I Pay Tribute To My Dad

I Pay Tribute To My Dad
21 de jul. de 2023 · 4m 27s

Joanne’s book, “By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go” is now available from your favorite online book seller. If you’re interested in having her come to your local bookstore, contact...

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Joanne’s book, “By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go” is now available from your favorite online book seller. If you’re interested in having her come to your local bookstore, contact her directly at joannergreene@gmail.com or her website at https://joanne-greene.com to see if Joanne will be speaking at a bookstore near you. Make sure to sign up for her newsletter!

"In this story, I pay tribute to my Dad. I’m Joanne Greene.
Let’s travel back to April 16th, 1981. In celebration of our great new ratings, the KFRC air staff, of which I was a part, and the radio station’s top sponsors, were flown to Las Vegas in a private jet for a one-night, blow-out party. Had I known that it was my Dad’s last day, I would have passed on the the jumbo shrimp, the open bar, and the exclusive performance by Mac Davis. Who the hell was Mac Davis? Country music was never my jam.
It was just another day in the life my dad had been living since I was six years old when he was hospitalized for ten days to determine the cause of his partial paralysis and cognitive and emotional decline. If he had a brain tumor, they might be able to remove it. In one test, the pneumoencephalogram, not performed since the late 1970’s, a lumbar puncture drained most of his cerebrospinal fluid and replaced it with oxygen and helium to allow radiologists to see his brain more clearly on an x-ray. The test was extremely painful and often resulted in severe headaches and vomiting long after the procedure. The tests proved nothing, and he continued to live with the diagnosis “degenerative neurological disorder.”
Our home was filled with palpable anxiety. What if he couldn’t work? How would we survive much less pay for college? Mom did the books for the window cleaning business he purchased from his father.
Popsie, as I called him in my preteen years, left the house at 5am to wash the windows of stores before they opened, stopping for coffee and a donut with the cops on the beat. Those cops got bottles of booze from my Dad at Christmastime and, somehow, our car with the license plate 39187 never got a parking ticket. One day he found a small faux silver bracelet with a little dangling heart charm in the gutter on Beacon Street and brought it home for me, his Valentine baby. That bracelet means as much to me as his hundred-year-old violin.
My father had been a concert violinist as a young adult but gave up his dream to help clean windows after my grandfather suffered a stroke. I never heard him play, just watched him cry each time he heard the sound of a violin. My dad loved classical music, betting on horse races, Tabasco sauce, baked Alaska and the Jackie Gleason show.
I wish that I had spent that last night telling him I would have loved to have known him in his prime. How I would have gone to the track with him, that we would have sat together on the banks of the Charles River enthralled by the Boston Pops at the esplanade. That even though we never discussed it, I knew deep inside that my wild appreciation of nature and music, of spicy food and humor, that my feeling too much and having to hide the emotional waves that crashed unexpectedly, that my love of dogs and Judaism, of children and fried food all came from him and that I treasure all of it. I would have thanked my father for being there – even in a compromised state- for the first 26 years of my life and I would let him know that I will proudly uphold his traditions and pass them on to our descendants because that twinkle in his eye, that mischievous lopsided grin, the crazy nicknames and made up songs, that loving so hard that it hurts, are deeply precious gifts that must be shared.
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Autor Joanne Greene
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