My Dad

     My dad was one of the greatest influencers in my life. To the outside world, I’m sure he appeared as a quiet man. He was in many ways. I can’t remember him ever raising his voice in reprimand or anger. His method of discipline was to sit with the person whom he felt needed extra guidance and talk about the situation and the resulting consequences. He usually ended these discussions with the words, “I know you’ll try to do better in the future.” These were not the words that inspired me to do better, however, it was the ones he spoke at the beginning of these sessions… “I’m a little disappointed in you.” Those words shot like an arrow right through my heart. I never wanted to disappoint my dad.  

      Dad was an extremely hard worker, often working two jobs to support my mother, brother, and me. He loved carpentry and working with wood. One of my favorite memories is spending time with him in the basement workshop of our two-hundred-year-old rural New England home. I often watched him intently as he worked on his latest projects. He never grew impatient with my barrage of questions as I asked him about everything and anything that flashed through my curious mind. He’d answer me and continue with his labor of love.

      He loved nature and animals. Our home was situated in a forest of pines in Maine, the perfect area to explore these passions. Our family also spent part of our summers at a small cabin that my dad had built near a secluded pond by an old logging mill. Our days were filled with swimming, boating (a rowboat and/or a canoe) and fishing. When my mom’s health and arthritis started to go downhill, Dad listened to the doctor’s recommendations and decided to move us to Arizona. Before we left though, he modernized my mother’s kitchen by adding pull-out shelves to all her cabinets and lazy-Susan-style turntables for her spices and can goods This was way before any of these improvements were popularized by builders. He was just thoughtful that way.

     After moving to Arizona, he had difficulty finding a construction job, so he worked at an outdoor steel mill. After a year or two working there, he tested positive for valley fever which later turned into chronic pneumonia. While in the hospital the doctors also discovered that his body was riddled with cancer. I had only seen my father ill less than a hand count of times. I was a senior completing my high school education in Arizona after taking a year off to take care of my mother. She grew stronger, thanks to the dry climate of the Southwest, but my dad grew steadily weaker. On the night of my HS graduation, after receiving my diploma, my dad’s doctor (who was in the audience for his daughter’s graduation) got the page that my dad had passed away. He was only 47 years old. I was devastated for a very long time, but as time passed, I drew strength knowing that my dad would want me to live life as fully, thoughtfully, and as lovingly as he lived. Thank you, Dad, for always being there for me, for encouraging all my hopes and dreams, for your patience and guidance that I still rely on to this day. Happy Heavenly Father’s Day until we meet again.

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June 21, 2020

oh my such lovely lovely memories! you are truly blessed!  your dad was around the same age as my dad when he died

June 21, 2020

@kaliko Yes, I was very blessed to have him for my dad.  He was a gentle person with a huge heart, but also the strength that held my family together.

June 21, 2020

Such a lovely tribute to your dad. Your description paints the picture of a caring family man you obviously held in high regard.  And what better way to honour him than by choosing to live the way he did.

June 22, 2020

@cluinn Yes, my dad was very loving and caring. I was very blessed.

June 21, 2020

What a beautiful tribute to yourdad. I’m sure he’s proud of you.

June 22, 2020

@gypsywynd Thank you. Yes, he always made me feel that I was loved, important to him and that he was proud of me. I was blessed.

June 22, 2020

A moving tribute for your father.  I can see you hold his essence close and deservedly so.

June 22, 2020

@sago Yes, I do hold him close to my heart always. 😊

June 24, 2020

Lovely tribute, he sounds like a wonderful guy and a great dad.

June 25, 2020

My friend, this was such a moving and eloquent Father’s Day testimonial to your dad.  I was deeply moved by it.  How very fortunate you were to have had such a kind, patient and caring father.  His dreams, love and devotion to his family will be with you always.