by Carole L. Sanek (Notes) on Saturday, June 15,2013 at5:26pm
I would like you to meet someone, Dad. I would like to introduce you to my wonderful husband,
Larry. I know the two of you will like each other a lot because Larry is 100% Polish and you are
100% Hungarian. That’s a great start!
I told my friends this morning that if I could have you with me again one more time I would
want you to spend that time with Larry so you could know in your heart I finally got it right,
I would want you to shake his hand and sit down next to him, cross your leg across your knee,
and go ahead and light up that cigarette. It can’t hurt you anynore, and since you would be
visiting in another realm, it can’t hurt Larry either.
I know you would tell him how sad you are that you did not pay affention to that lump! That if
you had not allowed your stubbom Hungarian background to keep you from going to the doctor
we could have had a lot more time together. I know you would tell him how hard you fought,
and you did, Dad. You tried every treatment available, some that were not even sanctioned by
Then you would skip back in time and tell him about all the fun we had as a family. You would
tell Larry about all our special trips to the park every Sunday where you would fry pork chops on
the grill, and we would skip stones across the Rocky River. You would tell him about the time
we almost got stuck in the cave in Hinckley Reservation. You would tell him how I wouldn’t use
the outhouse on Aunt Esther’s farm because I was prissy. I am still prissy Dad, I can count on
one hand how many times I have used a Portalet (don’t ask Dad, they are outhouses that get
You would tell him about the time I fell in the river while dinner was cooking and you drove me
all the way home to change my clothes and that was quite a distance. Speaking of driving, you
would tell him about the time I was driving and I went to pass another car and scared you preffy
bad. Obviously we made it. Then that would remind you of the time I took that same car
through two parked CTA buses on East 14th Street in downtown Cleveland, I think you sat on
the floor of the car that time. we made it – dad I have very good depth judgment.
Oh and you would tell him how you would call me at work to let me know if you would be able
to drive me home. I worked at Canada Dry then and had to answer the phone “Drink Wink from
Canada Dry” and you always laughed and said “Drink Wink and Stink”.
Yes, you and Larry would have a lot of good laughs at my expense but with love, I know that
because if there is one thing I know for sure, you loved me with all your heart.
I do want you to know that being married to Larry spares me the loneliness of not having any
close family left but I know that you and Mom and my itchy brother Danny are together because
that is how it was supposed to play out. I get that – mom told me once that I could get through
anl’thing because in her opinion I was the strongest woman she ever knew. I got that from you,
Dad and I am so grateful for that.
One last thing, I am sure you would share your opinion with Larry about how I named my sweet
little girl dog after you. Larry and I always knew there would be a dog named Willie in our
lives, we just did not know it would be a girl dog, so I changed the spelling a little and whenever
we say her name I see your face in my mind’s eye. Again that is how it was supposed to play
During the conversation you would uncross your leg from your knee and you would lean forward
and look Lany deep in the eyes just like you used to do with me when I would sit across from
you before going to bed. I know you would thank Larry for taking such good care of your
daughter, and you would get up, shake his hand, start to walk away, and you would tum and give
us both your special wave and get into that Chevrolet you liked so much. You would toot the
horn and drive off smiling and saying to yourself “Yes, Carole, you finally did get it right!”
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.