Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"From The Heart" Wednesday 9-3-08

Last Wednesday I wanted to do a celebration of fathers as it was my fathers birthday. Time did not allow for a worthy article to be written about him; therefore it has become todays entry.
I am very blessed to still have both of my parents. My dad just turned 69 and my mother will turn 69 in November. I suppose I judge all men by my fathers standards; and I have to say that not many measure up in my eyes.

I have a million wonderful memories of him, and writing about them all would probably take me a lifetime. I thought I would share just a few of those memories with you.
My father is a quiet man, a gentle man, a loving husband and father. He lost his own dad when he was only 14 years old and it has always amazed me that without a father figure from such a young age; that he somehow fell into the parenting role and perfected it.

I recall my father going to work with pneumonia to feed us. I recall him playing ball with us in the backyard after a long day of manual labor, or tossing us across a swimming pool on hot summer days. I remember how hard he worked, often late hours, many many weekends and of the struggle it must have been to provide for a family of seven. I never doubted his love.

My most treasured gift is a glass bird shaped paperweight that my father gave me on my 16th birthday. He was working construction at the time for a company that rebuilt mobile homes. I had a birthday party and the usual wrapped gifts that my mother had picked out for me as mothers always do. (I don't know of a man that truly likes to shop..lol). I was outside when my dad came home from work that day and he called me to his truck as he parked. I remember that he said "this isn't much, but I found it today and thought you might like it". He opened his hand to reveal the bird in his palm. I can still recall how loved and special I felt at that moment; he had remembered my birthday!

My dad and I loved to fish together. I can't begin to tell you how many times he got in trouble with my mother over a fishing trip that was supposed to end at dusk dragging out much later than expected. I was a sickly child and my mother always feared the worse concerning the night air and dew bringing on an asthma attack. We would drag home damp, dirty and with NO catch and my mother would be fuming mad. My fathers defense was "honey, the fish were biting"..this from a man with an empty stringer..lol. I wouldn't classify us as having been poor. We always had a roof, there was always food on the table; but we lived payday to payday and there wasn't money for many extras. Through horse trading and probably trading out work my dad somehow managed to get us a little aluminum boat. We could catch the big ones now! Well we spent many an hour in that boat and though the fishing wasn't any better, at least we had a change of scenery. Dad and I loved that boat and I was happy for him. He had wanted one for years and he finally had one. We fished several times a week, this wasn't a once in awhile hobby for us, but a way of life.

We had health insurance but copays have a way of eating up the extra dollars when you are raising a child that is continually sick. A time came that I worsened and was hospitalized. I came home with nine prescriptions that I would remain on for several years. I was young and of course did not realize the expense involved with a hospital stay. I do now. A few weeks had passed and I was feeling better and I recall going outside to where my dad was working on something. "Let's take the boat out and go fishing dad" I said. He didn't look away from his work. "I sold the boat, but if you're up to standing on the bank we can go wet a line". I didn't ask why; I knew the answer. I knew what the boat had meant to him and it was at that point that I began to understand the sacrifices that he made for his family. What he didn't say that day spoke a million words to my heart and emotions.

I have a million of those stories that will pull those heartstrings; but let me move on to the other side of my dad. He is FUNNY! His nickname is "curly"; given to him by humorous coworkers referrring to his bald head. He has a fringe of red hair and I don't really recall a time that he had much more than that. His favorite expression is "finer than frog hair". He is adored and respected by everyone that knows him. He has a heart bigger than Texas and a smile that comes easily.

He LIES. The man lies continually and his forehead wrinkles when he is getting ready to tell you a really big one. He lies so often that when he tells you something in truth, you always question "now is this the truth or is it a curly"? Lies in our family are now referred to as "curlys". It is always silly stuff, but it is a daily thing and even after all of these years the family members still fall for about half of them! To give you an example we live fifteen miles apart. If I call and say that it is raining at my house he will top me with "its raining here too; they have the road blocked off and Im standing on the coffee table to talk to you." Things like that. He is Irish and always has a tale to spin!

My father cannot resist the urge to steal a cigarette lighter. He doesn't care about the color and he insists that it isn't intentional; but if you are a smoker at his house and you visit for longer than fifteen minutes, you can count on your lighter being in his pocket when you again need it. He is skinny and I have often wondered how he keeps his pants up with the weight of all of those lighters in his pockets!

My father has taught me many, many lessons over the course of 45 years. The value of hard work and being able to hold your head up knowing that you have given 100% to any task that you tackle. The importance of fairness and a kind heart to everyone that you encounter on your path. He has taught me to laugh and that it is okay to be silly even when you are no longer a child. The pride of family and the family name, and that a man is only as good as his word. The true meaning of our family role and our obligations to that unit. He has taught me that a parent can be a friend to their child; because he is genuinely one of my very best friends. Above all he has shown me that love has no boundaries; that it is an ever flowing spring that never ceases.

I know that the day will probably come when it is time to say goodbye to this man. I cannot possibly imagine my life without him. For those of you that are lucky enough to still have your fathers in your life; take a minute and give him a call today just to say "I love you".

Write down some of your own memories of your dad to share with your children and future generations. So many times we lose the reality of who a person was and these are things that your grandchildren will one day cherish. I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know my dad today. Share some memories with me in the comments area of your own dad stories :-).

To celebrate our love for dads, I have put together a quick word art freebie for you.

Sorry Link No Longer Available


Maria said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 07 Sep [LA 12:00am, NY 02:00am, UK 07:00am, OZ 05:00pm] ).

Michelle from MD, USA said...

Aww, what a beautiful life you have. Having a father like yours is worth the world. I want my daughters to feel about their father as you do about yours. They sound very much alike. Hard working, honest, loyal and full of crap at the same time.:o)

I never really had a father. My dad was an alcoholic who wasn't around much. I can't ever remember him living with us. My parents divorced when I was very small. I do remember having to go with him on the weekends and I dreaded it.

Having a positive father figure around makes such a difference. I'm happy for you having that. And so very glad that my husband is here for my girls.

Thank you for sharing your stories and the pretty WA.