Memories of Dad
Annie’s taking us down Memory Lane again, this time to visit memories of our fathers. I am late, but the topic has sat in a corner of my brain and been visited and re-visited today. Relationships with our parents always hold so much impact.
My father is the oldest of seven children. Only three are living today. He was on his own at sixteen and still finished high school. I found out as a grown-up he had been offered a college scholarship that he turned down. He is a hard worker and while sometimes offering a gruff exterior, he has one of the most tender hearts I have known.
My dad used to let me stand on the truck seat by him and shift the gears. He used to take me fishing—even after I threw in a good rod and reel because I caught an eel. My dad worked a lot and he worked hard. He was often at work and I remember being resentful of that. I didn’t get that he was trying to provide the stable home that I was fortunate enough to grow up in. I was kind of snotty about all his work for a long time. For that I am truly sorry, because it is time that cannot be reclaimed.
When I found my husband he seemed to be the antithesis of all that my father was. Somehow after nearly fifteen years my husband appears to have so much in common with my father it is disconcerting. But it is a good thing. My husband has grown into a man that wants the best for his family, like my dad, and like my dad does what he can to make that happen.
My dad always made sure I had the best equipment or shoes that he could afford when I played sports. He played sports, but I know money was tight—so I imagine he didn’t always have the best. He taught me to play golf. He taught me to play cribbage and I taught my husband that game. When my dad traveled for work it often brought him to the town I went to college in and lived for a while after. He always stopped and took me to a nice dinner if he could. Shortly after college and a failed relationship my parents called me on the phone one night. I was an emotional trainwreck. My father packed a change of clothes, got in the car and came and stayed the night, making sure his little girl was going to be okay.
Grown-up memories include him telling my husband, "No refunds." before our wedding, helping us move on a Christmas Eve. Making sure I had heat in a rat-trap house. And one of my favorites was when my niece (the first grandchild) was born, my sister asked my dad to watch baby Poo-bear. Sis says she put Baby in Grandpa's arms as he sat in an easy chair. Apparently my father sat there and didn't move the whole time Sis was gone!!! He didn't want her to wake up. It was sweet.
Dad’s always ready with advice and ready to let me do things my own way and pick up the pieces when I fall on my face. He’s helped people out quietly in any way he could. I remember in high school a boy I knew coming over to see my father and Dad sitting out and talking to him because he was gong through some rough times with his family. A former police chief told me it was because of my father that the police department got bullet-proof vests.
I could go on, but I’ve sniffled and snuffled my way through this long enough. Don’t get me wrong, my father and I have had some real doozeys for fights, and some really hurt feelings and we’ve both been human more often than not—but I think I’m pretty blessed to have the Dad I do. Thanks Annie for the chance to be reminded.
Visit more Time Travelers at My Life as Annie…That’s what I’m off to do.