July 30 – If Only Dad Knew…

by Pat LaPointe

When I was born on this day in 1949, my father was in freight traffic school and this was the day of his final exam. Every year on my birthday he would call me or I’d call him in later years and I would have to ask one question: “Was it 98 degrees that day and you got a 100 on your test or was it 100 degrees and you got a 98 on your test?” He never gave the same answer each year. But we’d both get a good laugh. Before he suffered from dementia, if I called him, Mom would answer and say “Hold on I’ll get him”. When the dementia worsened and he could barely remember my name let alone our little game, Mom and I would continue to talk about past years, wondering if we’d ever have the answer to that question.

Dad has been gone for a little over a year now. It’s been about 6 years since he understood my question. I still wake up on my birthday and think of our little game. Mom has been gone for nearly four years now and there is no one to share this with.

Today I realized that I could probably get the weather report somewhere online. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. As it turns out it, if I had checked, the mystery would have been solved. The report I found listed 93 degrees as the highest temperature that day. I wish Dad was here so I could tell him it is likely that, considering it was 93 degrees, he must have got a 100 on his test!

Pat is currently the President of SCN and has recently published an anthology: The Woman I’ve Become: 27 Women Share Their Jurneys From Toxic Relationships to Self Empowerment. She is also the editor of a monthly online newsletter for women: Changes In Life.

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4 responses to “July 30 – If Only Dad Knew…

  1. What a sweet story! Isn’t it interesting how our most precious memories are often little things we shared that gave us a closer bond to a loved one. I feel such empathy for your frustration at not being able to tell your Dad the real weather report that meant he must have gotten 100 on his test, I’ve been through that with things I wish I could say to my Mom and Dad now. But I really believe they watch over us and that your Dad is probably grinning over your efforts to find out that weather report for him.

  2. Even though my parents, too, are no longer on this physical plane, I can remember such fun times, and your beautiful story was heart-touching. Thanks for sharing it! (Laura Hulka)

  3. If you had done that there would not have been the game and the memories attached to it with your father.

  4. Beautiful story. Amazing how we can now double-check details. Depending on how you use them, some may dilute the story. In your case, you’re able to use the update to continue the story about the old belief without diluting the original. Super!

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