Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
I was looking for the best photo I could find that would describe my Dad. Of course, my favorite is the one with Dad and me taken by Mom. Dad and I were both dressed for church in front of my 1970 Camero. However, since this tribute is about him, I wanted to find a picture of him alone. I found lots of him with Mom and other family members, but very few by himself. Then after looking through my old pictures and his old albums, I found this one.
This was taken on my sister’s (Martha) friend’s boat in Florida when Mom was still alive. So it was probably in the late 60s. Mom, who liked to write on the back of photos, wrote “What’s that in your hand, fisherman? Bait!”
I love looking at this picture and seeing how relaxed he was. He wasn’t always this way. He worked hard to support his family. He spent his days on the road selling all kinds of parts for televisions and radios. He also sold gadgets including reel-to-reel tape players and later 8-track players. As kids we got to “test” some of these gadgets. I know that my love of gadgets comes from him.
But that’s not to say he wasn’t relaxed at home in the yard after a long day on the road, or on the three vacations we took as a young family. And in his later retired years, I saw this side of him often.
My father had always been an important part of my life. From my first step to his last day, he was always there for me. I was Daddy’s little girl. He was a strong disciplinarian, but as I aged, he evolved into my best friend. If I had a question about anything, Dad was the person I would reach out to instead of my husband or friends. If I just needed some acceptance, all I had to do was jump in my car and head to the old homestead. He’d be there ready, with a smile on his face, to tell me stories or listen to my problems. I knew as long as he was there, I had someone who was on my side, who had my back, and could help me with my many adult-like decisions. He was a jack-of-all trades and he knew the answers to everything. I always felt sorry for the men in my life because they could never hold a candle to my Dad.
Through my early adult years and even in my 30s, he was there to support me in my many house moves (“You’ve move more in 2 years than I did in my lifetime.”), comfort me after my divorce, and encourage me regarding my employment changes. With his assistance, I was able to purchase my first house on my own at 30, and a rental house at 32.
Through his illness, he was still my rock. And I was still his little girl. I thought losing my mother at 21 was difficult, but I found out that losing Dad was much harder. I was still Daddy’s girl, leaning on him and his wisdom. Even in his final hours he was concerned about me, giving me his last bit of advice.
So much of who I am is because of this man. Much of what I’ve done in my life, especially running my own business, had to do with him although he wasn’t alive to see that.
Dad loved his family and he loved his baby girl. I still miss him even though it’s been 23 years since he left this place. This picture is how I imagine where he is now – enjoying the sun with the breeze in his hair, sipping on a cool one with Mom at his side and finally knowing the answers to all of those unanswered questions.
Sounds like heaven to me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
How wonderful I loved reading it. I lost my dad in January of 2006 and did not have time to grieve him when we lost our son that same year two months later. I am now grieving his absence in my life. Must go through it sometime, being close to home now I so miss him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so beautifully.
To your Dad, here here!
Debi, Thanks for reading this and your kind words. I know it must still be hard for you losing not just your dad, but your son. When we lose both of our parents we realize we are no longer anyone’s child, even though many of us are adults when this happens. I’m not sure we ever get over the emptiness or missing our loved ones, but we move on and keep their memory in our hearts. Writing about them, for me, keeps them close to me and has helped during many sad times. Thanks again.
Lynda, this is a beautiful story. I love the writing and I love the picture. It goes SO well with the story. I am glad that you can remember his happy, relaxed state on this day. I know its such a difficult day for many people.
This is a great tribute to a man I would have very much loved to meet. From what Lynda has told me, I am sure we would have gotten along quite well. And what a great photo!
It’s too bad neither of us got to meet each other’s parents, but I like to think the four of them have met, and are happy that Lynda and I are together.
Your Dad sounds like a great man. I wish I would have met him on one of our walks home, after school. If any one of my four kids thinks of me with half as much love as you had for your Dad, I would feel like a truley blessed man.
Ed, Your kids are lucky to have you. But you know, we often don’t appreciate our parents or even our friends until it’s too late. Today reminds me that we can never say “I love you,” too many times. And to think we walked home from school! Dave and I were just talking about this recently how kids don’t walk home anymore. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. And Happy Father’s Day to you!
I loved your story of your Dad. I have been blessed that both my parents got to tell me how special I had always been for them. They have both been gone over 20 years but their love is with me forever. I try very hard to remember to say to my kids I am proud of them and love them as often as possible, none of us know when our last day will be and we wouldnt want to go with things unsaid that might bring lasting peace and comfort to those who mean the most to us.
Lyndah, I really enjoyed reading about your father, and more importantly about the relationship that you and your father shared. Beautiful.
Your dad has a great smile — there is a look of genuine happiness in his face.
What a beautiful story, your father sounds like a very good person. And happy, judging from the picture. You must miss him very much and I’m so sorry for your loss, even if it was many years ago.
I am very very close to my dad as well and I nearly lost him earlier this year. Even know I cannot even allow myself to think about how devastating it would have been.