Thursday, March 10, 2011

In memoriam: for my dad, who loved a good laugh

One of the things that makes it easier when someone you love dies is thinking about stuff you used to laugh over together. My dad had an excellent sense of the absurd.

Today, I was remembering when my Uncle Sidney passed years ago. As we left the funeral parlor, the guy who ran it said to my dad, "See you soon!"

Dad: "I sure hope not."

We laughed so hard as we drove away.

I'm re-posting "Nice hat, Dad!" today. He laughed when I'd told him what he was wearing, and kept right on wearing it.

* * * * *

I saw my dad on Sunday. He's 86 and a little out of it at times, but he's still plenty smart and generally not doing so bad. Especially considering the hat he was wearing.

"Um, is that a pot plant on my dad's hat?" I asked the woman who helps take care of him.

"Yes, it's ganja!" she said, cheerfully. She's from the islands, so she knows what she's talking about. Seems like she's been wheeling him everywhere in that cap. For a year now.

"Who got it for him?" I asked.

"Your mother," she said.


I called my mom.

She told me she had a pair of pants to return to some discount-type store; the place wouldn't give her cash, so she decided to pick up a few things instead. Including this bargain $1.50 ganja hat.

"Mom, what did you think that design was?" I asked.

"I thought it was a maple leaf, like on the Canadian flag," she said.

I pondered the hat. What the heck, I thought. I mean, I don't want anyone mistaking my dear old dad for a weed dealer, I wouldn't let my mom buy ones for the kids and I'm not condoning ganja or anything, but there's something to be said about being the hippest 86-year-old in the whole hood.


  1. I've been kinda sorta stalking your blog hoping for word from you today. You haven't left my thoughts. I wish I had your way with words right about now...because I know if I were you and you were me - you'd have just the perfect thing to say to cheer me up.


  2. Ok, you come from a lineage of awesomeness darling.

    I'm sending you a big big hug.

  3. sending hugs to you as well. i loved the hat! xxx

  4. I've been surreptitiously checking on you too. Humor really does get us through. Seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree here -- great dad, great daughter.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. And yes, as Molly said, it seems you come from a long line of awesomeness. Great story. And hugs.

  6. What a great story! Hope you're hanging in there!

  7. I laughed the first time I read that...and again the second :) You're in my thoughts. Hugs.

  8. I'm not condoning weed either, but I like that hat. It's cool.

    Your dad seems like the kind of guy who would have gotten a laugh out of my friend, Don, who also has "an excellent sense of the absurd." Don always keeps me laughing.

  9. The hat is priceless! What a wonderful picture to share of your dad. You are in my thoughts Ellen and I wish you peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  10. The "Hat" column is even better reheated!

    Hope you're handling it all OK. Count me in the crowd of those who have been thinking of you today.

  11. Brilliant. It's always good to have the fun things to remember, it does help. Also, Max looks very like your father.

  12. He wore it well. :) Sending you a hug from Ohio.

  13. I had alredy read this post some time ago, but I will read it again for sure; this was one of the funniest thing I´ve ever read on the internet...I loved it! You are lucky you had the opportunity to grow up with such a wonderful father.
    He´ll keep making you happy, with memories like this..
    Lots of love and big hugs..

  14. Ellen, we miss you:) Thinking of you in this time.

  15. I'm sorry for your loss...

    When mourning the loss of a loved one it's important to be able to find that story that makes you laugh (or at least makes you smile).

    When it's someone that meant that much to you, that moment will surely come.

  16. Ellen, I was so sorry to read about your dad - thank you for sharing with all of us.

    When I read this post, I laughed until I cried. Over and over....


Thanks for sharing!