Thursday, December 20, 2018

Jordan's birthday

Last night I had the idea of sending a letter to Jordan's kids (through Hillary) with memories Robert and I had of him as a son growing up in our home.  The letter turned into something a whole lot longer than I had imagined and I really didn't add more memories.. I was just getting ready to delete the copy when I figured I would blog it. It just seemed too long to delete.  So here goes, Happy Birthday Baby Circle.  I have had these for years...always to remind me of Jordan, especially when he was on his mission.

Hello my sweet grandbabies.  Since it’s your daddy’s birthday today I thought we would write down a few things about your daddy when he was a little boy so you’d have these stories.

When your daddy was born, there’s wasn’t the medical technology of telling what the unborn baby would be, boy or girl, so it was always a big surprise.  There was a silly test that I would do with my friends and it was ALWAYS correct.  The mom would pee into a cup. I’d have some Crystal Draino (that’s a chemical that cleans pipes and drains in your home) in another cup.  We’d always go outside (because the fumes were pretty strong inside the house) and I’d pour the pee into the crystal Draino.  You had to watch fast as the bubbles began.  The crystal Draino initially was white in color but eventually it would turn brown. But right after the pee hit the crystal it could turn to blue if it was a boy or right away be brown, for a girl.  I was outside at 809 and was watching intently to see…and what color did I see?  I SAW BLUE!  I stood there at the back step staring and your Aunt Dawn came up and asked…what’s in there, Mommy?  And I looked at her, amazed and said, I think it’s your baby brother!

Papa and I had had 4 girls, your aunts Dawn, Cara, Jocelyn and Marissa.  I figured why would we have anything else.  I just guessed that even tho I really had wanted a baby boy (I loved watched an old TV show called The Donna Reed Show and they had a son who was so handsome and cute and devilish that I wanted one just like him…He was called Jeff on the show but in real life he was Paul Peterson and he acted and sang).

On the night I had to go to the hospital to have your Daddy, my friend Linda Bruderer came over to watch the girls so Papa could come with them.  She said Papa was so happy when he came home to tell her that we now had a MANCHILD (this came from another show we had watched on TV…ROOTS…and Papa loved to called Jordan his Manchild).  When our next door neighbor called me, Dawn Kanary said that when Papa got home from the hospital he was running around the back yard in circle exclaiming that he had a SON!  We were so happy.

The one sad moment of that day, December 20, 1982, was that my grandmother Holman was in a hospital across town from where your daddy was born.  Back then little children didn’t get to come up to the hospital. So I called my grandma and told her that I had finally had a son, That I wanted her to hang on to life and I’d bring baby Jordan right up to the hospital to see her, I’d wrap him in a basket or hide him under a coat but I’d get him right up past the nurses’ noses and she could been her first Great Grandson. She was very weak but was so happy. My grandma LOVED little boys.  Oh sure, she loved all children and she would have adored you 4, but she had a special spot for boys.  She had one baby boy who died at birth.  But her Junior, Richard John Holman, lived 18 months and he was an amazing boy.  But one day, as Junior waited for his sister (my mom) to changed out of school clothes, he wandered off and slipped into a cistern and drowned.  My grandmother told me she’d try and hold on but later that night, I got a phone call that she had died.  So my grandmother, the one who had cared for me (I lived with her and my Poppy for the first 4 years of my life and then spent every weekend with them for years), loved me so very much, had held on to life just long enough to hear that Jordan had been safely born and then she left earthlife to live with Poppy and Junior and  baby John in the next life.  But I was always glad she knew that Jordan had come.

Your daddy was a really sweet little baby.  He loved to watch his sisters at play and they loved to bring him everywhere they went. Papa never had to spank him cuz he was also such a good boy. You probably don’t get any spanks either cuz you are all so very good.

He went on our very small trip with us (we didn’t ever go on really big vacations) and when he was small would sit in a backpack made just for toddlers and Papa carried him wherever we went.  He was very high up and could see everything better than if he had had to walk or be pushed in a stroller. I think that’s what made him so curious about everything.

Papa only spoke to your daddy in FRENCH, because he so very much wanted your Daddy to speak French.  Jordan did speak both French and English til he was about  6. One day when he was still a little guy, and was in the grocery cart sitting in the cart seat while we were at Zayres  (which is like a Meijer today), he kept saying something to me.  I looked at this little guy and wondered what in the world he was saying.  I listened and I listened and it made no sense to me.  I looked at little Jordan and then just looked around me thinking, “What does my boy want me to know? “  Then I saw we were in the millinery department and he was saying, over and over, ‘Chapeau’  Of course!  HATS!  It was the first word I heard him say when Papa wasn’t with him.  When your daddy got to kindergarten, I had a parent/teacher conference with his teacher, Miss Marsico.  Miss Marsico told me that sometimes when your daddy was talking, he’s to and there would be this huge pause. She didn’t know if there was a problem with his brain.  I suggested it was the French he spoke at home so the next time there was a pause in your daddy’s speech pattern, his teacher who knew some French, would offer him the French word for the word she knew was coming next.  And sure enough you daddy would just pick up from her word and carry on the sentence in English. That’s one smart daddy you have.

When he was a bit older, we had all watched The Princess Bride and watched it over and over and over.  We loved that movie and everyone seemed to find a line the would quote.  Again I was in the grocery store, your daddy was in the cart seat but wanted down. So in a moment of weakness I let him down so he could stretch his legs.  And of course, your daddy took off.  He ran away from me and I got worried and started to hunt for him.  THEN  I heard his little voice saying over and other shoppers, “My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”  I hurried about 2 aisles over (see?  he was always fast) and grabbed him and put him back in the cart seat but he liked that phrase.  Hey, we all liked that line from a fun movie.

You daddy also loved to run around the neighborhood on his bike with his buddies To the west of us, in this one small area was a bunch of dirt and the boys liked to ride their dirt bikes there. But your daddy never seems to remember to come home for dinner on time.  I was not a happy momma.  We tried everything to get him to come home but nothing worked.  I did manage to scare him into coming home by having him watch a scary movie one day when he was home sick but that only lasted about 2 weeks. But at least for 2 weeks he was home for dinner.  Now remember, this was at a time and in a neighborhood when the kids could run and play and have a great time without the parents being very worried about any bad thing happening to the kids. Sadly, you don’t get much of that today.

When your dad was a cub scout, one of the dads worked at Lorain County Community College, in the broadcast area.  So one event was the cubs all got to go and make a commercial.  They were presenting a box of breakfast cereal with a toy inside.  They had to talk into the camera and make an ad. The toy in the box was this HUGE dinosaur. There was little room for a cereal!  He might still have that video. Ask him.

When your daddy was about 9 years old he was into a fishing stage.  We had gotten him fishing pole and some equipment.  After a big storm on the lake,  Papa and Daddy walked along the shore Papa found a fishing hat which he still has. He looked down and saw a dollar bill sticking out of the sand and pointed it out to your dad, “Look Jordan!  There’s a dollar bill.”  Your daddy reached down and pulled it out and it wasn’t just a dollar bill it was a $10 bill. Papa says that’s the most thing they ever caught.  Not a fish, but a $10 bill and Papa’s lucky fishing hat.

When your daddy bridges from cub scouts to boy scouts, his BSA leader, Br. Stay, gave him a small pocket knife and within 30 minutes he had cut himself.  When he became an Eagle Scout he gave each of his adult leaders from Scouting and church and the community a small pocket know. I think I still have one left over.  When I run across it I always think about your sweet daddy.

When your daddy was 14 and camping with the scouts at Findley State park. The boys and dads were practicing their rescue techniques.  Your daddy went down into this concrete thing (weir box) by a rope about 10 feet deep and the rest of us were supposed to haul him out (rescue him) by a rope BUT we could hardly get him out.  It took Papa and about 4 other scouts to haul him up.  So when you see a rescue show on TV remember that it’s not as easy as TV shows it.  This was also the night the troop almost got kicked out of the park because the scouts were bothering other campers by running around with glow sticks, bothering them.  

Your daddy was alway into finance.  Once I made a pan of brownies and they were over baked.  I was going to throw them away but your daddy said he wanted to take them to school the next day to give to his friends. Well, he didn’t GIVE them away, he SOLD them.  LIke for 50 cents a square.  He also made necklaces out of fishing thingies (ask him what they were called) and spinners and sold them to everyone.  He always could make money which is probably why he is such a good provider for your family

Then there was a campout and Papa took a leaf blower.  They were able to camp in cabins but they always made a fire.  The leaf blower was used to blow oxygen on to the flames so the fire would build up faster. This was also the time that your daddy had been given a rocket for maybe Christmas and he took it and let it off into the air.

When he was an older teen, one 4th of July your daddy was enjoying letting off fireworks. I think a boy who had come to date Jocelyn had brought them .  It was in the middle of the afternoon and your daddy let off a string of petards…the kind that just goes POP, POP, POP, POP. POP loudly.  Sadly a woman was walking down the street with her baby AND her puppy.  The BANGS scared the puppy and it took off running. This poor mom had to struggle with the baby in a stroller to try and catch the dog.  Everyone was laughing but I was sure the police would get a call and I ran upstairs and stayed in the bathroom off the master bedroom, but I was still laughing. But you know your daddy still enjoys his fireworks.

You daddy would always walk in our Hatch Family 4th of July parade up and down Warwick.  He usually rode his bike.  Because it was his grandmother’s birthday, he and his sisters always cleaned up the beach by our lake and made a fire circle so when the Lorain Fireworks were on display we could sit by a huge fire, making ‘smores and watched the fireworks.  Your daddy was also good at cleaning up the beach

But I think your daddy was also good at cleaning anything. When it was his turn to clean the bathroom, he would take every thing out of the bathroom, and scrub the room, the walls, the tub, the toilet, the sink the floor with strong soap… sometimes clorox (bleach) and always Comet.  You could barely breathe but the room was always clean.

Your daddy also loved the fish tank he had.  One day his favorite Angel Fish died.  He was so sad. But we took a picture of the fish and then sent the fish to a watery grave.

Your daddy was excellent at delivering the Morning Journal every morning about 5:30am.  He would get up on his own,  get dressed, organize the papers and off he’d walk, door to door.  This included delivering newspapers in the snow and in the blizzard. Sometimes he would dive into tall snow drifts to reach the doors and then dive back through the drifts to get out of the door way. When you live this close to the lake you get a lot of wind that made drifts taller than he was.  He also had to collect money from the people who got the papers delivered to their homes every 2 weeks.  Then he and Marissa would go pay their bills at the bowling alley and then eat their profit at buying candy or pizza.

Your daddy was wonderful playing football.  He come home from a game with his friends and tell us how he made 4 touchdowns.  Papa would say, “Wait til you get to middle school—it won’t be that easy.”  And what do you know?  He was excellent at football.  The play papa remembers best, He punted the ball and raced to the other end of the field to tackle the kid who had received the ball.  He beat everyone to the ball!  Your daddy was also MVP (most valuable player) for middle school football but when he went to high school he said he didn’t want to be the tackling dummy so he continued to play soccer and XC in the fall, then basketball in the winter, and then track in the spring. But his middle school coaches were so mad at him for not agreeing to play football in high school. They even called me on the phone asking me to convince him to play football.  He never did.  But we always wondered what Brookside High School’s football record would have been had your daddy AND his friend Brian DeVita (who did play football) played together.  We are just happy your daddy saved his brain and head by not playing football.

But Soccer was always your dad’s favorite sport.  It all started one Sunday. Papa was sitting in an easy chair, reading the Sunday paper, relaxing and minding his own business.               Young 4-year- old  Jordan came up to him and asked, “Daddy can I play soccer,” Papa said, “Sure go ahead but not on Sunday.”  Papa thought he was just talking about playing with a ball in the backyard.  But oh no…your daddy meant to sign up for soccer.  And so he did.   Papa was his coach initially.  So your dad played soccer in the city and then in the schools for about 14 years/seasons.  When he was a freshman and playing soccer, on the way home from school on day in the fall Marissa was driving him home and got into a traffic accident.  The police came and we had to take Jordan to the ER. The ER doctor said he could NOT play soccer that day and your adding was SOOOOO MAD. The doctor finally agreed that he could go and WATCH but not play.  When your daddy was a senior and captain of the team, the best players in our conference would be invited to play in an All-Star game but it was always held on the Sabbath.  And Jordan knew he would not be playing on the Sabbath.  I so wanted him to play this game since it was quite an accomplishment. I remember praying so often and so hard, begging Heavenly Father to allow this wonderful son of mine to play.  I was being very selfish and silly. But you know what happened?  THAT year, the All-Star game was played on a different day, not on Sunday and yessiree, your daddy played in that game.

Your daddy did do sports in high school but he also was a member of the band.  I had tried to teach all my kids to play the piano, including your dad. so when he was choosing an instrument in 5th grade, he chose the drums. I was so happy. I love the drums.  We were able to buy a drum set for him that he had in the front room, next to the piano in our old house 809.  One summer during middle school days, he was able to bring home the school’s drum set so we had 2 full sets of drums in that small front room. It was heavenly.  One day the neighbor across the street come over because he had heard the drums and had been a drummer and wanted to play.  Your daddy played drums in the marching band at high school and ended up playing the quads…which means he carried 4 drums as he marched and drummed, the drums hanging from his shoulder by a harness.  He was a strong one as well as a good drummer.  We got tickets in Cleveland for him to see STOMP.  I think he took along a friend, too. We had such a good time.  He and his friend ‘drummed’ on anything in the car on the way home.

Your daddy was very popular and a leader in school.  He was president of each grade (9,10,11,12 and then also president of the student council as a senior).  As 11th grade president his responsibility was to stand at graduation at the foot of the stairs that lead to the stage.  When the senior girls walked in he offered each girl his had and helped her be steady as  she walked up the old steps.  The other side guide didn’t do it. But the teachers all commented that Jordan was also the gentleman and knew how to comport himself in every situation.  One or two of the Senior boys smiled at him and hand out their hands so Jordan could steady them up the steps even tho they didn’t need it.  

Yes, your daddy was popular and good.  Especially with the girls.  All of Aunt Marissa’s friends wanted to date him when he was just a freshman. I remember the time he asked out Michelle. He knew she was not at home and had arranged with his mom to come over. He put down Hershey kisses all from the front door to her bedroom and then left a note that said, “Now that I’ve kissed the ground you walked on, will you go?”…somewhere.  I don’t remember the date.  But I know she agreed. Her older brother took Jordan aside and asked, can I steal this trick?

Your daddy didn’t hurt himself physically in sports until his last spring in high school  (and this injury was not even in a sport but in open gym..tore his achilles tendon) and had to go to prom and graduation wearing this huge boot, like the boot your Aunt Dawn is wearing right now. He went in style using Bonpapa’s cane.  Very dashing!  Because he was Student Council president, he got the whole graduating class to toss their hats out into the audience once they had turned their tassels (your dad can explain).  Usually the graduates would toss their hats into the air. But not Jordan’s class. They propelled the hats in the audience. Their names were written inside the hat so the man who caught your dad’s hat waited for him to come down from the stage and handed it to him.

When your daddy went to The Ohio State University, he called me one day and asked, “do you know where I am?” I had no idea. Then he said, “Listen!”  And then he held out his phone so I could hear the Best Band in the Land come marching out of the tunnel and on to the field.  It was so thunderous. So loud. So powerful.  And your daddy thought to share it with me by phone as he sat in the Horseshoe…as the OSU stadium is called.  I remember that moment to this day

From Marissa:
Aunt Marissa and your daddy used to take baths together until they had to start wearing swim suits in the baths.  But Aunt Marissa and Jordan made up a show for Tub Time called Hound Town.  It might have come from the Hush Puppy box from Jordan’s new shoes.  They would do tricks but first they would announce the trick, singing the Hound Town theme song.  One trick was to place the plastic Tupperware cup in the water but pushing it down and then allow the air to pop the cup up.  They also would lather up the wash cloths with soap til it was white with soap and then slap it on the tiles and use their fingers to draw pictures.

Your Daddy’s sisters would play upstairs in the bedroom.  They would have an office.  Aunt Jocelyn was called Jennifer Springfield and Aunt Marissa was Judy.  Your daddy had to be the go-fer and he had to do the grunt work of the office while his sisters were the powerful women executives.  He had to go get them drinks, papers, dump the trash.  And he did it all  just so he could play with them.

Aunt Jocelyn, Aunt Marissa and your dad would play tickle/wrestle on your daddy’s bed because he had a full-size bed.  Jordan’s trick on Marissa was to jam her down the side of the bed and wall, pile pillows on top of her and try to murder her.  Marissa said it was the worst feeling ever!

Your daddy would cry when his sisters would walk around the corner on their way to school but he was the toddler so he was left and cry and cry and cry because he didn’t want to be alone.

In the 3 ft pool section at Carousel, Marissa would play shark under the water and try to pants him.  Your daddy was really little and he’s run through the water to get away from shark Marissa.

Your daddy and his bicycle gang of boys would get together and call to each other using a high pitched  sound.  Higher pitch than Aunt Marissa could do even back then. And they boys would ride their bikes all over the neighborhood making this call. Ask your Daddy to make the sound.

Aunt Marissa said, “Ask your daddy where he rubbed his pooooop in his bedroom?”

Your daddy started at Carousel Swim Club when he was 6 months old.  We would make a tent for him by draping sheets over some folding chairs so he wouldn’t get sun burned.  At 10 minutes toward every hour, all the swimmers had to leave the pool and all the moms were able to swim for 10 minutes on their own. But I was allowed to take baby Jordan into the pool and allow him to swim around.  When he was about 5?  6?  (he was fearless) he  felt he could jump off the high dive board into the 10 foot end of the pool.  One of my friends yelled to me and said, “Susan…your son is on the high dive!”  I was in the pool and swam like I’ve never swam before to try and get to him before he hit the water. But he hit the water and came up smiling.  Then he had to prove to Mrs. Brown, the owner, that he could swim across the width of the pool before she’s let him dive again.  And of course, your daddy did it. But not by swimming with his arms.  He dove into the pool and swam the full width of the pool UNDER WATER. What a stinker!
You can hear other stories from your dad and you probably have.  Always ask him to tell you stories from his life.  Your mom can fill in other stories but just know that your dad was faithful and true.  He went to one year at The Ohio State University and then went on his mission.  I asked him once before he left, why he was going on a mission. It was something we always planned and hoped for but we didn’t keep saying it or reminding him about it.  His answer? “I want a vacation.”  He was being funny because there is no vacation on a mission. It takes a lot of hard work and powerful determination to preach the gospel to people in the world who may or may not want to hear about Jesus.
I am so glad Heavenly Father sent me your dad to be my little boy. I am glad he sent you 4 to him and your mommy. These are great parents you have.  They will guide you and protection and give you everything you need.  You Lily…and Robert…and Marius…and are AMAZING CHILDREN!  YOU ARE GOOD.  YOU ARE SMART.  YOU  ARE KIND.  YOU ARE SILLY.  YOU 4 are going to change the world and it’s because you have your parents, both mom and dad.  Don’t ever think you can’t do something. Cuz you can  You will.  You are going to be the leaders of the world and the Lord’s church.  sooner than you think.

But for today…on your daddy’s birthday.. I thought you’d enjoy these stories. Perhaps you can get it printed off and put into your baby book so you can always read it and know that you too, like Nephi, were born of goodly and godly parents. And you will learn the things they learned and teach you.

Smother your daddy with birthday kisses for me on this his special day…and tell him they are from me.  Play tickle monster with him and tell him it’s from Papa!  Love, Granny

1 comment:

Lin Floyd said...

how special and sweet to capture the life of your only son. I had 3 sons then divorced and married again, had another baby which the sonogram said was a girl but I knew it wasn't. When born, I had my fourth son Jeffrey while I was 43 years old. He has always been a blessing to our family and his next oldest brother was 13 at the time. I think he helped them learn how to care for and play with the children some of them would have one day. Would love to see photos of Jordan to go with the story-maybe someone will add those and put them in a book to publish. Good work, Mommy Susan!

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