My Family (a long time ago)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father's Day Thoughts

Last Sunday was Father’s Day and I desperately wanted to pull out something from my younger days to share with everybody. However, I couldn’t find anything that I wrote as a kid for Father’s Day. I guess that when I was a kid we didn’t do stuff like that for our Dads. It was definitely a different time. Let’s face it, back then most of our fathers were not very engaged with us and our lives. It was mostly the mothers that raised the kids and Dad was only brought in when the heavy artillery was needed. Still, I was hoping to find something.

Then I thought about a poem I wrote for my Dad for Father’s Day a couple of years before he passed away. I looked high and low, and couldn’t find a printed copy. I looked on old 3.5 inch floppy disks (yeah, I still have a few of them) and came up empty. I looked in the attic in some storage boxes and it was not to be found. So, I have nothing to share with you about Father’s Day from when I was kid. However, I can share some things I always think of when I think of my Dad:

  •  I always knew when Dad was coming home because I could hear him whistling as he came up the walkway. I don’t know the songs he was whistling, but I’m sure they were classics from his life. That is something that was not passed down to my kids; I can’t imagine going around whistling Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, or even the Beatles.
  • Whenever we sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth” at church, it brought tears to Dad’s eyes. When you’ve been in a war and seen things that you just don’t talk about, I guess singing about peace has a little more meaning to you. My son is in chorus at school and when they sang it for a show I, too, had tears in my eyes thinking of my Dad.
  • On Sundays, Dad always made breakfast for us – bacon, eggs and toast. It was awesome to wake up after a nice, long, fun Saturday and smell the bacon cooking in the kitchen. Even if most times he overcooked it (unless you like it dry and rock hard), it was awesome to not have to make it myself.
  • On Sunday afternoons, Dad always made hamburgers for lunch. He didn’t make little, scrawny, slider-like burgers; he made big, beefy burgers that took two hands to eat. The Burger King Whopper had nothing on Dad’s burgers!
  • On Saturday afternoon, Dad would watch Candlepin Bowling, a local bowling show. He really got into it, and when a pin was wobbling he would yell “Get over!”  I tried that once when I was bowling and the people in the next lane did NOT appreciate it.
  • Even though we weren’t very well off when I was a kid, my Dad was always willing to serve others and help wherever he could. When he tried to refuse a Thanksgiving turkey one year, we were all a little ticked off. However, now that I’m older I get it – there’s always someone who is in greater need than you and he thought someone else should have gotten it.
  • When I wanted to learn how to play Cribbage, Dad patiently taught me, even when I made the same mistakes over and over. He took the time to explain what I could have done that would have been better. I, however, did not have that same patience when my kids were kicking my butt playing Trouble.

Maybe someday I will find a copy of that poem I wrote for my Dad. Even if I don’t, I still have a lot of great memories of him and the many things he taught us growing up. I hope that my kids have fond memories of me when I’m gone. I’m sure they’ll tell their kids how they kicked my butt playing…well, just about every game we played. I also hope they'll remember the good things I taught them.

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