happily posing with my childhood stuffed tiger with the biggest smile on their faces. (That post is in the blog somewhere, I’ll find it…) The one Dad had brought home from the Steiff factory in Germany when I was three or four–I remember the moment when it became mine.

Do you still have it? Dad laughed, sure of the answer.

Me, with great enthusiasm, Yes! And when I was a teen, I wasn’t going to ask permission or for how to do it, I just grabbed some of the leftover yarn from Carolyn’s sweater and stitched him up where he’d split open a bit. The yarn didn’t match (not to mention, it was way too thick for the job) but it was what I had and I used it anyway. It’s still there. It’s part of its history and part of Carolyn’s sweater.

Which I’m sure was news to Carolyn in the background and I know all of this was new to her daughter there. Dad talked a little about touring that factory and was pleased that I remembered Anne’s koala. There were the big girls and the little girls and we two little girls got the stuffed animals.

I went on, Last Christmas, Maddy was turning four and that was just the right age so I went looking and I found the Steiff website and a tiger that was adorable and whose price wasn’t in the stratosphere. Maddy got a tiger from her grandparents, just like you gave me mine. Spencer got a Steiff baby rattle. I’d never known there was such a thing, but there is.

I forgot to tell him that Maddy latched onto that tiger like I’d latched onto mine and that when we visited between Christmas and New Year’s, the kids told us it was her favorite now.

I was afraid I was making Dad overdo but I didn’t want to break the spell and I didn’t want to deprive him of a single moment. Or, selfishly, me. He did tell me, though, when he needed to let me go so he could…

I knew. Breathe.

And if any doctor ever again asks me how I stay cheerful while going through the worst medical crises (actually, let’s hope I’m done with those), I’m going to say, You should see my dad. I totally get it from him.

Happy 93d, Dad. Love you forever and always and thank you.

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Alison’s Dad!!

Comment by Anne 06.05.19 @ 10:22 pm

Lovely BD and extra lovely memories.

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 06.06.19 @ 6:54 am

Thanks for the memories. I hear it in my head.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.06.19 @ 8:36 am

Happy birthday to your dad!

Comment by ccr in MA 06.06.19 @ 1:53 pm

There wasn’t anyone else, just two sisters, their hubbies, and one niece. Big/little brother’s been sick and didn’t want to take a chance that it wasn’t all done, and we missed him. Low key this year, but happy.

Comment by Marian 06.06.19 @ 10:48 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>