Friday, June 13, 2008

"What are you doing for Father's Day?"

He inquired of his co-walker this morning.

Which made me think..

Father's Day....Dad's dead...

I must write!

My father was born an eldest son on July 5, 1935. He is pictured here with his grandmother, three sisters and baby brother.

His parent’s lifestyle choices and personal demons caused him to be raised, at times, in an unloving, unpredictable, cruel environment. He was forced to become a survivor, grow up and take on adult responsibilities at a very tender age.

That childhood shaped him into the man that we loved. It made him strong – in every sense of the word – it made him a provider, because he knew how it hurt not to be provided for; it made him a lover – because he knew the feeling of not being shown love; it made him a preacher – because he realized that only with the help of the Lord did he survive and make it through; and, it made him a friend – because he knew how important it was to have someone say a kind word to you.

He was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, woodworker, doctor, gardener, politician and priest.

He did it all.

But of those roles - the grandfather role was one that he did best.

He had taken the curves that life threw at him....caught them, dodged them, and threw some back until he was perfected into being a grandfather.

He was Grandpa, Papa and Opa.

He desperately loved and endlessly taught his grandchildren.

He was the kind of grandfather to his grandchildren that white-puffy-clouded-blue-sky-dreams are made of.

He taught things that they have yet to realize. I know that the older grandchildren are able to cherish those lessons; and that the youngest ones – those that unfortunately got to have him in their lives for the shortest amount of time, or the one who has never known him – will be raised with the values and love that he would have given them.

With the upcoming celebration of Father’s Day – if by chance you want to honor a father's life – honor it by:

Teaching your son/daughter/grandson or granddaughter how to make a slingshot out of a tree branch; or to ride their first bike;

Working hard and being proud that you can provide for your family;

Stopping to help a neighbor in need;

Taking time to say “Hello” to a stranger;

Spreading the word of the Lord; and

Being generous, loving and caring.

I always try...with the hope that his legacy lives on past tomorrow.

still filled with sorrow


Catherine said...

You write with loving saddness, but oh how wonderful the memories you have of him and the memories your kids now have! Strangely I went to a hallmark store looking for a card and could not find one that said enough, so I wrote one and posted it and sent him the link, I am sure when the day comes that I can no longer talk to him, I will be writing about him as well. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself today. Cat

John Derks said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father Susan. You stirred up many recollections of my own father Unfortunately he never lived to see his grandaughter.