The Ubiquitous (Love of) Ernst
I just spoke with my dad for Father's Day. He and my sisters are out to dinner/lunch in Rochelle Park, NJ eating littlenecks and drinking wine and Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and passing around the horseradish.
He wanted to know what I'm up to and was very pleased to hear I've been working on music and melodies have been coming to me.
"A woman I trust told me to ask for Archangel Gabriel's guidance," I told him, "and I did and got like three great ideas right in a row and a melody."
"Gabriel. That is marvelous," he said. He was thrilled, I'm sure, because this is the closest I've come to religion over the past several decades. Also, I grew up going to and receiving all the Catholic sacraments at Saint Gabriel's church (St. Gabe's for short), which he still attends.
St. Gabe has been our homeboy for a long time. (And even though I don't consider myself Catholic anymore, I do call on an occasional Archangel. Gabe's all about communication and music and writing and birth and adoption, so I feel pretty connected to his copper-lit goodness. He's pretty femme, too, which I appreciate.)
"You're my special girl, you know?" my dad asked. Which he often does these days. The dementia has made him very demonstrative with his love.
When he hands the phone to my sister Nancy I hear him say, "The BEST," which he often tells me: "You're the best."
"He just said, 'She's the best one in the family,'" Nancy told me.
"I'm sorry," I said, laughing and cringing a little. "It's just because I'm away."
"Don't worry," she said. "He tells me I'm his favorite plenty these days, too." And we had a good laugh about it and then talked more about music and some ideas we want to work on.
Some years ago I started addressing postcards and envelopes to my dad, Ernie, as "The Ubiquitous Ernst." His name is Ernest, but we've called him "Ernst" over the years as a term of endearment. "Ubiquitous" just came floating in from the ether. And the funny thing is now his love is ubiquitous, There is a lot of it to go around. It wasn't always that way. There were times when it seemed no one was his favorite and no one was good enough. So it doesn't make it any less sweet to hear now, we are all the favorite.
6/18/2017 05:29:59 pm
We sure love Poppa, his love for Emma and his affections towards me mean the world to us. If I tell Emma we're going to see Poppa at the end of the week, she asks every day until the day comes. The bond that Emma and Dad share is so beautiful. He makes the emptiness of missing my own Dad a little easier. Happy Father's Day, I hope he knows how loved he is ❤️
6/18/2017 07:59:46 pm
That is so sweet. Wishing you warmth and tenderness and light today as well. And thank you. The pictures my brother has shown me of my dad and Emma together are so so so sweet! XOXOXO
6/19/2017 01:43:34 pm
Thank you Jenn,
Karen J Smith
6/19/2017 01:24:58 pm
Well, Grandpa knows he is loved. There's no doubt. He was always good at discerning true love, unconditional love. I'll leave it at that.
6/18/2017 08:23:41 pm
Happy Father's Day to Ernie! Glad to hear he's doing well as can be.
6/19/2017 01:02:56 pm
Thank you SO much, Pat. I will absolutely tell him. Lots of love to you. XO
Karen J Smith
6/19/2017 01:21:28 pm
Jenn, this is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your feelings. He is truly happy these days. Although he forgets quite a lot from moment to moment he is safe, loved and happy. When Catie came along I recall him referring to her as his "Lucky 7". And when I asked his parenting advice he said: "As long as she knows you love her, that's the most important thing".
6/19/2017 06:26:33 pm
Thank you, Kak! Aw -- that is SO sweet. And of course as always it's one thing for me to express these feelings but you gals are there doing the day to day. It's a testament to how awesome and special you are that he feels safe, loved and happy. XOOXOXO
6/19/2017 02:34:04 pm
Back to you Jenn, you are still his baby and it was sweet to see that back in the day and yesterday. Love you!!
6/19/2017 06:27:09 pm
Oh I so wish I was there with you yesterday. LOVE YOU!! XOXO COCO
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It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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