My Dad Would Have Been 99 Today!
My Dad, John (Nowacki) Nolan, was born on March 9, 1924. Family folklore declared he was born on the kitchen table, which the table is still in the family. He died in 2001 at age 77 and is gone now 22 years. I'm fascinated by the numbers 99, 77, and 22. He was a lottery ticket buyer, so maybe I should play these numbers, though not sure if 99 or 77 can be played? I think so, though.
My dad was a guy with a dry sense of humor, using it wisely as a bowler and baseball player throughout most of his life. I like to think he passed on his athleticism, instead of dry wit, ahem, and love of sports to my two sisters and me. This includes doing/participating in a sport and/or watching sports (especially our kids).
Fond memories of my Dad are flooding back to me today. One of the greatest gifts was our trip to Poland in 1995 which included his sister or my Aunt Mary. When he proudly booked the ticket early in the year, he called me to tell me the good news about the just purchased airplane rides. He was 72, and Aunt Mary was 82. Hubby Bill exclaimed, "How are those two going to navigate the luggage and logistics? Go ahead and buy a ticket and be their Sherpa." That was great, but I had a three-year-old and a one-year-old at the time. He told me not to worry, he would have it all covered, and he DID (and a shout of thanks to those who helped in the fun with two "toddlers!"
I am forever thankful for Bill's blessing on the epic trip I took with Johnny and Mary, especially visiting our extended family in Ostrów Mazowiecka, where my dad met one of his first cousins for the very first time. It was great I "earned my keep" as I sherpa-ed all day and night and so much more with my elders.
Happy (heavenly) 99th to Daddio!
Photos below: 1)Grandpa & Grandma w/first Grandbaby - Olivia, March 1992 (this is one of my all-time favorite photos of him!); 2) on my wedding day on June 13, 1987, in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Peterson Classic Bowling Tournament in Chicago, IL.
I have photos from our Poland trip I need to dig out - I will do another post on that trip soon!