Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day

The memories do not fade like a photograph.
The man who taught me how to live, love and laugh.

My Dad 
April 1964

"Holding Me"

       Family meant everything to him.   He lost his mother at a young age in a time when such a thing could collapse a family. He lived his life as if it were his own, yet his biggest act of selfishness, was his own want of loving his family.  His last works in life, besides 'family time', were in the service of helping others and building just one more car to play with at the drag strip.  
       He fathered four children, all boys except for me. 
       He raised us. All four of us, through fast and ever changing times. He taught us right from wrong. I was born  on the cusp of a tide of change in March of 1963.  I would have choices of what I would be in  this life where as he had grown up in a time that didn't allow a lot of choices for women.  
He revered his mother and so encouraged me to learn, to know and to live.
        My father always spoke of the importance of  family for he intended that we know ours.  He always took the time to answer my questions with truths and facts. 
 At the age of  three he taught me the alphabet then he taught me to read. 
 He gave me many things just by being his child. 
Knowledge, wisdoms, many natural talents, for things come to me easily.  
On my 5th birthday he and my maternal grandmother gave me a beautiful typewriter. 
On my sixth birthday he gave me the gift of a bookcase just for my collection of books.  
        We put it in my room by my desk. He then returned with several stacks of books, each one beautifully wrapped.  My first set of many, encyclopedia.
He encouraged me to:
         Draw then paint.  Read then write. Reason and rhyme. Visualize and create. Live and experience life. Learn to play musical instruments then write my own songs. Follow my heart and dreams.  When it came time to take those first steps and leave home I did so proudly and with a feeling of confidence.  
Then he cheered me on every step of the way.
He openly admitted he worried about me everyday.
I asked him if he had wanted me to be a boy.  He laughed and said no.  He told me I was the only child he had that could be a mother and that made me special.

The day I became a mother he told me of his pride.
He was my best friend until the very day he died.
His wisdom filled last words were spoken to me.
His greatest gift, beside the one of life, is to be an heir to his memory.

"Dear Father"

Dear, heavenly Father I ask of thee...
Can you give my earthly father this message from me?
Tell him that his little girl misses him so.
With time's passing I have come to understand.
It was not his choice or his plan, not even something he could know.
 It was just simply his time to go.

Tell him of the woman I have come to be.
Tell him of my strengths.
Tell him of my glee.

Tell him how I face life's challenges with  determination, still intent on making him proud.
Tell him how much I appreciate his understanding, when as a child I was too loud.

Tell him 'thank you' for all the gifts of his time. 
And thank him for all the times he was there to keep me in line.

Tell him 'thank you' for taking me everywhere. 
Tirelessly driving mile after mile.
Tell him I said,
"Yes Daddy, now I understand your gentle smile."
At each request of 'please take me, may I go'.
"I figured it out while raising my own."

Thank him for always taking the time from his busy day.
To help me understand by explaining something I did not know.
"Oh, the many times I had something to say!"
Tell him I said,
"Thank you, dear Daddy, for giving me the courage to be bold."
Please tell him how much I value having had his hand to hold.

Tell him how thankful I am for his examples, that showed me the parent I should be.
Show him from my memories his great grandchildren, that he couldn't be here to see.

Remind him of the small child he taught, to always give and share.
Then show him his little girl , who now has gray sprinkled through her hair.

Tell him of my son, who is now a man,  a reflection of him I see.
He remembers well his grandfather from when he was just a boy.
Tell him of my laughter.
Tell him of  my joy.

Tell him 'thank you' for all the time he spent teaching me.
To change my oil, and to fix my brakes, 
and what to do if my fingernail or high heel breaks.

Tell him what my plans are.
Tell him of my mistakes.
Tell him of my good deeds.
Tell him 'thank you' for showing me, where being a good person leads.
Tell him of how my days are spent.
Ever grateful for each minute I have been lent.

Tell him that he was right, my greatest joy in life is motherhood.
Tell him that I keep my promises and try to be good.

Tell him of the strength of my love.
Tell him he would be proud.
He was right so many times, about so many things.
And yes I still play my music way too loud.

"I hope in some small way, I have become the vision you had of me."
As your little girl grew into the woman I have come to be.
Thank you for the gift of life and showing me how to give.
Please tell him I said,
"Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me how to really love, laugh and live."


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