Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He Made It!

Today my Daddy celebrates another birthday! It is remarkable considering that last year at this time, we weren't sure we would have him another day, much less another year. After his heart stopped twice, once in his surgeon's hands, our fears were well grounded. However, since having his "power tool" installed (defibrilator), he has done quite well.

Today is also Flag Day. It is a day to remember the formal adoption of our Nation's flag in 1777.

When I was a wee Matty, I couldn't understand why the flags were flying on Daddy's birthday. Surely he is special, I thought, if the whole country put out flags on his day! And, of course, Daddy would confirm that repeatedly.

"See? The flags are out for me! " he would declare. And we bought it. After all, he was our Daddy and we knew he was special.

A rather funny thing about my special Daddy, though. He isn't, or wasn't, who he thought he was for a long time. Seems that when he was born at home, my Grandmother Ada, who was a force that would have taken on the entire European theatre and won, declared his name to be one thing. My Grandfather, minister, furniture maker, and very quiet man, declared this son would have the name he chose. Of course, it seemed Grandmother had won and so off went Grandpa to the county seat to record Daddy's birth. No more was said and Daddy went by the name Grandmother gave him.

Leap forward 40 years, 4 children, 1 marriage, 1 tour of duty in Germany. Mother and Daddy were celebrating their 25th anniversary with a trip to the family property in Scotland. Birth certificates were needed to get their passports. The courthouse had burned in their home county, so they had to write for them from the state capital.

Surprise, surprise! Grandpa won! And, he hadn't said a thing about it! He let Daddy and Grandmother use the other name. Suddenly there was quite a bit of drama. First, he wasn't who he thought he was. Second, he wasn't legally married. Third, well, you can guess what his children had to say about that. A flurry of attorney appointments later, Daddy had his name legally changed to what he thought it was all along. And, he went to his knees and asked Mother to remarry him. She wouldn't. Seems that 25 years had filled her in on who he was and she just wasn't going to do it again. However, she would live with him... and has for a grand total of 56 years. At the time, though, it was scandalous.

So here we are; he is finally who he thought he was and has enjoyed, I hoped, this extra year of life. Speaking for myself, I am so glad he has been with us another year. And, surely the flags are truly flying just for my Daddy. Happy Birthday, George!


  1. Wow! What a life story. Of course now days he would have discovered it a lot sooner, as you need fifty forms of ID just to get a doctor's appointment. Must have been something about that era. We didn't discover until much later in her life that my mother's name on her birth certificate was Betty not June! She also had two middle names, Martha and Ila. Happy birthday to your father!

  2. Happy birthday to your dad!

    Two of my sisters found out they had been celebrating each others birthday (only days apart) when one of them had to get an official birth certificate.

    If you knew my mom, you would know how that mixup happened... she even had been celebrating the wrong YEAR she was born. ;)

    My granddaughter, Faith, was born on the 4th of July. She is still young enough to think all the hoopla is about HER.

  3. Happy Birthday to your Dad, Matty. We're proudly flying our flag today!

  4. What an interesting story about his name!! Happy birthday to your sweet Dad.


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!