A Father’s Day tribute to my Dad

Father’s Day is a bittersweet day for me. Without a father to celebrate with it is just not the same. It does, however, allow me to reflect on the wonderful father that I was so blessed to have.

I am the oldest of 6 children. We are a very close group!  Although very close to both of our parents, the relationship with our dad (and I am sure I can speak for all of my siblings) was very special. He was the soul of the family, the hugger, the kisser, the listener, the head of the family.

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Dad and I had our share of battles during my teenage years. The issues were nail polish, make up, dating, and all the other rights of passage. My mother (sweet incredible woman that she was) was somewhat old-fashioned in the sense that Dad had the last say on most issues. I am sure she was a quiet force behind the scenes but growing up in the era that we did, the man of the house was…well, the man of the house!   He was most reluctant to allow me to grow into a free-spirited teenager which included me wearing sensible shoes (for good arch support) rather than the styles of the day. Despite all of this I survived-and better for it I like to think.

Dad was a hard worker and a good provider. It must have been hard but we never went without. He did not have a high school diploma having been raised during the depression and was needed to help out on the farm. He was, however, one of the smartest people I have ever met. Not only did he have good common sense, he was self-taught on just about any subject because of his love for reading and hunger for knowledge. He worked 6 days each week, was loved by his co-workers, customers, friends, and most of all by his family. He taught us the value of hard work and the rewards it offers.  Dad would say there was nothing like ending a day tired and knowing a job was well done. Each evening when he arrived home he would embrace our mom in a big hug  to give her a great big kiss! My friends were astonished when they saw this as many of them had never seen their parents show affection to each other. Then in turn, he would kiss each one of us. He taught us to show love and affection.

Dad also instilled into us to be honest. The  value of telling the truth ranked very high with him. Honesty, integrity, and fairness. He was our guide. He was loving but we knew the boundaries.

As adults we still had the great love and respect for him. He was not our friend, he was our dad and as our dad he was one of a kind. We could laugh, talk, argue, or whatever but before we went to bed at night or left for our own homes, he would kiss us good-night and his love was ever faithful.

With his love of reading we became readers. With his love of poetry we learned to love poetry. With his kindness we learned to give kindness. He taught his four daughters to be women and his two sons to be men. He always had a joke to tell and loved talking about life. He loved sitting at the head of the dinner table-to look out over his family and count his blessings.   He always cooked the Thanksgiving turkey, made the stuffing, cooked the roasts throughout the year and when he retired he even learned to bake.

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Our parents were married almost 50 years before he died.  While he was the head of the family, our mom was his heart.

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A few years ago we had our parents laid to rest at  Arlington National Cemetery and his last wish was fulfilled. He was in the Navy during WWII.  He was shown all the respect due each and every one of our servicemen and women.

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Dad, I miss you. I am so thankful that God picked you to be my father. I am sorry I kept you up nights worrying. Thank you for your heart for family. You taught me so much.

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I love you, Dad.

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “A Father’s Day tribute to my Dad

  1. Jan, this is a beautiful tribute to your dad whom I remember as a warm and loving, also funny, man. Remember all of the quotes he gave us like “lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas”? I was one who witnessed the loving way your dad kissed all of his loved ones coming or going from the house. What a special man he was during the time when many men did not demonstrate the great love they had for their families.

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  2. Jan, you make me think about my dad. He passed away so long ago, in 1973, but he had so many of the same attributes that your dad had. My dad was in Normandy, so this 70th anniversary made me think of him a lot. I wonder if it was the depression and then WWII that gave them the character that they shared with us?

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  3. Thanks, Patricia. Perhaps it was. Fortunately it was passed on by many to their families. I know there are some amazing young fathers out there today and…… we have some pretty awesome sons who are father’s too! I appreciate the comments.

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  4. Jan, I read this to Mom tonight. She said you did a beautiful tribute to your Dad. He was an extremely loving, happy and honest man. I always loved when he came back to Maryland and speaking for the family, we miss him terribly. He was truly my favorite uncle. Also miss your moms beautiful laugh.

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  5. Thank you, Carol. I appreciate your kind words and you sharing this with his sister. He was so happy to be her brother. She was a wonderful big sister and he adored her. He loved you all so much. I am touched by your words.

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  6. Hi Jan,
    this is lovely, I got a big lump in my throat, and that sweet, sweet picture of your parents, it is too wonderful. She was so beautiful, and I love how they wrapped up each other in the frame. It is nice to think of the good times, and remember how much our parents did for us. xx Nancy

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  7. How beautiful. Recently I have been pondering the role that a good father has in the life of his daughters. You have outlined many wonderful qualities. And I think also, that a nurturing father instils a sense of self-esteem in his daughters. Teaches them to expect respect from the other men who come into their life. Am I close? Or am I fantasising? (I grew up without a father).

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  8. I do think a father can have a powerful impact on his children. It’s unfortunate that some don’t give value to that. However, that being said, sometimes it isn’t possible or desirable. Regardless of the parents we have, we have a choice on how to live our lives and make our own choices- and learn from our journey. I think your book is a true testament to that! ♡

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  9. Nancy, you gave me a lump in my throat from your sweet words! They truely were a picture of love all of their lives. As a parent-even today- I continue to learn and understand more fully of the sacrifices they made for us kids. ♡

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