Yesterday was my Father's retirement party. The girls and I made him a money box - similar to the old cigar box, glued with macaroni and spray painted gold that I made for him 35 years ago. This time we decorated his box with feathers, baby pine cones and some Indian paint and of instead of it being empty we filled it with lots of quarters.
A long time ago, maybe I was twelve or thirteen my older sister and I found my Dad's hiding spot for his pocket change. Everyday after school we would sneak up to my parents room and take a few quarters and go to our local 7-11 store or our next favorite store Woolworth - where they sold make-up. Little by little his "deer hunting" money dwindled. I do not remember him finding out that his money was gone, but I do remember feeling very remorseful. Growing up money was tight and deer hunting was the one thing he did for himself. He was a wonderful provider and is such great father.
That year you could say that I saved a deer. My dad bought a bank with a lock and I started a baby sitting job. Life works itself out and comes full circle. Yesterday, I gave him his quarters back. Here is a poem that I tearfully read to him at his party.
Your Money Back
For every coin in this box,
Is a sweet memory of all your hard work;
A slurpee, a pinball game, lipstick, and hair gel
the cling of the vending machine
I better stop there..
I return to you these coins
Once stolen now borrowed
They are back to being yours.
A hard working fella.
Memories of quietly sneaking up your bedroom stairs
hoping to find your deer hunting money there.
(Sometimes bumping into Ahja on the way)
Finding your stash always made our day.
Lipstick worn, candy wrappers torn,
Pinball games won, my hair perfectly done,
Slurpees enjoyed, buying baseball cards for the boys.
Borrowing your money gave me so much JOY.
Thank you Dad for these coins and most of all for these Memories
And for treating me like a child
and not a thief.
You worked hard all your life to provide me and my sisters
a very good life.
Early pick-ups from school, spending time with us every chance you could.
The hum of your Datson coming down Fox Street
Warning us to pick up and hide our "deer hunting" treats.
Macaroni and Cheese, Raviolis and no meat.
Thank you for all the dinners you made just for me.
It is now your turn to enjoy a Slurpee.
I love you Dad – Money Back Guaranteed.