Friday, June 17, 2011

Dad

Since this Sunday is Father's Day I've been thinking a lot about my dad.  I love my dad.  I'm going to just start with these words.  I love my dad.  My dad is not the easiest guy in the world to love.  He's prickly.  He's opinionated.  He consistently sees the glass half empty.  Btw, the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Just sayin'.

My dad is a hard worker.  My dad believes in showing his love for us by working hard and giving us everything we need.  My dad is a proud man.  He is proud of the accomplishments he has made in his life.  He considers my brothers and me his greatest accomplishment, but you'll never get him to say it.  I think he tries to cover up for his lack of formal education.  My dad left school at age 15.  My dad had to go to work to help support his family.  I think my dad had a bit of a wild streak in him during his youth.  But you'd never get him to talk about it.  Let's just say, I was NEVER able to get away with anything while growing up.  My dad was two steps ahead of me all the time.  I don't think I could THINK of a caper he hadn't already pulled when he was young.  I met my dad's boyhood best friend at the 40th wedding anniversary party my brothers and I threw for our parents.  This guy was the antithesis of my dad.  He was jovial.  He was a talker.  He smiled and laughed and EVERYBODY was his friend.  And, he was a storyteller.  Needless to say, I asked him to sit by me.  I wanted to hear EVERYTHING.  So, the stories began.  There was one about girls.  My dad was a looker in his youth.  He had a James Dean quality to his looks.  Cigarette pack rolled in the t-shirt sleeve, hair slicked back with a few curls coming through at the forehead.  He looked like a bad boy.  Anyway, my dad would get the girl's attention, but he couldn't talk to them.  That's where his buddy came in.  From the stories I heard, this was the set-up these two used to meet girls until they each married.  I guess my dad got his heart broken once, before he met my mom.  I'm glad.  I like my mom.  I'm glad she's the one that got him.  Sexy.

The job my dad left school to do was the job of a telephone linesman.  My dad climbed telephone poles all day, every day.  He was tan, strong, agile, and fearless.  However, my dad was not good at sports.  He just wasn't coordinated with a ball.  He has no rhythm.  He can't walk and chew gum at the same time.  He can climb anything, but a flat playing field is lost on him.  Funny combination.  Therefore, he wanted all of us to be good at sports.  He REALLY wanted this.  And, the fact that coordination, or lack thereof, may be a genetically inherited trait, never occurred to him.  It was a source of great frustration between him and one of my brothers.  I think this has affected their relationship to this day.  Sad.

My mom and dad met through a mutual friend.  Their love affair was FAST.  I really never hear about it from my dad's side of the story.  My mom tells the story.  And it is not very romantic.  It goes like this.  My mom and dad go out on a blind date with another couple.  Mom and dad meet.  They like each other.  One month later dad asks mom to marry him.  Four months later they get married.  They move into my grandma and grandpa's basement apartment. (dad's folks)  Three years later, I am born.  This is not a romantic story.  And I wonder where I get my "just the facts, ma'm" storytelling ability.  Sigh.

My dad is a singer.  He has a wonderful tenor voice.  When I was a little girl he would take me with him to his singing gigs.  He did a lot of wedding and funerals and the like.  I'm told there was constantly a question of whether or not I had the ability to walk, since dad carried me everywhere.  I'm told my feet never touched the ground.  I am also told, I sat in the front row of every event my dad sang at and never moved.  I never made a sound or fidgeted.  I sat in my chair and listened to my dad sing and smiled and acted like a little angel.  Smirk.

My dad was a tough disciplinarian.  I've told you I never got away with anything.  And, dad was very much a "spare the rod, spoil the child" believer.  Yeah ..., he did.  The joke among my friends in high school was that I was grounded ALL through high school.  I'd get out one Friday night and be back in solitary for the next three weeks.  And sometimes I needed all three of them to recover.  Yeah, dad was tough.  He always told me I was too easy on my son.  If I was tougher, my son would do better.  I don't think he thinks this way anymore.  But, it was hard when my son was young and I was trying to be a good mom.  This makes me love my husband more.  Smile.

My dad taught me to work hard, be on time, tell the truth, go to church, save your money, take care of your things and they will last a long time, family is most important, friends come and go, read Proverbs, and working for yourself is better than working for somebody else.  I respect my dad.  He didn't have an easy life.  He worked hard to make sure my brothers and I had more than he had.  He encouraged us in our education.  He modeled a faithful and long marriage.  He bowed his head and thanked God for every meal he ate, no matter where he was.  He took his family on trips all around this country and showed us places and gave us experiences because he wanted us to experience more than he did in his youth.  Such a loving Father. 

I love you dad.  Happy Father's Day.



7 comments:

  1. big smiles. dad sounds like a great guy...too funny on the meeting of girls and smiles at the happiness in him meeting your mom...cool post today...happy fathers day to all the dads in your world...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lynn, I'm so sorry for your loss.  I'm glad my post brought some memories back.  And I agree with your someone.  I'm pretty sure he knew how much you love him.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beki - TheRustedChainJune 18, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    That's very sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is an honest and loving tribute -- he is very proud of you, I know it! Your dad reminds me of mine -- a hard worker, proud. He was also a drill sergeant -- you can imagine my childhood!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your post is so sweet! How fun to remember your dad singing. I'm was always interested in my parent's romantic relationship. I once found a letter that my mom had written when they were dating. It was so cool because on that letter, my mom is breaking up with my dad!!! Something about my dad chatting with another girl. Ha! It was so interesting to think of them like boyfriend and girlfriend.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post about your father.  I think that it must be the generation of men from that era as much the same could be said of my father when it came to discipline and being a man of few words, etc.  Hope that your dad had a good Father's Day.

    ReplyDelete

Comments from my readers bring sunshine to my day. They make me so happy.