Remembering My Dad

Today is Father’s Day here in the US and that brings back a lot of memories of my Dad. I don’t know what it is about Daddies and their little girls. I was blessed to have both a good Mom and a good Dad but guess who it was that I used to follow around.

My Dad was a man worthy of a lot of respect. He believed in using honesty and integrity in all his dealings. He was part Irish and it showed in his sense of humor and his ability to tell a good long story. He was able to keep people intrigued with what he had to say next. I still remember many of those stories but they are just too long to tell here.

  • There was the time he was preaching a funeral and had to suppress his own inappropriate laughter as he watched a mountain girl clean her babies face with snuff spit.
  • There was the time he dreamed of being attacked by a mountain lion as he rode through the mountains on horseback from one church to another.
  • Thereafter, he was known as the preacher who preached with a gun in his pocket.
  • There was the time when he was camping with a group of people and a bear was heard. One of the women got excited and tried to wake up her husband but wound up rolling him down the mountain side in a blanket instead.

There are many more tales but like I said… that would make this post much too long.

When he worked, he worked hard. When he relaxed, he knew how to simply relax and that was a good combination. He enjoyed many activities such as fishing, camping and horseback riding. He simply enjoyed his family and we had a lot of good times together.

He was a man of great faith and I can remember him down on one knee praying every night before bed. He used to brag that he and my Mom never had a fight. Well, they didn’t but they did have some disagreements. If my Mom would have argued with him then he maybe would not have been able to make that claim. As it was, they each said what they had to say and then let it go.

I had to think about that really hard after my husband and I had our first argument. We did have some pretty good ones but we learned to each respect the other even when we didn’t agree. We had a good example set before us.

My parents had the best marriage of any that I have ever seen (and I have seen some good marriages.)They each simply completed the other. They were openly affectionate with each other and you could see the love in their faces. They adored each other. I was a little hurt when my son told me that he would not get married until he found someone that he could have a marriage like my parents. However, after thinking about it… he was right. Mine was good but theirs was the best of any around.

I have to say that I was blessed to grow up in such a home.

Many times we would go with my Dad on his camping and fishing trips. After I grew up They would go together to the beach or the mountains near a lake where he would fish and she would take photographs and make drawings that would later be turned into paintings. They were each together but each doing their own thing in a companionable way.

On Father’s day, his birthday, and Christmas I remember that we used to give pretty much the same old gifts from limited categories. Our funds were limited but he never asked for anything anyway so it was hard to know what to give him.Besides, we were thinking from a female standpoint and it was hard for us to know what gifts men want most.

Now I can think of things that my Dad would have liked such as:

Fishing equipment… rods, reels, fishing lures, a fillet knife, a new tackle box, a depth finder, etc. He would have enjoyed having some new tools as well. What man is there that does not enjoy having a good set of tools? He had all the basics for carpentry. Most of those were the old fashioned hand tools though and not the power tools. He only had a few of those. I can still remember helping him to plane down a piece of wood to make it perfectly smooth.You could have given him most anything and he would have appreciated it for the fact that he was thought about and loved.

My Dad liked hats and wore an old fedora to keep the sun out of his eyes. We used to go horseback riding on Sunday afternoons. We would ride down the side of the road to the creek then go through the bottom land and on through a trail in the woods. We would go on up past Deaton’s pond and make our way back out toward the road. Then we would come on back home. We would be gone for 2 or 3 hours just enjoying nature and our horses.

I helped him get up hay using a hay rake that you rode on and when it got too full you would pull the lever and let it all out.  I worked the rake as he drove the tractor. Then he would go back over the field and throw the piles of hay up onto the wagon. That time I would be driving the tractor. From there it would be thrown by hand up onto the barn loft. I would catch a pitchfork full of hay and throw it to the back of the barn. One time I picked up a fork full that was heavier than my arm could handle and it broke my wrist. Later, my Dad got some different equipment that allowed him to do the whole job by himself. Things like that are done much differently today but the old way did provide a lot of memories for me.

I have been sitting here with a smile on my face as I think about many more things that are too long to tell here. Some of those memories were sad as well. I remember one time when  he was in the hospital, Mom and I were leaving to go home. He was sitting in a wheelchair at the end of a  hall. When we were nearly at the other end and about to turn a corner, he called me a couple of times and I hurried back to him. He said, “Glenda, please take care of your mother, I will be fine.” He was sick and half out of his mind from encephalopathy but he was concerned about her. It broke my heart to have to leave him there but I promised to take care of her. It was not long before we were able to bring him back home where he stayed until he passed away.

It is good to think back and remember all the times that we shared. How about you? Do you still have your Dad with you? If you do, I hope that you will remember him and do  what you can to put a smile on his face. Just let him know that he is loved and appreciated. Pick up the phone and call him… or better still… go to see him. We never know how long we will have our loved ones with us. I always felt like they would always be there. But they have now been gone for a long time. I still have them in my memory though and am so thankful that as a family we did take some time to make those memories.

Above all, I will always remember his smile, his laughter and his love of family. I remember how he used to wipe away a few tears when watching a heart touching movie. He was a gentle and humble man who deserves to be remembered by all who knew him.

 

Thank you for reading. Your comments are welcome.

 

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