Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, April 8th, one of my favorite Holidays. This particular Sunday is also very special to me as well because it is my Daddy's Birthday. He would have been 84 years old! My Daddy died on December 3, 1995, after a very long and hard life dealing with much adversity and physical handicaps and pain in his life. When I was just a tot, he owned a 'service station'. You know the kind that did it all -- put gas in your car, cleaned your windshield and serviced your car! Daddy was doing that -- servicing a car -- by having it up on the rack and doing some greasing. The rack gave way and the car fell on my Daddy, crushing every vertabrae in his back. He spent many, many months in the hospital and went thru many, many surgeries, even more surgeries many years later. The doctors told him he would never walk again. He told them he would! He said he would not go home to his children if he couldn't walk. By the Grace of God and his pure determination, he did learn to walk again with the aid of braces on both legs and canes. He learned to walk by walking behind a tiller down our street. My mother would drive behind him in the car to make sure he would be okay. Daddy supported our family after the accident by being a "Paper Man". He delivered the Houston Post -- got up at 2-3 a.m., drove down to Houston to pick up the papers and my oldest brother would roll them for him and Daddy delivered them all over Humble, Porter, New Caney, etc. throwing them out the window on the porches and yards of 100's of homes. Sometimes he would let me and a friend go with him, but only if we were awake during the night when he left. Sometimes we stayed awake, but more often than not, we were asleep and didn't get to go.
After this job ended, Daddy opened up Shotwell's TV Sales & Service. Ya see, way back then, you could have your TV serviced in your home. Daddy was self-employed until he retired. This picture is one of my favorites. It was taken in May 1968 when I was 16 years old. He is standing in front of his van which was bright turquoise -- yes, I said turquoise!!!! It had Shotwell TV painted on it and that great big ole brightly colored peacock you see on TV sometimes. Why, it was painted so loud, you could 'hear' it coming down the road. Kids today would probably be embarrassed for ther Daddy to drive something like this, but I never was!
My Daddy lived in constant pain every minute of his life, but he never complained. He could have drawn disability and not worked, but he was too prideful. He always took care of our family and we always had food on the table and clothes on our backs. He would give his last dime away or the shirt off his back if he felt someone needed it more than him. He loved his grandchildren! He loved to play jokes on people and he loved to talk! My Mama always told him "when you die, I will have to pay extra to have them kill your mouth".
The last few years of Daddy's life, he was sick and his mind was not real good -- he suffered from Dementia in addition to all his physical disabilities. I sure do miss him, but I know that he is in Heaven walking or running around with no braces, no canes, and absolutely no pain. How happy he must be!!!! I know that I will see him again.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, my Daddy was my greatest inspiration even though he had already passed away. I knew how he fought death's door and was so determined to be well. I decided I could do it too -- and here I am!!! Thank you God and Daddy!!! I sure hope the Angels are throwing you one heck of a party tomorrow!!!