blue sash

blue sash {three}
blue sash {two}
blue sash {one}

hi, papa.

today was a beautiful day... a perfect day for father's day. the sky was blue like your eyes. i thought i would cry from missing you so much. but i think i got it all out last thursday... it was your birthday after all, so i had surrounded myself with memories of you.

i wrote to a dear friend about that day. but first, i wrote this {to the same friend }... a description of the clothes i had on when i last saw you alone. well, technically, it was the second to the last night that i ever saw you. but it was the last night that i had some time alone with you. remember? we stood by the door to your workshop. i had just come from work. i was there to help you and mom pack for your move. you told me three times throughout the night that i looked pretty or that i looked nice.

you always did that, dad. whether i did look nice or not, you always made me feel like a beautiful daughter. i told my friend how i will never forget the outfit i wore that night. i had liked the way it turned out when i put it on that morning. {i never plan my clothes in advance... or rarley, anyway.} but knowing that you liked it made me cherish it even more.

i'm about to have a garage sale of many of my things, including several items of clothing and shoes. but i will never ever sell, dispose or lose the things i wore that day. and since i can not remember what i wore the very last time i saw you, the things i wore the second to the last time i saw you will have to be my treasured pieces. i'm glad you liked them, because i like them too. do you remember? if not, here is how i described it to my friend.

~ ~ ~

"just a plain tailored short-sleeve white dress shirt
{i came from work, you see }.
the kind of shirt one might wear under a jacket,
but i worked in a somewhat casual office at the time,
so i never wore suit jackets.
still, i liked to dress over what was normally required.
i'm just that way.
i like to dress up even when it is not required of me.

so, the skirt...
it was slightly below the knees.
it was a dark, charcoal gray with faint lighter
grayish-blue pinstripes about and inch apart...
vertical pinstripes.

it was not a pencil skirt... i don't have the shape for those.
but it was flattering... the best fit for my body type.
a-line is what they would call it, i think...
fitted around the hips and flaring out slightly
from there toward the hem... just ever so slightly.
very business-like, but not stuffy, like a business suit.

but what made the ensemble {in my opinion,
and perhaps in my dad's opinion } was the belt i was wearing.
i guess it was not even actually a belt, rather a tie {or sash }.
it was from my favorite store on the planet... anthropologie.
{oh, how i love that store!}
it had {and still has } a lot of vintage-esque charm...
sort of french, i guess.
a light powder-blue valour {spelling?} velvety material
that was bejeweled modestly with clear crystal-like beads...
almost like gems.
hang on... i'll go get it.

okay, i'm back.
so, it has some blueish beads as well.
and some tiny gold beads.
all sown on to create a beautiful pattern...
almost medieval or madrigal-like.
hard to explain.
the main part of the sash is how i just described it above
{the part that surrounds the waist }.
but at the front where it ties, the sash changes
to different material... sort of translucent material,
but still the same light blue color.
a silk-like or chiffon material, that is cut
in such a way to cause it to slightly ruffle.
very feminine.
very subtle.
very pretty.
i had it tied in the front... not in a bow {i hate bows!}...
just a knot, with the ties cascading down the front of my skirt.

and the shoes...
high heels.
peep-toe, with some black velvet tassels.
very 1940 rosiland russel {in his girl friday } kind of shoes...
my dad was gaga over rosiland russel in that movie...
perhaps why he liked the ensemble so much.
the whole thing was sort of a throw-back to that era...
one of my favorite eras for fashion...
only to be beat by the 1960s fashion.

oh, i almost forgot...
i had on one of my favorite pairs of earrings.
in fact i wore them today to the shower!
again... very vintage-looking.
and sort of art deco -esque.
from france, actually.
from my favorite jewelry line."

~ ~ ~

dad, you know me. i could go on and on about fashion all day. but that was not the point here. the point was to remember the specific details of a day that will be etched in my mind for eternity. i'm so glad a friend took the time to ask what made that clothing outfit so special to me.

i also wrote about my experience on your birthday a few days ago. it was in a different e-mail, but was shared with the same person. and now i'd like to share it with you, too.

~ ~ ~

"if you recall, i told you my dad's birthday was last thursday. i had hoped to take a three hour drive to spring green, wisconsin to see frank lloyd wright's famous home, taliesen. my dad was a great fan of frank lloyd wright, and i wanted to spend that day alone, doing something that was very near and dear to my father's heart.

this was the best thing i could think of... close enough, but far enough also to make a little get-away out of it. i wanted to get away and be alone with him, so to speak. he had gone to taliesen with my mom years ago, and i have always wanted to see taliesen as well, as i am also quite fond of his work.

well, it did not work out, because i discovered the tour was $47 and i could not justify that along with the gas money i would have needed to travel six hours. plus, that morning, i had to get on the phone and fight a mini battle concerning finances and income.

so i did not get out of the house until noon, and i knew i had to go to plan b. a mini high-school reunion took place last night in my hometown {which i could not attend because of my best friend coming over }. but because of the reunion, a friend from high school was visiting from baltimore. knowing i could not see her last night, i asked if she could meet for coffee in woodstock on thursday, instead. we met up on the square, which was still nice... i have lots of good memories with my dad there. he walked me down the aisle {sidewalk } there for my wedding. he took me to a blue grass concert {one of the best concerts i've ever been to... freakin' amazing musicians } right next to the starbucks {where i sat with my friend, gloria } at the historic opera house, which has seen the likes of paul newman and orson wells on its stage. many, many times, just on the other side of that opera house, i went out for breakfast with my papa at one of his favorite diners where he knew EVERYONE... so many more memories, too.

so you see, i still had a nice day and felt close to him again. but the best part of the day was when i drove to their house... some day i'll have to tell you the story of how he died {or did i already?} and how it is tied to that house. anyway, i drove up to the house and parked on the gravel road in front. i forwarded the cd i had been listening to to vivaldi's winter {one of the prettiest renditions i've ever heard of it }, turned the volume way up, rolled down the windows, and sat and looked at the house during the entire piece. weeping at some points. tears flowing at all points.

sad. missing him. but mostly happy. remembering him. there was not a place i could lay my eyes on that property that did not loudly {or quietly } say "ken heldman" or "dad" to me. not a one. everywhere i looked... "dad laid those bricks there. dad planted that tree. dad built and stained those steps. dad worked on his cars in that driveway." i could almost see him working in the garage, picking cherries from the tree in front, riding around on the tractor mower. i sat and listened, and i could almost picture him in the living room playing his trumpet. i remembered so many things from my days there. i remember the second to the last time i ever saw him... right there in that house, helping them pack for their move to springfield. i remembered how he said to me three times that night that i looked pretty, and i'll never get rid of the skirt, shirt, belt and shoes i wore that day, because it was one of the last things he saw me wear and made a point to tell me that i looked so nice. i remember the one and only fight i ever had with him that caused me to want to move out, and how my mom told me not to leave, especially not while i was angry, and i'm so glad she did, because i stayed and became even closer to him than i already had been. i remember all the nights we stayed up late to watch m*a*s*h and how i laughed more at him laughing at the show than i did at the show. i could go on and on. just flooded with memories.

and normally when i listen to that version of vivaldi's winter, i have a content sense of peace. but this day i listened and it was the saddest thing i ever heard. and i'm glad. because it helped me grieve my father's passing... something i did a lot for the first couple of years after he died, but have not done nearly as much lately {which is only natural }, and felt such release in doing. i can't think of a better, more beautiful thing to have heard while i sat there and watched all those memories in my mind's eye."

~ ~ ~

i went on to say more things, but that was the jist of it, papa. it was nice to write about you. i can not help but tell people about you, while filled with joy and pride that i can call you my father. and guess what. the new owners of the house where you and mom lived let me go take some pictures of the back yard. i mostly just wanted to take a picture of the craftsman-esque trellis you built for the yard/garden. i'll always love that. it looked so pretty that day with all the day lilies that you and mom tended to all those years. i just really needed to see something that you made with your hands.

day lilies at my parents' old house

one more thing, dad. on wednesday {the day before your birthday }, another dear friend took me out for lunch {thanks, dierdre!} at the place i last saw you. do you remember? the restaurant has a different name now, but it is still there. i took a picture of the stretch of sidewalk in front. the very spot... the last place i ever beheld your face and felt your embrace.

sidewalk {two}
remember? mom, nate and angela were there. i wish the rest of the family had been, too. i remember we had such a nice dinner. and when i was there this last wednesday, guess who i saw... one of your favorite waitresses and the manager from richard walkers pancake house. they are now working at this restaurant where i last saw you. we talked about you with tears in our eyes and smiles on our faces. they still remember you well.

i will never forget you either. and i so look forward to seeing you again some day.

i love you, papa. i immensely enjoyed your memory today and these past several days. well, i always do. but especially lately. happy father's day.

georgia {dordy-pordy }


B. Meandering said...

My dad's gone too. Thank you for your post--one I could relate to. I'm struggling with deadlines, so I didn't write much about my dad, just did a montage of pictures and a short tribute. But even though I'm sad for you, it made me feel better that someone else still cries on her dad's birthday even though it's been awhile. My dad's was last Tuesday.
Just wanted you to know that your blog reached out and touched someone.

Lisa said...


happy father's day to your papa.


slommler said...

Beautiful memories of your dad!! Mine too is gone...he passed in 1985...!! Sigh!

Steve Gravano said...


mrs mediocrity said...

that was beautiful and wonderful and made me cry. I am lucky that my dad s still here, but every father's day now, I wonder, when will be the last one, and is is a bittersweet day. your dad sounds like a wonderful man, I am glad that you have such fond memories in your heart.

S. Etole said...

Georgia, you share your father in such a way that I feel that I have met him ... what a precious heritage you have in him.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

This was such a sweet tribute to your dad. I enjoyed the photos too.

chasity said...

my heart aches for you missing your papa.
i'm so glad that you have these wonderful memories to hold to.
it's such a blessing.

ELK said...

this left me breathless .. i miss mine too .. still

Sandy and Daryl Koch said...

Lovely tribute, Georgia. I've been thinking about my own dad, gone since 2000. We had such fabulous summers on the lake. Ah...memories. -Sandy

Joy said...

beautiful trellis. and I like how you took a pic of where you and he stood---the pavement.

margie said...

simple and touching.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

this is such a bittersweet post. wow. i need to call my dad now.

i hope you are doing all right.

Kristin said...

I just know that he read this from Heaven and smiled!

Tennis coaching Melbourne said...

I cried when I was reading this..I remebered my father. Love your blog

georgia b. said...

thank you, tennis coaching...

i'm glad you enjoyed it.

Toni said...

Such a lovely, sweet, tribute to your father, Georgia. I'm sorry for your loss - you have some wonderful memories to hold close to your heart.

Becca said...

Hello Georgia, I'm Becca and I just discovered your blog. I love your post about your Father, and how you shared your memories of him. Your photography is "superb!" (well, not that I'm an expert or anything, I just "try" to make mine look like yours. :-) ) So inspiring...I will keep trying. Have a lovely week.