Today, this snowy May 23, 2010, would have been my dad's 80th birthday. It is Sammy's 7th birthday. For whatever reason, God chose this day to be my dad and Sammy's birthday. Here you see them, sucking thumbs together when Sammy was maybe 8 months old.
Over the years, I have observed more connections between them than just the birthday one. Like my dad, Sammy is very animated and has a natural flair for the theatrical, currently evidenced in his surprising ability to do foreign accents replete with uncanny improvised dialog. He also shares the knack for developing humorous phrases (see http://thevanderschuitvoyage.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-dads-memorial.html for many of my dad's witticisms). One that comes to mind is how Sammy suddenly started ending sentences calling people "Chickie," with a sort of W.C. Fields delivery. Which reminds me of how he calls Dickens "Charles Chickens" (you have to hear his rhythm on that to fully appreciate it).
Some other memorable Sammy-isms include...
"I'm am a [fill in the blank] professional!"
"Stuck like a rock and glue!"
"As cold as a gopher in an ice cube!"
...and the perennial favorite...
"Some day I want to roast a coyote!", which he said out of the blue one day in the car.
With these and others he often affects a comedic tone (whether or not anyone is listening), something like a cross between a vaudeville entertainer and Curly from the Three Stooges (Aaron says Sammy's the funniest kid he knows). Like his grandpa, Sammy's just naturally entertaining and always seems to be working on his routine.
It gets deeper. They had a special connection I just didn't realize till more recent years. It seems Sammy often had "Grampy Warry" on his mind. For instance, if you'd ask him to pray, he'd always immediately pray for his grandpa, even if it was off the prayer topic. When my dad passed away, our little whistler stopped whistling for several days, saying he just didn't feel like it anymore. But it didn't take long for him to get to the point where he was whistling happily again (this very moment even) and just thanking God in prayer for Grandpy Warren, which is probably his most common prayer now.
Makes you think, huh?
Sammy really loved his grandpa. I wonder if their special connection will blossom further into eternity? I look forward to seeing whatever other similarities God has put in the Birthday Twins. Stay posted...
P.S. Yesterday we spent Sammy's pre-birthday at Disneyland. Although Sammy vomited out the day's junk on the way out of the park, he still smiled just before he fell asleep at home. Not quite as momentous as last May 23rd, my dad's last birthday on this side, which both he and Sammy celebrated together (along with my mom whose is May 18th) at a party poolside at Dad's condo in South Pasadena. It's great to get the family together like we did that day, complete with some guitar and singing and the camaraderie of friends and family. If any of you who were there that day are reading this...I'm open for more poolside antics.