I Was Dancing With My Darlin’

I was thinking of a song to do my father-daughter dance to at my wedding.  My dad hates being in the spotlight and it’s awkward to dance with him knowing he’d feel so uncomfortable.  He hates formal events, hates dancing in public.

The other day as I was cleaning the house, I thought to myself:

“I wish my grandpa was here because he’d dance with me!”

All day I kept thinking of my grandpa, wishing I could visit his grave in the Philippines.  My dad offered to take Josh and I to the Philippines in December but we don’t know if we have the time off to do it.  But I thought, I’d love to pay respects to him…I had such an urge to hear him the other day.  Maybe he’s trying to tell me he misses me.  🙂

Filemon Lacar, was the first man to dance with me.

His room was next to ours when we were growing up.  It was the room the girls would always play in because he had hard floors whereas most parts of the house had carpet.  We could play our chinese jacks in there because the rubber ball would actually bounce.  And he never scolded us.  At least I don’t remember him doing so.

Plus my grandpa had all kinds of instruments: ukulele, guitar, violin, accordion, and he had a record player-a turntable with all these fun records.

He composed his own Ilocano songs and when my Uncle would come over from the Big Island they’d sing a duet, recording it on tape.  I wonder where those tapes are now.

Anyway, because it was the “music” room, I tried to be in that room as much as I could.  Plus my grandpa was so nice to us, my dad was always stern and angry, so my grandpa’s room was my hideaway.

One day he was playing his records and sure enough he told me to stand on his feet.  I my feet on top of his and he started to move.  We were dancing and it was fun!

I often went to that room and when my grandpa started to dance to music, I’d step on his feet so I could dance with him.

I could see myself now dancing to The Tennessee Waltz with my grandpa.  He loved a good waltz.

When I was older and played the piano better, he’d always ask me to play a waltz.  I would carry out the request and sometimes he would play his accordion as I played the piano.  He had such a gift for music.  Something that definitely carried down through to my dad and me and now my nephews.

By the time I was 24, I was helping the family take care of my grandpa.  He had a few minor strokes but then came the big one came and he was paralyzed on one side.  But we worked on that too.  I did the massages and everyone did their part in caring for him, feeding him when he couldn’t eat, making sure he exercised and a year into treatment he regained most of his abilities except use of his one hand.

His request back then was to move back to the Philippines so he could “die” there.  He went back home, along with his older brother to die there.  They didn’t “die” immediately though.  His older brother did eventually pass a year or two after leaving Hawaii.  Another year later my grandpa finally passed.

I was at my best-friend’s wedding in California on the night I got the news on my cell phone.  He was gone.  When I went back to Hawaii I couldn’t take more time off to fly to the Philippines for the funeral, plus I didn’t have the money for it.  So I made peace with the thought that I did my part in caring for him when he was partially paralyzed.  I spent time with him, quality time.  It was my thank you for being so nice to me as I grew up.

You know when I came home with  B on my report card he was so proud.  My parents would be so disappointed but my grandpa said I did good and gave me $20!  When he was ill I was there at the house weekly to give him company, massage his body, scratch his back, feed him, etc…I know he loved me very much.  And he knew I loved him very, very much.

My dad came back from the funeral in the Philippines with my grandpa’s accordion.  I had hoped my dad had gotten all his instruments, but nope, my dad wanted the accordion.

If he was at my wedding, I’d have a grandpa-granddaughter dance 🙂  And I’d dance The Tennessee Waltz with him.

He was still alive when I was with Bobby and at least he had met him. I wish Josh could have met him.  A month ago as I was trying to put pictures up in the house (people this is such a slow process, I hate making holes in my walls!) I decided to do a frame of my grandpa because I miss him, a lot.

I had found a pic of him with his accordion!

LOL…see, his beloved accordion.

Then I found a pic with me, him and Bobby!

Bittersweet photo for me, I lost these men 😦

And I was rummaging through my photos because there is a lovely photo of grandpa and me in the Philippines.  A pic we took in 2001.  I think he loved that I was there in the Philippines, saw the house he built and we had such a fun time together.  I need to find that pic 😦  We were leaning into each other, head to head looking at the camera.  I hope I find it.

Then I found a picture of grandpa with the “cousins” the 7 of us that grew up together with him.  I won’t put that pic on here in it’s full glory since there are other people in there who may not like their picture of when they were young! LOL…but this is the frame I created and put in the guest bedroom.

tribute to my grandpa

I never sought out to make a frame just of him but that day when I was rummaging through my pictures, I thought it was a good idea.

I was so wrong.
It was a great idea.

Miss you grandpa.


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