My dad is deceased, and I haven’t many photos of him. He was a kind and loving soul. This gentle blue collar worker was a creative, sage man, who adored his family and lived with enthusiasm.
Dad has been gone 20 years and I still miss him. I share my dad’s demeanor.
My earliest memory was my mother putting me to bed hungry at three because I refused to eat beef stew. After what may have been hours of crying my father got me up. Snuck me into the bathroom where he fed me three malamar cookies with a glass of milk.Then tucked me back into bed with a kiss. At that moment I fell in love with my daddy who rescued me.At fifty years old I still hate beef stew!
As a teen I had lengthy discussions with my dad on a regular basis, and I still resort to the insight from those conversations. This man taught himself how to play the mouth organ, and had the most amazing speaking and singing voice. Women approached me years after his passing to express what an incredible dancer dad was. A natural athlete, dad watched sports regularly and had a deep passion for golf. He bowled, played bridge, and shuffle board. He curled, swam and could roller-skate. He was a man of amazing talents, and little esteem. He built a house, by himself, from the ground up, by reading a book. I’d say that was a pretty brave feat for a young man of 34 in the 50’s with no building experience.
My concerned dad informed me about sex as he saw me maturing way too early. He taught me about boys, and shared very important information regarding their behavior. I always felt safe telling my dad anything. When I was sad, he comforted me.Dad taught me how to dance. I remember as a tot gliding along on his feet to the music. I could hit a base ball as far as any guy, that to dads guidance. A few time he went roller skating with me, we sang together constantly and played cards too. A quiet man, he helped with housework when it wasn’t fashionable, he was kind to animals and children, and accepting of diversity. In the seventies he ate lunch with a shunned gay man named Henry. During their lunches together, dad learned so much about the gay life style. Dad would compassionately explain at dinner, the adversity Henry endured.
I lovingly remember how he would wait for me in the morning to drive me to high school. As teen I would proudly kiss him good bye, square on the lips, and give him a huge hug while the kids looked on. I remember how wonderfully proud I felt those moments, jumping out of my dad’s delivery truck. He loved me and understood me like no other.
Dads most prevalent words were for my brother and I to love each other implicitly and be kind to one another at all times. He advised us that mom and him would not be around forever as they were older parents. He wanted assurance that we would love and take care of each other after they were gone. He honed the love by reiterating that statement as a weekly mantra. When our mother died five years after him, his words were haunting. But it worked, and we do love and care for each other.
Dad drank too much and smoked too much and died at 66 of cancer of the esophagus. On a negative note he could be argumentative while under the influence. For the most part he was the best dad and the greatest dad for that era. Many of my friends and cousins were envious of what a special dad I had. He was gentle and kind to all, and everyone felt safe with him. I am my father’s daughter!