Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Loving Memory

Robert J. Dankievitch

11/2/1937 - 5/18/2015

How do you memorialize someone who was larger than life?  My grandfather was the patriarch of our family.  To me he was the epitome of strength and moral value.  He always had a story to tell and could find a teachable moment in any given situation.  He would tell me to "do the right thing" and "go with your gut" and asked me to "give him a growl" if I needed a hand with anything.   

He enjoyed being surrounded by family.  My cousins and I spent many a weekend at my grandparents'  wearing the tires off the many bikes and tricycles he kept in the shed.  He let us sneak cold hot dogs before they hit the grill and shot off bottle rockets with us in the backyard.  From him we learned gun safety, respect for our elders, and a healthy work ethic.  If something was worth doing, he would say it was "worth doing right."  He always took a genuine interest in what we had going on in our lives and always made sure we knew how proud he was of us. 

My grandfather was never one to let grass grow under his feet.  He grew up on a farm, retired from both the Navy and the Suffolk County Police force, and did many odd jobs including work as an electrician.  He was always tinkering with any kind of motor, had more parts in his garage than the local NAPA store, and could fix just about anything.  He always had "things to do" and kept himself quite busy in retirement.  He loved to travel with my grandmother, frequently making trips down the east coast and even traveling cross county to California to visit with my cousin Alan.

To say he will be missed is an understatement.  He was a big man with an even larger heart.  I'll miss his enveloping hugs and his affectionate nicknames for each of us kids.  I'll miss the way he always jingled change in his pockets and rocked back on his heels during conversation.  I'll miss seeing his eyes crinkle and the dimples in his smile when he found something amusing.  I know our family will miss all these things and more, but as his mass card says "Celebrate those who have returned to the Force - Mourn them Not - Miss them Not."  Yoda.

"Tenderly may time heal your sorrow. 
Gently may family and friends ease your pain. 
 Softly may peace replace heartache and may warmest wishes remain."

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Look Who's Two

Dear Jayson,

STOP GROWING.  Seriously.  Just stop.  It seems like yesterday you were born and only a moment ago you had turned one.  Today you turn two and we'll be celebrating in style surrounded by family, friends and minion themed decor while dining on your favorite pizza.

Time is just whizzing right by and every day you never cease to amaze us.  You come out with the most funny little sentences at the most random times.  I love how you're communicating with us now.  I feel a little less clueless as a parent when you can somewhat tell me what's wrong or what hurts.  You'll always get a chuckle out of us with "I farted," "Daddy poo-poo," and "Ace did it" and our heart will always melt when you say "I love you more."  You are such a sweet, loving little boy.  I wish you would stay this way forever.

That's not to say you haven't pushed our patience to their limits.  They don't call this stage the terrible twos for no reason.  Your terrible twos started about about 18 months.  We faced complaints of biting at daycare and thankfully you've stopped throwing yourself down for the most part.  You've always attempted to do things well beyond your age and capacity, much to your own frustration.  I believe this is/was a source of much of your terrible two tantrums. 

So far it seems that you have a sweet tooth like your mom and the attention span of your father.  If you could eat cupcakes or ice cream all day every day, you most certainly would.  Your father can't sit still for the life of him.  He's always working on something and most times it's something with a motor (the lawn tractor or his snowmobile).  You're right there with him, scouring through magazines pointing out motorcyles and using your toy screw driver on your battery-powered quad.

Everyone loves you.  You win over complete strangers in the grocery store check-out line and you continue to be the apple of your grandparents' eye.  As the first grandchild to either side of the family, you will never be short of love and spoiling.  You have such a great bond already with your Grandpa Biegel (pa-pa as you have taken to calling him) that I only wish your Grandpa Krueger were still alive to bond with you as well.  He's here in spirit though, buddy, and I see it every time you attempt to "fix" something.  You get your mechanical abilities from him.  He was a jack of all trades.

Now don't go getting a big head, there are some things we need to work on still.  We haven't mastered using your "potty" and you still have an attachment to your pacifier, aka "Mr. Binks."  We also need to get you more consistent with your teeth brushing, but it's a work in progress.  You are getting better about helping put your toys away, for that I give you credit.  Your love of books though is something to brag about and I enjoy cuddling up with you and "Corduroy Goes to the Doctor" before bed each night.  With all your growing, I hope you don't soon outgrow your need for snuggle time with your mama before bed.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Siding/Windows Debacle

This is a great little concept.  There are so many articles lately about being content with what you have.  It's the key to happiness.  In a world where keeping up with the Jones' pretty much trumps everything, it's a daily struggle to take a deep breath and appreciate what we have versus what we want. It's all about one's outlook and perspective.