Monday, April 26, 2010

Dad Plus Six Plus Ten


The first picture is Dad in his early twenties.
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The second photo includes Dad, Mom, my four brothers, me and our families.

I recalled this morning that my father’s birthday is either the 24th or 26th of this month, April. I never could keep that straight without looking at a calendar notation. The exact date isn’t important to me but his memory is.

Dad's mother died when he was young and his life was hard. He struggled through, married my mother and the family grew to include four boys and me. We lived a simple life. Dad worked hard to support all of us and we never lacked the things we needed.

When I had my first job, I bought Dad a gift for his birthday. I gave it to him and after opening it, he cried. I was surprised and yet pleased that it meant so much to him. I noticed this emotional side of my father quite often over the years. He never asked or expected anything but was touched when he felt loved.

Dad was always eager and ready to help out if any of us kids needed help. He helped my two younger brothers and my husband and I when we built our houses. Once he started a project, he kept at it until it was completed. He often said, “You have to make hay while the sun shines.”

Dad appreciated the little things in life and was most happy when he was doing simple things like working in his garden or on woodworking projects.
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Dad evolved from appearing to be a rather intimidating and quiet man in my husband’s eyes when we first started dating to being a wonderful father-in-law. Lon loved my dad’s warm welcomes followed by a bottle of beer from him whenever we visited. Lon enjoyed the time he spent with my dad. He appreciated his easy going ways and down to earth conversation topics. Lon reminds me frequently of Dad’s words, "Perfect, Lon, perfect,” whenever Lon asked for his opinion regarding a task he had undertaken.

Yes, Dad was proud of us as we grew up and he enjoyed our families as they also grew.

Dad spent his last years, learning to live with the results of colon cancer. He died in his sleep in 2000. When I remember him now, I remember his warm smile and manner when I pulled in the driveway. He loved to show me his garden and flowers and woodworking projects. He’d load my car up with vegetables and things he’d made.
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I remember that he loved his home, being there and living simply. I remember the relationship he had with my son. Jared has fond memories of hanging out with his grandpa. I remember how Dad liked to tease, tell jokes and make us laugh.

I remember the things I loved about Dad. Looking back, I love everything about him.
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(In the group photo, Dad and Mom are in the middle of the back row. My four brothers are in that same row while I'm in front in the peach-colored suit and a smile that reminds me of a horse. Jared and Lon are on my right).

8 comments:

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

You are so blessed Shaddy, your dad sounds like a wonderful man!Unfortunately, my relationship with my dad is still rocky~

xo

dayner said...

Sweet memories, Shaddy. Thanks for sharing, you made me think of my dad. His birthday was April 21st, he turned 72. I think I'll go call him now. Life is too short to take our days for granted.

Parrot Writes said...

Lovely thoughts expressed by a loving daughter. You captured his essence in the memories you hold dear. My Dad has been gone almost two years and I miss him a lot.

sarahowens said...

This is a wonderful ode of your dad Shaddy. Your words and memories are beautiful. I agree with the above, you're so blessed to have had such a good relationship with you Dad. I wish all parents could have had a lesson from him. He sounds like an amazing guy.

I just love this...
xoxo

Anonymous said...

What a nice tribute, I remember well your Dad's
vegetable garden, every time during the season when they would come to Brodhead to visit us, he would bring us some. I remember his birthday was the 26th. My Dad,s your Grandpa was April 14th, he was born in 1895.

Shaddy said...

Lenore: Dad gave me the nickname, Shaddy because I followed him around like a shadow.

dayner: I hope you had a nice visit with your dad.

Parrot: I find myself saying and doing things that my dad said and did. (He could be sarcastic at times). I'll notice my words, look at my husband and ask him who I just sounded like. Then we laugh.

Sarie: I bet you thought of your awesome father as you read about mine.

Aunt Babe: Thanks for getting Dad's birth date straight for me. I was too lazy to go hunting for it. I forgot Grandpa Tom's birthday was in April too. I miss the tomatoes Dad used to grow. My BLTs just aren't the same anymore.

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