To Dad - With Love
inJune 15, 2011 - 5:23pm
A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ~Author Unknown
As we approach Father’s Day, our thoughts turn to dear ‘ol Dad…. a special day set aside to show love, appreciation and admiration to our Fathers. Just what is it that makes a good father? This question may have varied answers depending on personal opinion. As I reflect upon this query, however, my thoughts turn to the qualities of my own father, a truly great man as well as husband, father and grandfather.
My father’s Mom passed away when he was quite young and his father, angry, was not the ideal Robert Young “Father Knows Best” kind of father. Thus Dad was not overly demonstrative in his love but his actions certainly spoke volumes. When I was younger, he affectionately would ruffle my hair calling me Shorty, his pet name for me. One of my most profound memories and testament of his love was when I asked my father to quit smoking; tearfully expressing I did not want him to die of cancer. He immediately stopped smoking, something not always easy to do, I never saw him smoke another cigarette again. I have always admired him for that.
My father grew up without so much as his own bicycle and vowed that he would have “two of everything” when he reached adulthood. His dreams were more than realized with hard work and dedication. My father is one of the most successful men I know. Dad was proudly employed as a specialized worker at General Motors in the heyday of the auto industry. The plant he worked in was unbearably hot in the summer and he worked long hours, taking advantage of over-time whenever possible. Never once did I hear Dad voice a complaint. Growing up, Dad was frugal and always provided exactly what my brother and I needed without overindulging us.
My parent’s home was hand built by my industrious father; it was beautiful and meticulously cared for. If an item was broken, all we had to do was mention it and voila, the item was promptly repaired. Fortunately, my father was able to retire early and has had many years to enjoy retirement: cooking, golfing, running errands and maintaining his beautiful gardens, in addition to providing service to a local high school, faithfully running their BINGO program for four decades.
Dad was immensely proud of his family and my mom. A man of quiet faith, Dad taught us by example how to live and his lessons have shaped my life. Daddy loved a good joke and I recall a family trip to Boston. I brought a special necklace and feared that “Betty”, the hotel maid would steal it. Dad jokingly hid the necklace and slipped a paper note inside the box that read “Thank you, Betty”… the memory still makes me laugh. Dad loved historical trips as well as family beach vacations and he was always more relaxed without the demands of work. He loved a Sunday drive and we did also, because there was always the anticipated ice cream treat!
When I became a bride, it was bittersweet and I sensed my Dad’s sadness at letting me go into my new life…. it was difficult to say “goodbye” at the altar. When he learned he would be a grandfather for the first time, my dad’s excitement was palpable as he squeezed me tightly, with tears in his eyes. Dad is the best grandpa, and loves his two grandchildren tremendously. He has been an integral part of our lives enriching us with wisdom and generosity that have provided my children with the best possible education to enhance their future.
I consider myself blessed to have had such a good father and fortunate that he is still healthy. Although he is slowing down somewhat, Dad remains active and is as intelligent as ever! I love you Daddy, Happy Father’s Day!
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