Sto-Lat, Sto-Lat!!

“Sto-lat” (One Hundred Years) is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person. An English version of the lyrics are:

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

One Hundred Years!

If you were in Poland and it was making you nervous that you wouldn’t be able to pronounce the above words in Polish at a birthday celebration, do not panic too much. “Sto Lat” is often accompanied by vodka, which somehow makes the pronunciation much easier!

So why am I writing this post to you today? It was on September 27, 1917, that a little baby boy named Stanley was born to a polish immigrant couple who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. Stanley was the youngest of 7 children and if he lived to this very day, Stanley would have reached that 100 Year “Sto-lat” landmark. This man Stanley that I am speaking about was my dear Dad!

Unfortunately, my Dad did not live to be 100 years old. He went to heaven peacefully on January 9th, 2009 (about 8 years ago) at the age of 91, while in the comfort of his home. On that very morning just before he passed, my parents had pre-arranged for a visit from their lawyer to their house to sign their updated last will and testament. Ironically, in just less than one hour after the attorney left my parent’s house, my Dad simply sat down on his favorite chair and moments later—- his heart just simply stopped.

My Dad was such a wonderful person who was loved by all. He never complained and rarely talked much about himself. When you would meet him, he genuinely was interested in you and your welfare and would take the time to listen intently to what you had to say. My Dad was the kind of person who loved his wife and family deeply, who was proud of his three sons, and who would always speak from the heart.

I really miss my Dad even after all these years. However, I am comforted to know that he is at peace and that he continues to lovingly watch over us (his family) from his rightful place in heaven.

“Sto-lat” “Sto-lat” my dear Dad ——- you finally made it to 100 years !  “Sto-lat” !!!

 

Unfortunately, unlike Terry’s Blog I do not have many current pictures of my Dad here with me in my RV in Tampa. However, I incorporated into this Blog a photo of my Dad (in his younger years) that you might recognize since it was previously used by Terry as the main character in a couple of his creative short stories.

Also included is the only video that I have of my Dad probably taken about 10 to 12 years ago and a photo although a bit dark of his Urn, favorite hat and a photo of my Dad’s smiling face proudly showing “The Drabczuk smile”!

Also included below are a couple of other personal comments about my Dad:

 

From my mother Stacia (his wife): What can I write about my husband?  He was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I’m sure glad I accepted his New Year’s invitation to go on a date when he called me on Christmas Eve in 1947.  That was the beginning of it all.  In May of 1949, Stan and I married.  He gave me 60 years of the happiest times of my life, but most of all he left me with three wonderful sons – Jan, Gary and Randy.

From my brother Jan (his oldest son): Growing up I always remember that my Dad was there for me. He would come home usually after working overtime and he still had time for me. He was there for both my happy and sad times. Dad gave me the direction, education and love that has made me successful in life. Every day I wish I could be more like him. Wish you were still hear Dad. Happy 100th birthday.

From my brother Randy (his youngest son): I can’t believe my dad would have turned a 100 years old today.  I also can’t believe it’s been over 8 years since his passing.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.  He was a wonderful father, husband and man of this world.  He was a friend to all that knew him. My dad was the type of guy that could walk into a room of strangers and then walk out of that room with every one of those strangers becoming his friend.   He made everybody laugh.   Growing up with my dad provides me with some of my best memories in life.  He was always supportive of me and encouraged me to excel in everything I did.  No matter how busy he was with working extra hours to support our family, he would still find time in his schedule for me and that made me feel special.  From the simple things in life like coming up to tuck me in bed when I was little or the difficult things like coming to the hospital when I was in a car wreck, I could always see in my dad’s eyes how much he loved me.  Even as an adult, when I went back home to visit, I could always feel my dad’s love.  I only wish I could be half the man my dad was. I love my dad, I miss my dad and I wish my dad a Happy 100th Birthday!

Here’s to my dad… “Na zdrowie!”

From my sister-in-law Gail (my brother Jan’s wife): Stanley was always a lot of fun and happy to see anyone who walked into his home. He made everyone feel welcome and could not wait to chat with you. He made me feel like part of the family from the first meeting. I will always love and miss him as his daughter in law. He will forever be missed.

 

From Terry (my deceased spouse, written several months ago): Gary’s father is now gone from this world, and I only had the opportunity to be in his company twice.  From the memories of Gary and his family and the short time I knew him; he was an extremely patient, funny and easy-going man.  A son, a brother, a husband, a father, a respected man.  He is missed and now a memory, but he is not forgotten.

 

Father & Sons

So many unexpected events have happened the last 2 weeks; and I was so totally un-prepared for them.

Saturday, June 17th in my post ‘unexpectedly‘, I wrote the following words –

Yesterday afternoon, I was alone resting. 

Suddenly the door opens and there was an unexpected surprise.

I am disabling comments my friends, because I need time away from WP today.

You know my appreciation for you all is great and never ending.

Thank you my friends for allowing me to take a day off.

Image2

Image Provided by: The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

In today’s post, I write the following –

Upon the door opening, my Son #2 and his wife walk in.  I instantly break down with emotions and tears; and stand to give my Son #2 a big hug and a big kiss on the cheek.  “What are you doing here?”, I ask.  “We wanted to come down and spend Father’s Day with you.”  With more emotions and tears I let him know the importance of his unexpected visit and what it means to me.  We spend that Friday evening in the RV because, they are tired having started early that morning and I am not feeling well at all.

The very next day Saturday, I continue to not feel well; I am unable to walk on my right leg without using a cane and many other parts of my body are hurting.  With my pain medications just recently increased, I am tired and drowsy, but do my best to stay alert.

image4

Image Provided by: Meaningful Ideas

That afternoon, Son #2 and Gary leave to run an errand and my lovely daughter-in-law spend time together talking about what is going on with me and I open up some about my feelings with her and how I feel about it all.

After some time, the door opens and Son #2, informs me he has something for me.  I look his way, and following him are my Son #1 and Son #3.  Now the water works are flowing full force and as I rise to be at their level, the legs are wobbly and my back is bent forward – but the hugs and kisses are sturdy, strong and sincere.

Image2

Image Provided by: http://www.pinterest.com

What an honor to have all 3 sons here to celebrate Father’s Day with me.

We spend several hours talking and catching up and I let them know I am not feeling well and it may be difficult for me to go out and about.  They respond letting me know they are here to see me, not to go out and about to do other things.  So my 3 sons and 1 lovely daughter-in-law, Gary and I sit in the RV and talk.  The subject matter of my health is discussed and the severity of it.  I expressed many internal feelings to my sons, letting them know I did my best as a father given the circumstances.  I let them know the importance of my love I have for them.  We talk about life, relationships, and my cancer.

20170416_194313 (2)The weekend proceeds with most of our time spend in the RV.  My pain level is high and my right leg is in bad shape when trying to walk.

We all had a wonderful weekend; the best Father’s Day ever!

A Grown Man

Today is son #1’s birthday and he is 35 years old today.  When any of my son’s birthday come around, I am always amazed.  I am amazed these once little boys are now grown men.

Image1

Image Provided by: Wikimedia Commons

Where did the time go?

For me I once recalled the thought of time slowly passing by and therefore the many years to live would take a while to come and go.  I remember having these thoughts in my teenage years while going through the routine of school, work, some play and passing of dull days.

That slowly passing time continued and life event changes came and went and there was a marriage and babies were created and a divorce took place, not to mention a serious depression, and suicide attempts.

Image2

Image Provided by: dropalia.com

During those life event changes, those created babies who grew into little boys have now grown into men.

Where did the time go?

Son #1 is 35 years old today.

I loved you when you were created and as a little boy, and I continue to love you now as a grown man.

Image3

Image Provided by: Dissolve

My love for you has never changed and never will.

Happy Birthday Son #1,

Dad

(NOTE: I am still in the hospital having my pain managed.  My hopes are that I will be released tomorrow (Sunday))

My Day

OMG!

What a wonderful day!

I write posts in advance, and this was not my original post.  Instead at the last minute, I had to come up with a new post.

Image1

Image Provided by: tnriverboat.com

It is Father’s Day.

You just made My Day!

Image2

Image Provided by: LoveThisPic

To be continued………

I disabled comments again today for specific reasons I will explain later.  Expect a post in a few days that will be a continuation from this one.

Thank you everyone – and Happy Father’s Day!

‘busy days’

In my post ‘ESTRANGED‘, I concluded with the following –

One of my sons calls on a regular basis – thank you son.  The other two sons do not call me and in the past I would call them, but now no longer do I call.

These 2 sons I saw at Thanksgiving and they were aware of my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not heard from since my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not spoken with since Thanksgiving.

Are we estranged?

Again, I just do not understand why?

In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

Again, I refuse to blame myself any longer.

Again, I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Since I wrote that post, these 2 sons I have not spoken with since Thanksgiving reached out to me.  Once of them called me on my birthday, the other did not acknowledge it.  The one that did call on my birthday, he apologized for not calling earlier.

Image1

Image Provided by: Markus Kasunich

He indicated he has been extremely busy and though that is not a good excuse, he has had much to do and did not find the time.  We caught up with each other and I provided him the update on my health and treatment.  Me knowing this son, it will be awhile before I hear from him again.

Then one evening, I was surprised when my phone rang and it was my son #1.  I was already in bed and in extreme pain and therefore I did not answer it.  The next day I texted him and told him I appreciated him calling and he could back the upcoming weekend.  I received no text back and I did not receive a phone call.  This did not surprise me or upset me, I am used to this typical routine.  So, I waited about a week and called him and we did finally connect and chatted for a while.  Again, same as other son, he is extremely busy and though that is not a good excuse, he has had much to do and did not find the time.  We caught up with each other and I provided him the update on my health and treatment.  Me knowing this son, it will be awhile before I hear from him again.

I know my son’s lives are busy, I believe them.  There was a time in my life where I was busy also working many hours and little time for other things in life.

Back during my ‘busy days’, we did not have smartphones.

Image2

Image Provided by: Quotes Pictures – QuotesPie.com

Yes, we had cellphones, but they were not smart.  And though I was very busy with work, I always made time to call my parents and my sons.  Today I feel there is no excuse to have some sort of communication with someone.

Gone are the days where our communication were letters and phone calls from land lines.

There are many forms of communication today – a simple text is easy and fast.

I do not always need a phone call, a text will do – but I guess they are too busy to do that also.

ESTRANGED

Over a year ago, in my post ‘The Good Me & The Bad Her‘, I wrote the following words –

Some of you know my feelings about me as a father to my sons.  Many years I felt like a failure because I was out of my son’s lives at a young age – they do not really know me.  This is one reason for starting this blog; I want to share me and who I am and my life in writing so my sons may someday know who I was and know who I am.

In today’s post, I write the following –

From Google –

es·tranged

iˈstrānjd/

adjective

adjective: estranged

(of a person) no longer close or affectionate to someone; alienated.

“Harriet felt more estranged from her daughter than ever”

(of a wife or husband) no longer living with their spouse.

past participle: estranged

“his estranged wife”

I just do not understand why?

In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

I refuse to blame myself any longer.

I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Life threatening or not, shouldn’t this bring us closer?

image2

Image Provided by: Pinterest • The world’s catalog of ideas

I have not written about my relationship with my sons in quite a while.  I have written posts about their birthdays, but nothing specifically about our relationship today.

My sons have known about my cancer since I found out about it; I have hidden nothing from them.  You remember it was important for me to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  I did see my 3 sons at that time and I feel fortunate to have spent some time with them.  For many years I would not receive a call from my sons and it was always me calling them because I was interested in them and their lives.  Many years I did not receive a call on my birthday and even Father’s Day.  I blamed their lack of interest in me on myself; it was my fault.  I overcame this self-blame last year after writing posts about them and me and our relationship.  Today, I no longer blame myself.

One of my sons calls on a regular basis – thank you son.  The other two sons do not call me and in the past I would call them, but now no longer do I call.

These 2 sons I saw at Thanksgiving and they were aware of my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not heard from since my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not spoken with since Thanksgiving.

Are we estranged?

Again, I just do not understand why?

image3

Image Provided by: Goodreads

In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

Again, I refuse to blame myself any longer.

Again, I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Happy Tuesday

It is not just Valentine’s Day‘, is a post I published a year ago today and it started with the following –

Image1

Image Provided by: imgkid.com

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, it is son #2’s birthday again – Happy 33rd Birthday Son

Yes, it is Valentine’s Day – Happy Valentine’s Day

For those that do not have a birthday today or celebrate Valentine’s Day –

image

Image Provided by: New Year Wishes

A state of mind

I now call myself old.

image1

Image Provided by: http://www.jarofquotes.com

They say age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

I now call myself old.

I googled ‘you know you’re old when quotes’, and received many different results.

buzzfeed.com has a list 56 Signs That You’re Definitely Getting Old(er) that includes the following –

You consider going to the post office as a “busy weekend.”

Crowded places easily frustrate you.

You wake up early on days you can sleep in.

You get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies.

You cannot believe people were born in the 2000s.

The celebrities at the Kids’ Choice Awards are complete strangers to you.

You just like to sit down sometimes.

Yes, I now call myself old.  But it is just a state of mind, right?

image2

Image Provided by: http://www.jarofquotes.com

My son #3’s birthday is today; he is 30 years old today.  I remember when he and my other ‘boys’ were born, then toddlers and preschoolers; and I remember when they were teenagers.  It does not seem long ago, they were going to school, playing soccer and marching in the high school marching band.  Time continues on, never stopping for any reason and then one day the younger one; son #3 turns 30 years old.  Yes, I now call myself old.

When I turned 30 only 26 years ago, I remember feeling middle aged.  I can remember feeling good about my life, my age and looking forward to what life had to offer.  Fast forward and now all my sons are in their 30s, I wonder how they feel about that?  I have not asked them how they feel about being in their 30s; I would be curious to know.

I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.  But, I now call myself old.

I do consider going anywhere on any day a busy day and crowded places do frustrate me at times.  Every day I can sleep in, but I do not; I always wake early.  I do get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies as well as many other scenes especially the movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Are there people that were really born in the 2000s and since when did kids have their own award show?

Many times I just like to sit and think and reflect.  I often reflect on life, my life, my sons and the current day’s events.

I now call myself old because today all 3 of my sons are in their 30s.

image3

Image Provided by: http://www.pinterest.com

But, I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

Happy 30th Birthday Son #3.

# 34, my ‘kid’!

In my post ‘will I cry or will I smile?‘, I wrote the following –

I do not really like Father’s Day!

Why, you ask?  Not because I dislike my father, no – it is because I dislike me as a father.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Guess who turns 34 today?  No not me, I wish!

Today is my son #1’s birthday.  Image1He turns 34 years old today!

Wow, seems like yesterday I was changing his diapers and burping him.  I have images in my mind of him dressed in cute outfits such as a little baseball one piece with the matching baseball cap.  I remember him sleeping on my chest the nights he had colic.  I remember feeding him, bathing him, taking him on vacations, spending time with him and helping him with his homework.

Those days are gone and a memory now.  Today he is doing those things because he has ‘kids’ of his own.  I call my sons, ‘kids’ – they will always be my ‘kids’, my sons.  But being in his mid-30s, I guess he is no longer a ‘kid’, but a man.  Yes, he is a man, but he is still my ‘kid’, my son.

So, today is my son’s birthday, and he is now 34.  Amazing!  Where did the time go?

For those of you have followed me for quite a while, you know I have struggled internally about my role as a father and as a dad.

After writing numerous posts last year about my role as a dad, my relationship with my sons and the feelings of disappointment in myself as a dad; I decided it was time to move on.  I decided it was time to move from thoughts and feelings that weigh me down and prevent me from going forward.  The past is the past and are embedded in memories.  I am unable to change those memories, but I can create new ones.

Image2So as I celebrate my son’s 34th birthday, I will also celebrate me moving on from the less than perfect father and the less than perfect dad.

Today is my son #1’s birthday.  He turns 34 years old today!  Yes, he is a man, but he is still my ‘kid’, my son.

Happy Birthday Son #1!

Happy # 34, my ‘kid’!

 

It is not just Valentine’s Day

Image1

Image Provided by: imgkid.com

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

My son #2 has proudly served in the United States Military for the past 8 years.  Upon graduating boot camp, he was stationed in Japan for 4 years and is now stationed in the US.  He is a special man to me, not only because of his service to this country, but because he is my son.  He was married last year to a beautiful young lady who is a very nice addition to the family.  I am extremely proud of him as well as my other 2 sons; they all have grown into great men.

It amazes me how this baby, grew into a boy and then into a young man.  Where did the time go, and how did he grow up so quickly?

As you know I am downsizing and I am sorting through boxes and deciding what to keep and what to throw away.  I will not be throwing anything away about my sons; the newspapers articles, school pictures, graduation announcements, event programs and accomplishments they achieved.  No these items will someday be given to my sons.  For son #2, I have those awkward school pictures, you know what I am talking about, the photographer catches you by surprise when you least expect it and you are not smiling and your glasses are positioned crooked on your nose.  Well son #2 I have those pictures and I also have pictures of you dressed in your cute Halloween costumes when you were very young and then there are the school report cards of all your good grades and the newspaper articles of all your achievements.

Son #2 today is a man of 32 years.  The pictures today are no longer awkward; you stand tall and proud in your Military Blue Army Service Uniform.  And your cute Halloween costumes are now replaced with the Army Combat Uniform.  The school reports cards, newspaper articles and achievements are now replaced with Military Decorations, Insignias, certifications and accomplishments.

Son #2, I remember changing your diapers, feeding you, watching over you and keeping you safe.  Today, no changing diapers on your part – not yet, and I know the Army feeds you well and I know you are watching over me and keeping me safe.  Thank you son #2 and all other amazing military personal for giving of yourselves and your time for the service of our country.

Image2

Image Provided by: imgkid.com

 

I am proud to be a military dad, but more importantly I am extremely proud to be your dad.

Happy Valentine’s Day my son #2, but more importantly Happy Birthday!

 

 

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤