A Day for Fathers

 

 

Daddy was a good provider; we were not rich by any means, but we had all we needed. I was born on my Daddy’s twenty-seventh birthday on June 19, 1956. He was born on that same date in 1929. Born in the year of the Crash, he knew hard times. Daddy worked from a young age, though he was fortunate to go to school and to college. He drove a tractor at the age of nine and went to college at the age of sixteen. Brilliant with numbers he later made his fortune in stocks. A self-made man, he never squandered money.

Daddy did believe in educating his three girls through trips in the United States. The longest trip was when we drove cross-country from South Carolina to California. The goal was to take his girls to Disneyland. Florida’s Disney World did not exist at the time. We saw the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Juárez, Mexico, El Paso Texas, and all points in between. My Grandmother went with us as well. Mother and Daddy and one of us girls up front, and Mama and two of us girls in the back seat; A huge can of Charles Chips sat on the hump on the floor in the back.

Other trips to Washington, DC, Maine, Connecticut, Williamsburg, Vermont, Niagara Falls, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and as far south as Tampa Florida we toured. Daddy taught us the value of travel extending one’s education. I remember on each trip we were packed the night before and were on the road by three in the morning. That was tough, getting up that early.

In the Sierra Nevadas we stayed in a cabin. We were sold a stack of wood for the night; Daddy said we didn’t need that; the man said to take it and if we didn’t use it to return it in the morning for a refund. We used every single log. That night, we heard a strange sound. A bear was rubbing up against the side of our cabin. Daddy went to the door and opened it; frightened out of our minds, he was greeted with cries from his girls to close the door.

I had a room to myself when I was little; the twins shared a room. I was scared in my room alone. All sorts of monsters and gangsters were in my closet. To this day I can see those gangsters, one tall and one short, with khaki trench coats; they were almost cartoonish. Anyhow, every night I’d get scared and holler, “Daaaadddddyyyy!” He would come and lay down at the foot of my bed until I fell asleep. I am sure he got tired of that; but he always came to comfort me and I knew he would.

The night he passed away in March of 2011, I knew he would not make it through the night. We were in a Hospice House; he was too sick from his cancer to die at home. I came into the room, tears bottled up streamed down my face; I told Mother that my heart was breaking. I have never said that, nor have I ever said it since. She wrapped her arms around me and said to go home and take care of me. My husband had just left and when I called he turned around to take me back to Mother and Daddy’s house with him for the night. Sister Fran and Mother stayed; Mother crawled in the bed with him and held him for six hours until he passed. I was in Daddy’s bed at their home; I had drifted off as I laid on my side; I awakened to a pressure on my hip. The pressure turned into a throbbing like a heartbeat. I knew it was Daddy. He came one last time to comfort me. He understood I couldn’t let him go; he had to tell me he was going to be okay and for me to not be afraid. Mother and Fran came into the room in the wee hours of the morning and crawled in on either side of me. “He’s gone,” I stated in almost a dazed voice. Yes. They told me of his last hours. Sometime later we all arose and started the dance of the funeral preparations; everyone knows the steps; only most want to steer clear of the dance floor.

My Daddy was a brilliant man; I knew he was smart before he passed; it was afterwards, when I saw how well prepared financially he had left Mother, did I understand fully what love and care went into all he did with numbers.

There are two men in the world that completely own my heart-my Daddy and my husband. My heart has broken once; I don’t know if I can live through another broken heart.

Dear Lord, I don’t know my future; I only know my own version of the past. I have been lovingly cared for by two men. Both are fathers, and both love me dearly. Each of them fathered in their own unique ways; but both helped show me love that only a father can give. Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me through these men, Daddy and my husband. I know You know all the many loving and funny stories I can tell about both of them, but that’s for another time. This Father’s Day I pay tribute to MY men … MY fathers on earth. I have been so blessed by knowing them, loving them, and having them in my life. Amen

 

 

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.  Gloria Naylor

 

I have three daughters and I find as a result I played King Lear almost without rehearsal.   Peter Ustinov

 

Hopefully we were all daddy’s little girl. He was and hopefully still is wrapped around our little finger. Not to take advantage of more just for the comfort of knowing he is there.  Violette DeSantis

 

 

Weep Not For Me
By an Unknown Author

 

Weep not for me though I have gone
Into that gentle night
Grieve if you will, but not for long
Upon my soul’s sweet fight

 

I am at peace, my soul’s at rest
There is no need for tears
For with your love I was so blessed
For all those many years

 

There is no pain, I suffer not
The fear is now all gone
Put now these things out of your thoughts
In your memory I live on

 

Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife
Please do not dwell upon my death
But celebrate my life

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle

2 thoughts on “A Day for Fathers”

  1. A wonderfully written story. Jan is it wonderful when you can remember one that has journey on with such joy, appreciation and love. Thank you this beautiful story.

  2. I cried all the way through it. Daddy’s been gone six years now, but it all came back as if it were yesterday. Thanks, Mel, for your sweet, encouraging comments … Jan

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