We see in the news and even in sports the rich and famous getting a shout out on Father’s Day. I dedicate this blog to my father. He wasn’t rich or famous but was the father of four and a husband to one wife which is rare these days. He held the same job for thirty years and always provided for his family. He even had his mother-in-law living with us the whole time. Also rare. That’s a kindhearted, generous man.
My father never rose to the highest position at his company but was a dedicated employee until he retired. He never took us on European vacations but taught us how to fish and camp and be handy around the house. He was a Cub Scout den leader for my brothers. Although he may have had one too many highballs on the weekend and smoked one too many packs of cigarettes, that was his only vice. He was a Navy Veteran of World War II and could fix or build anything. He could replace a clutch in my 1964 Austin Healy Sprite. In all his years of marriage, he never called a plumber or a carpenter and rarely needed a mechanic. He owned three homes during his lifetime and several automobiles from a Buick to Chevy’s and finally a Cadillac. He loved his workshop in his garage and planting vegetable gardens with my mother.
Fourth of July was his favorite holiday and would always host a block party with fireworks for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Expert at barbecuing and taught us all. Big sport fan of baseball and football–always listening to the games on his portable radio. Didn’t purchase works of art, expensive jewelry, or any frivolous items–just practical stuff.
Always told me if he didn’t like my outfit or my hairdo. He was good at that. Was known for shouting “Yahoo” at high school graduations even though the crowd was told not to. And when I had a broken heart from a boyfriend it was he who came into my room to console me while I cried myself to sleep to say, “I understand. You’ll live. I had my heart ripped out once too.” And once while pregnant with my first child and crying for some other reason, he came again into my room to say, “You have someone inside you who will love you forever. Never forget that.” He was right.
Those are the things I love about my father. Not what movie he starred in, what political office he ran for, what sport he was great at, what charitable foundation he started, or what fortune he amassed. Just that he was kind, sentimental, and great at fixing things; and usually gave me good advice. The simple things in life gave him contentment. Contentment is the secret to happiness which he instilled in all of us. And he was good at being a grandpa. I think becoming a grandpa was his proudest accomplishment. He was grandpa to five grandsons. We all miss him.
Happy Father’s Day to the best and only father I knew and all the other not-so-famous fathers who are loved.