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BS: No father on Father's Day

Cats 14 Jun 08 - 11:55 PM
maeve 15 Jun 08 - 08:18 AM
Georgiansilver 15 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM
Bobert 15 Jun 08 - 08:34 AM
Lin in Kansas 15 Jun 08 - 08:42 AM
catspaw49 15 Jun 08 - 09:03 AM
Bobert 15 Jun 08 - 09:56 AM
goatfell 15 Jun 08 - 10:24 AM
The Villan 15 Jun 08 - 10:36 AM
Rapparee 15 Jun 08 - 11:33 AM
Peace 15 Jun 08 - 12:42 PM
Lox 15 Jun 08 - 01:52 PM
maire-aine 15 Jun 08 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,petr 15 Jun 08 - 03:41 PM
Bobert 15 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM
gnu 15 Jun 08 - 04:29 PM
LilyFestre 15 Jun 08 - 04:35 PM
kendall 15 Jun 08 - 04:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 15 Jun 08 - 05:27 PM
Polite Guest 15 Jun 08 - 06:06 PM
ranger1 15 Jun 08 - 06:10 PM
gnu 15 Jun 08 - 06:31 PM
katlaughing 15 Jun 08 - 06:37 PM
gnu 15 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM
Jeri 15 Jun 08 - 06:54 PM
Genie 15 Jun 08 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Dani 15 Jun 08 - 07:10 PM
kendall 15 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM
Jeri 15 Jun 08 - 08:38 PM
katlaughing 15 Jun 08 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,*Laura* 15 Jun 08 - 09:11 PM
Genie 15 Jun 08 - 11:30 PM
ClaireBear 16 Jun 08 - 01:46 AM
Cats 16 Jun 08 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,lox 16 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Jun 08 - 12:25 PM
Big Mick 16 Jun 08 - 01:04 PM
Wesley S 16 Jun 08 - 01:36 PM
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Mrs.Duck 16 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 16 Jun 08 - 05:31 PM
kendall 16 Jun 08 - 05:33 PM
lefthanded guitar 16 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM
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Stringsinger 18 Jun 08 - 06:41 PM

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Subject: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Cats
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 11:55 PM

Every year we are encouraged to send pressies and cards on Fathers day but there are many of us who don't have Fathers alive any more. So, just take a moment and ask yourself, 'what did my Father do that I am proud of and that I should remember him for on Fathers Day?'
I'll start... My Dad was George Wallis. He ws a member of the Lingfield Bonfire Club and made the torches for the Bonfire procession. He was a conscientious objector in WWII and served in the fire srvice. He helped save all the children in Lingfield School when it was bombed. He sat me in front of the TV when the Berlin Wall went up and told me it ewas my responsibility to make sure I did all I could to make sure it came down in my lifetime and he took me on my very first anti war demonstration in Grosvenor Square.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: maeve
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:18 AM

I'm missing my dad too. I miss him every day.

At each of the many family-oriented holidays I also think of those who, as is true in our case, have no living children yet would have liked to be parents.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM

I also find difficulty in coming to terms with having no mother on fathers day as well as mothers day....he misses her and so do we...and at any time of celebration...she's just not there anymore...he is!


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:34 AM

"Me an' my ol' man" diodn't see eye to eye on much but I sho nuff miss him... It's been 4 years now since he passed an' fathers day ain't been the same...

Okay, here's the brag part... He lost his mom when he was 9, his father was a drunk and somehow my dad ended up living and working on a farm in New Jersey, didn't attend much school but in his late teens made off to Detroit where he got a decent job selling clothes for Bonds Department Store... He was a sharp dresser back then and inspite of lack of formal education impressed someone enough at Ford Motor Company to hire him to sell "industrial engines" on the road... That was his break becasue from there he went on to a very successfull career as a Ford Motor Co. exec and then a private consultant which he did until he finally retired well into his 70's...

My dad, however, was a conservative Republican when I grew up and my mom was a commie liberal Democrat so dinner converstions were heated events (no, not juust the food) and by the time I got into my teens he and I butted heads on everything but...

...my proudest day was the day he marched in the Moritorium againt the Vietnam War... yeah, he'd come a long way...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:42 AM

I was only 11 when my dad died, but I still miss him, 50 years later. Daddy was not usually the disciplinarian in our family, but I remember that we kids would rather have Mom spank us than have Dad talk to us--he could make us feel so bad for disappointing him.

He made beautiful leatherwork: purses, belts, and moccasins. I still have a couple of small things he made for me, and a belt he made for Mom. Although he did nothing "big" and was in poor health most of the time that I remember him, he was always a wise and loving father to us kids.

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:03 AM

By the time I was 23 I had lost both my Mom and Dad as well as all my grandparents so these days have often been a bit sad but always filled with great memories. My Dad came from a generation that often worked just to live with never a thought towards "being happy in your job." Having a good paying job was far more important than liking what you did. But I was always proud of Dad for having a passion for his job without ever saying so.......He said so in the way he did it.

The following I have posted before but it fits well here. I came from a railroad town and a railroad family. A strike in the 20's all but completely closed the huge yards that were there but as a kid I went over to the roundhouse and turntable often just to watch what little action was left. We moved to Columbus in '59 to make it easier on my Dad who ran between Columbus and Pittsburgh on the PanHandle Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

My Dad was an engineman on the Pennsylvania Railroad for the whole of his adult working life. He started out of high school on the Section Gang and went into engine service a couple of years later. He was in a Railway Batallion during WWII and came back to the Pennsy as soon as it was over. The PRR was early in converting to Diesels but Dad fired the last of the steamers. Advancement on the roads was based on seniority and although he had qualified as an engineer he stayed as a fireman for many years until he could hold a regular slot on the board. So when the last of M1's and K4's made their final runs on the PanHandle Division in the early 50's, Dad fired those engines. I remember years later in about 1962 when the last of the steamers were cut up for scrap in the Columbus Yards, it was about as close as I ever came to seeing him cry at that point in my life. From '58, he was an engineer for the rest of his days and even with the Diesels, an engineer still had a reputation of some sort and the Ol' Man was known as a "smooth rider"....a term used by those in the caboose to describe a good engineer who could stop and start, take in or run out slack as needed, without disturbing their rest or their pinochle game.

Railroaders back then were still a special breed who loved what they did. Over 35 years later, one of the most poignant memories I have of my Dad is from a time when he was quite ill within only a few weeks of his death. He had me take him to the Columbus Yards so he could pick up some things out of his locker. We cleaned it out and packed up his "Grip" for the final time. But on the way out we sort of had to "detour" through an engine shop and though I protested, he went that way. Walking through the shops, we stopped at an idling GP9 and he slowly started to climb to the cab. Again, I protested that this was way too much effort that he shouldn't be wasting, but he looked down at me and said, "Just one last time." So we climbed up and sat in the cab for awhile as his hands touched the throttle, air brakes,dynamic brake, and all of those things that had been his world for so many years..........and if I was ever closer to him, I don't know when it would have been.

The rails were close at hand for people to see and hear and feel and as the country grew, they grew with us. For those who long for older and simpler times, the sound, feel, and the smell of a great steamer is all that is needed to trigger visions of a different life in a different world, far removed from this current time and place. And today as on many other days, I miss my Dad......W.J. "Unk" Patterson, Engineman, Pennsylvania Railroad. I'm sorry too he never knew my kids and sorrier still that they will never know him.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:56 AM

I went downn to the station
I leaned up against the door
Yeah, I went down to the station
I leaned up against the door
You know I know that Empire State
Any time I hear her blow (Son House)

Well, Spawzer, we have something in common here... My grandfather on my mom's side was also an engineer... He also came up in a time when the coal fired steamers were in use but the deisels were coming in toward the end of his career... He ran "yard" engines around Detroit dropping off full and collecting empty rail cars... Not too romantic but it wa a "good" job... I remember him takin' me for a "joy ride" around Detroit in one of the new deisels... Let me pull the throttle and all...

If you're going to Chicago
Better get on, get on her quick
Yeah, iof you're going to Chicago
Better get on her quick
'Cause its the Empire State
And that's where you get your business fixed

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: goatfell
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 10:24 AM

My father JIm died while we were on Holiday in Australia, he drowned, it was sudden.
and my Mother also died in Australia as well.

but I think that we should have an Uncle/Aunt day for all the Uncles and Aunts out there as well I mean why should it just be the mothers and fathers, I think every memeber of the family should have a day for them.

I'm a great uncle and an uncle.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 10:36 AM

I banned my kids from spending (wasting) their money on glorified commercialisation.

Having said that, its nice to reflect on what my dad achieved in his 91 years.
Born in Birmingham and one of eight children. His parents were publicans.
Ran for Birchfield Harriers and had the chamce to go to the Olympics to represent his country. However in those days, there was no sponsorship and his parents couldn't afford to pay for it. He never said much about it, but I am sure he must have been gutted.
He was also an amatuer boxer and once got conned into a wrestling match and got knocked out within 30 seconds LOL.
He was in the Navy during the second world war as a Chief Petty Officer.
Travelled from Lincoln to Birmingham with my mother in a stretch Limo, to see Shirley Bassey live at the NEC at the age of 90. He was so over the moon about it.

Still had a full set of hair up to the day he died. :-) Song that reflects my fathers last days "Roll On The Day" by Allan Taylor, who sang it last night at Faldingworth Live.

His ashes lie under a tree that we planted in his memory at the Care Home he was living in at the time in North Hykeham, Lincoln.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 11:33 AM

I was five, the oldest of four kids, when my father died 58 years ago almost to the day.

He served in the Pacific in WW2, in New Guinea and the Philippines. His father was working on a house (they were all carpenters) when one of his brothers was drafted. My father volunteered in his place. He also served two stints in the Triple-C.

After he received the skull fracture from which he eventually died on the job the State of Illinois didn't want to pay Workers' Comp. It took two years to eventually collect it.

I remember asking him, when North Korean invaded South Korea, if he'd have to go to the Army again. He laughed and said "No, this time they'll have to come and get me." When the current mess in Iraq started I asked my nephew, who is named for my father, if he was likely to be reactivated by the Marines. He laughed and replied, "I gave them five years; this time they'll have to come and get me."


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:42 PM

I had a grandfather who was the best 'dad' any kid ever had. Forty-eight years after his death I still miss him.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Lox
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 01:52 PM

I had been 18 for 10 days when mine died.

He was a good guy.

He was known to his friends as Jim.

I never had a particularly communictive relationship with him, but the reason was that he believed it was his duty to sacrifice everything for his families welfare and therefore to dedicate himself to his work.

He grew up in the west of Ireland in the 40's and 50's so he knew about poverty and his conversation consistently rated 0 on the bullshittometer.

Having said that, he also had the charm and the lightining dry wit of the Irish west, which was always both sharp and subtle so that those who got him were in stitches while those who didn't were led willingly up garden path after garden path.

And his greatest attribute in this respect is that his wit, often observational and often about people, was never malicious despite it's sharpness, but full of affection.

His Hero was Dan O'Connell, the Irish Lawyer responsible for catholic emancipation in Ireland. And in true western tradition he too was a republican and like the great Dan he too became a lawyer.

He grew up with a dream to explore the world and the name "Hong Kong" summed up his idea of far off exotica. So he joined the British colonial service and asked to be sent there.

The British colonial service in those days didn't have much room for thick paddies from the west of Ireland, much less in accomodating their fantasies of discovery. After all, the Irish had been colonial subjects, so how could they possibly function as colonial masters.

So they sent him to Zambia where he was instrumental in dismantling the colonial structures there in order to facilitate independance. (rather more succesfully than in Zimbabwe). Unlike his british colleagues, he was encouraged to stay and work under Kaunda, but his dream was still Hong Kong, so he came back and waited for his next posting.

My Brother and I were born in Dublin and we were whisked off to live in the seychelles where I spent the first two years of my life.

While we were there, it was my dads job to prepare the seychelles for ... you guessed it ... independance. by the time he had finished there he had been appointed acting attorney general.

We left in 1975 to go back to Ireland, and it looked like we would be remaiining there as the travel and having 4 kids was proving to be a strain on my parents relationship.

When suddenly the dream ticket came up ... the job in Hong Kong.

So at the age of 3 I was brought to live in what became my home town.

Being the thick paddy, he had to be given a job at the bottom of the heap for the third time despite his extensive and deep knowledge and experience of British Law and it's colonial permutations.

But it wasn't long before he began to rocket through the ranks and became involved in the process of preparing for the handover of Hong Kong from the British to the Chinese.

China has never had a sytem of law as we know it. China has always been ruled by people whereas we in th west have a long tradition of being ruled by the law and being accoutable to it.

He not only had the job of explaining to China what this meant, but also persuading them to give a shit.

He died out there in november 1990, wholly committed to his work and his family. He put his head down like a heavyweight boxer and overcame insurmountable obstacle after insurmountable obstacle.

He always fought for the little guy and was respected amongst local people wherever he worked.

After the funeral, his four naughty kids (me included) were driven to the crematorium through empty streets. Anyone who has ever been to Hong Kong knows that the streets are never empty there, yet the dual carriageway was like a runway at an airport.

And as for his hero Dan O'Connell, well Ireland was already independant and didn't need emancipating, but there is no doubt that O'Connells Jaw would have dropped to the floor and he would have laughed long and heartily had anyone suggested to him that a tough lad born in the county clare and raised in Tralee in county Kerry, would end up presiding over the dismantling of the British empire over two continents, entrusted by the British with the with the job of making sure that it was done properly.

I wish I'd known him better, but I know he was doing his best and by example he passed on his tenacious indomitable spirit, something without which I would never have made it through the last couple of years quite as well as I have.

He also gave me my refusal to accept anything less than the best for my daughter and the will to go through hell and high water for her if necessary.

A Humble Honest Man.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: maire-aine
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 02:20 PM

My dad was just an all-around nice guy. Everybody that met him liked him. He grew up in Nanty-Glo PA, a coal-mining area east of Pittsburgh. His own father died at age 48 (my dad would've been 8, I think) due to complications from appendicitis.

One of dad's older brothers was in a terrible mine accident (he survived, thankfully), but their mother decided to move the family away from the mines. The whole family moved to Detroit MI, and dad got a job as a salesman at JL Hudson's department store.

He only had an 8th grade education, but he had a way with people. He died of a massive heart attack when I was 13-- he was only 52.

Among other things, he taught me (his daughter) how to use power tools-- jig saw, table saw, drills, soldering iron, etc. My mother wasn't too happy about it, but the time I spent in his workshop was golden.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 03:41 PM

My father died two days ago on a Friday June 13. He was month shy of 76.
(see the life and death decision thread). So the pain of that experience is still intense.

He was the quintessential self-made man. Born to extreme poverty in a town in the Czech Republic, he learned and taught himself many skills.
As other people mentioned the railroad, his grandfather was also a railway conductor on the Praha - Vienna line which passed through our historic town of Tabor. But because his grandfather drank, and sometimes missed the train coming back from Vienna he lost his job and the family fell on hard times. My dad literally went to school barefoot for a while. Even though his family was poor, his childhood was very interesting at the age of 7 when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia to the age of 13 the schools were closed, so for him it was kind of an extended holiday. Thankfully there wasnt much fighting in Czech. until the end of the war, when he witnessed an allied air raid on train full of Hungarian refugees. They were locked in the cars and were unable to escape and he saw a lot of dead people and children
images of which never left him.
At one point his dad was sent to work in Berlin and managed to send back home cartons of cigarettes that he saw a German soldier taking from the Red Cross packages. My dad would steal a few cigarettes from the place his mom hid them and would use them to barter to get things. But the things he got were kind of funny, he traded one for a fountain pen even though he wasnt going to school and didnt need to write. He just liked the idea of a fountain pen. He also took his fathers only hammer and got the blacksmith to turn it into a tomahawk in exchange for a cigarette.

He later apprenticed as a printer and that became his life trade, although he was a skilled machinist and loved to tinker he devised a foil stamping attachments for printing presses which we still use in our printshop to this day. He was a paratrooper in the Czech army, a kind of special forces at the time, and as we was an army man he got the dream job of his life when he was put in charge of the Army printshop in the southwest Czechoslovakia. He later said that in case of a Russian invasion of Germany, he had the authority to take over German printshops for propaganda purposes. He was booted out of the Army in 1968 when he organized and printed thousands of flyer protesting the invasion and occupation of the Soviet Army.

Also in the 1960s he handbuilt a log cabin by a river, which we used for many summer vacations. Because he built the cabin with his cousin
at one point for privacy they decided to cut it in half and move it 200 ft over. So he and mom built wooden rails and smeared grease on them and flipped the cabin and pulled it over. For years afterwards people would ask him how did he ever nail it together (with the nails sticking from the bottom up). (The frame was upside down)

In 1971
he took his wife and two sons on a trip to Yugoslavia and from there we escaped to Canada where he had an aunt. My parents left everything behind and were charged and sentenced to 16 & 18months in jail in absentia for leaving the country illegally. Starting over with nothing in Canada they worked hard in many jobs until they eventually moved to Vancouver and continued in the printing industry. At age 51 in 1983 he was laid off from his job and started his own printing business which my brother and I joined and are still running to this day 25 years later. He got to see communism fall apart and the wall come down and made at least 15 trips to his homeland and travel around Europe. At the time he delved into his ancestry and managed to go back to 1585.
He also had the foresight to write his lifestory which Im now translating for my daughters.

He was a strong intelligent, charming man of humour and loved to see the funny side of things. One one trip to the Czech republic dad and mom were in her hometown church. She was in the chapel and he decided to go have a look outside in the graveyard. And as he stood looking through the entrance gate, in the corner of his eye he thought he saw a gravestone move and tilt just slightly. There was also a grunting sound as well 'uuhhhhh!' And when it happened again With a chill running down his side he thought this is stupid Im logical man this cant be happening. The grunts got louder this time with some cursing and swearing and it turned out the local caretaker adjusting the headstones..

He was multitalented as well, he loved to play guitar and sing 'tramp' songs which were popular in his youth. He also painted and over the years did many paintings of places of his youth and inspired me to get into oilpainting and sculpture as well.

It was a priceless treat 4 years ago to join them on a trip to the Czech republic with my wife, and let them know they were going to be grandparents.

He became a grandfather twice over with our two daughters and they really brightened up their lives. His health started failing 2years ago, even then in his 70s he started a major renovation project on his house, and when he recovered he saw it completed.

A month ago he went into hospital with an infection but gradually got weaker, we fought for him and then a few days ago when he lost his speech and fell into a semi-conscious state we chose to put him into palliative care and make him comfortable. At one point in the evening before he died with tremendous effort he looked directly at me and shook my hand and my brothers hand. He was saying goodbye and thanking us for being his sons. My mom thought he got more relaxed and was singing later. She could just make out the melody - it was 'hes got the whole world in his hands.'

As someone pointed out so well, he went out with a song in his heart and his loving family around him. As painful as it was it was an honor and privilege to be with him till the end.
Goodbye dad I love you and will always miss you.
Petr


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM

Ain't none better than a "Hunky", petr... Fine danged people... My late wife was half/Czech... Her mom came over in the 20's and met and married her American dad... I really enjoyed her famility... All hard workin', honest people... Very loud at family dinners, tho...

Peace to ya, petr, as well as your family...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 04:29 PM

My old man held three Canadian Maritime Boxing Weight Division Championships at one time. His fight carrer ended when he got shot in the shoulder. He played guitar and sang and was a catch among the ladies. A sharp dresser too.

The day WWII broke out, he was the second lad in Moncton to sign up. Second becauser he had to wait for coffee break. He made Lewy in 8 months. He taught smalls arms, bomb disposal, first aid, and others, but his forté was subversive warfare. He taught new officer cadets in Aldershot, NS and then aboard ship to Aldershot, England. He rode prisoner ships with officers only back to Canada.

Before D-Day, he dropped behind enemy lines and led raids against radar and other communications facilities.

He studied Nuclear Warfare and was on the team that set up the office of Ground Nuclear Defense for the Canuck Forces. He was in Nevada and other places for the tests. He worked in the Cobalt Fields of Ontario testing uraninum, and left his "film tag" home when it read close to the limit.

He was as tough as nails... but not as tough as the cancer... on 83.12.30.

I miss him a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: LilyFestre
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 04:35 PM

I remember very little about my dad. He taught me how to whistle, how to play with a yo-yo, how to play the look-out while he fished on posted property and he sat up one evening with me when I had an ear ache.

Michelle, Daddy's Look-a-Like


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 04:44 PM

My Father wasn't much of a Father, but I like to think he served as a bad example.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM

There are quite a few Mudcatters who knew my father, John Dwyer. He was a folksinger/librarian in the Pacific Northwest, and he died in late 1997 (six months later my Mom died--it was a couple of rough years).

Dad was famous for his puns, was well known to be assertive with noisy people in libraries, and had a few public squabbles going during his lifetime (like many other faculty at the community college where he worked, it was often conducted via the editorial page of the local paper). He was a careful researcher, especially when it came to song lyrics and kept lots of tapes and copious notes. He hated the Blue Book if people were going to sign from it at any song circle or other events. He didn't suffer fools gladly and there were times in my childhood when I felt like he didn't suffer us very gladly, either. We were raised in the time (1950s, 60s) when Dads weren't as hands-on with kids as they are now. But when it came to things like fishing, books, fishing, poetry, songs, fishing, culture, the arts, and fishing, we were of an accord and he was glad to have us around to teach and enjoy these things.

My parents went through a painful divorce when I was about 14, and after he died I found a file with some terse notes about things he wanted to talk to me about, mostly to do with how Mom behaved during and after (nothing she should be proud of). We talked about some of them over the years, of the others, I wish he'd said something.

Before he went into library school, his BA was in English, and he read voraciously all of his life. When I went back to graduate school as an English major, he delighted in proofing a paper that I had written for a class and that was subsequently accepted for publication in a scholarly journal. He was one of the few folks I knew who had read the author I was writing about, so it was a great help to get his comments. I dedicated that one to him when it was published.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:27 PM

To all...

Thank you for sharing your stories, it has made this Father's Day pretty special for me. I still have my dad and hopefully will for some time. I hope that one day maybe one of my children will write something like you have to let everyone know how much they loved me and how much they miss me. What more could a man really wish for?

Happy Father's Day


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Polite Guest
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:06 PM

This has to be one of the most moving threads I've read. Lox, that was beautiful. petr, how brave you are, I remember how it feels, so soon afterwards, never forget that those you love never leave you.

My Dearest Dad.

My strongest memories of him; holding out his arms to take his newborn grandaughter into them, then walking gently with her to his chair, as he was frightened he'd drop her. He had emphysema, so even holding her puffed him out. He sat there, tears trickling down his ol' face.

Three weeks later, he had his first stroke, and in the coldest winter for 20 years his little grandaughter went to visit him, but being only 3 and a half weeks old, she wasn't allowed on the ward. He knew none of us, didn't recognise our names even, but he called out for her every day. He was expected to never recover. They told us that if he did live, then he'd never walk again, never make sense, so massive had the stroke been.

Four weeks later, I stood at the end of that ward corridor, as he defied all medical opinions, and staggered down, on a zimmer frame, towards his grandaughter. "I'm here my darling!" he called out. He fell into the chair in the waiting area, held out his arms once more, and those tears started again, along with the smiles.

He had finally been able to understand that he couldn't see her whilst in his bed, so the power of love had taken over. He literally made himself recover, against all odds, to be with this little soul who meant so much to him.

He spent the next three years cramming a lifetime of love into her, for he knew his time was short. There were days when I'd catch him crying again, quietly, to himself, desperately sad that he'd never see her grow, promising me to always look after his 'little smiler' I promised him, through my tears.

She's 21 now, and beautiful. She wears her grandfather's old shirt, when she paints, because she feels close to him in it. His grandson is 14 next month, with his Grandpa's grin and his sense of humour. I wish he could have held his grandson too, but part of me feels he did, that he still holds them both.

He loved Mantovani and Morecambe and Wise. He adored Sophia Loren, Gina Lollabrigida and Shirley Bassey, becoming quite starry-eyed over them all. He held doors open for every and any woman who walked through one, all women were 'ladies' to him.

Every single Saturday of our childhood, he'd arrive home with two little paper bag of sweets, one each for my brother and I, all hand-picked for us by him, to last us the week. And every Saturday morning he'd open the top drawer of his wardrobe and give us our pocket money, sixpence to start with, half-a-crown when we were older.

I used to love to watch him shave, he'd put all that soap on his face, then foam it up, he looked so funny, then he'd turn, see me and put a huge dollop of foam on my nose, ending with both of us laughing. He sang as he shaved, he had a lovely voice, but he only ever sang in the mornings, in the bathroom.

He never stopped loving my mother to the day he died, even though she'd stopped loving him decades before. His family meant the world to him.

When his second stroke came, three years later, I was with him as he died. I held his hand, as he had so often held mine.

After he died, there was 'nothing material' left behind, for financially he hadn't a penny to his name. Yet, the treasure he left is with me to this day. It will be for the rest of my life.

He was gentle, caring, quiet, honest and honourable.

He taught me how to live, and he taught me how to die.

It's 18 years since I lost him and I miss him. Every day I miss him.

I'm glad, and proud, that he was mine.

Very few men ever get to match up to a daughter's father. I am blessed to know such a man.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: ranger1
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:10 PM

My dad died an hour after midnight on Feb. 15th and we interred his ashes last week. This is my first Father's Day without him, and also my first day on the job at my new year-round ranger job. I was still working seasonally and getting discouraged and was thinking about quitting about 11 years ago. He proceeded to give me a 15 minute lecture on why I shouldn't give up on a job I loved that much and then ended it with the threat of "kicking your ass from here to Portland and back if you quit." Here being Enfield, NH and Portland being Portland Maine, a distance of about 130 miles. I got the news about the job the Monday before the funeral and I sure wish I could have told him face to face about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:31 PM

You have... you have.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:37 PM

Thanks to you all, esp. Lox, Petr, Polite Guest, oh, heck everyone. This is indeed one of those Shining Mudcat Threads, one of the Best. I've had a lot of tears shed today, thanks to all of you and thanks to memories of my dad. I'll try to write about him, later. I know there's already some about him since he's sorta been a member through me for so many years. He's been gone almost four years now and it's still tough...we all become orphans at some point, if we outlive our parents. I know they are still with us, but I still miss mine, a lot.

Actually, I have found something about my dad that I would repost. Big Mick wrote it in my dad's obit thread and it means a lot to me. It seems this is true of the dads who have been remembered in this thread, today, too:

kat, if you go back and read this thread you will note that it disproves your original post. You said:

"...no more stories, no more songs..."

The simple truth is that your father lives on in the things you share with those of us that care about you. He will live on in that beautiful boy that your daughter has given us. He will live on in the hidden treasure of the music he listened to and sang for you. I often say that we must now look in others for the voice of those that have passed. But for several years now I have marvelled at how you and bet were already making his voice heard. No looking necessary here, dearie. He is alive in you and for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM

"... and for you."

Too many words and thoughts too choose any after that.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:54 PM

My dad died in early August of 1972. I was 17 and he was 64.
I was quite severely broken for a few days. We were just emerging from that place where teenagers fight with their parents just because it's the right thing to do at the time.

On some level though, those of us with good childhood memories always carry around that little kid who knows Daddy and Mommy as wise protectors who will always be there when we need them, and who love us no matter what. It's hard to find the 'no matter what' kind of love once we grow up, When we're adults, people mostly don't see that little kid inside that wants to love and be loved unconditionally and is so easily hurt.

My dad was there, and a few hours later, wasn't, and I put my inner child into indefinite time-out. I never got to know my dad that well because I didn't ask questions. I would have as I grew older, but Dad wasn't there then. He drove a city bus. He was the youngest of 6 kids, and was the only boy. I used to sit on his lap on Sunday mornings when I was 3 or 4 and 'read' the comics. He taught me the proper way to eat a tomato: tomato in one had, salt cellar in the other, tomato in the middle, your face (and down your arms and shirt). He also taught me how to use tools and bought me a jackknife when he thought I was old enough. He also bought me a pair of real pearl earrings for a school dance once.

I can't remember one of the fights.

Thanks to everyone who has shared a story about their fathers. We haven't had a thread like this for a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Genie
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:06 PM

Petr, my heart goes out to you, having lost your dad so recently.   Several times today I've caught myself starting to think, "Oh, it's Father's Day, I'll call Dad" -- and immediately realizing that this will be my first Father's Day since he died, last September.

My dad's story has a lot in common with several of you other folks' dads' story. I'll post the details later after I can edit them to a reasonable length.    He was a WWII Navy chaplain, a minister, an incurable punster, an avid athlete, and very devoted to his family and his calling (into the ministry at age 16).
His last year or two saw him lose his vision, his hearing, and even his mobility (very hard for a life-long jogger.)   Here's the song I wrote for his Celebration Of Life service last year:

Several times today I've caught myself starting to think, "Oh, it's Father's Day, I'll call Dad" -- and immediately realizing that he's no longer
with us, physically, this year.

LORD, HELP ME FLY
Words & Music by Jeanene Pratt © October 2007
(Intro adapated from traditional spirituals)
In celebration of the life and spirit of her dad,
Robert W. Pratt, Th.D. (11/14/1915 - 9/20/2007)

Intro: (Guide My Feet/I Ain't Got Long To Stay Here)

Guide my feet while I run this race.
Hold my hand while I run this race.
Stand by me while I run this race,
For I don't want to run this race in vain.

My Lord calls me, He calls me by the thunder.
The trumpet sounds within my soul. I ain't got long to stay here.

------------
------------
A fire-filled youth, such a willful child,
Could've wandered in the wilderness, Could've run wild,
But you chased me,
Lord, your love embraced me.
You took a headstrong lad who had lost his dad,
And set his feet upon a path
Of service,
And powerful purpose.

Chorus 1:
I heard your call, Lord,
For my life's design.
These feet of clay will run your race,
Though it be a rocky ride.
I couldn't run from you, even when I tried,
So if my feet get tired, teach me how to fly.
When my feet get tired, Lord, help me fly.

I've been 'round the world on this marathon,
Seen struggle, war, and souls undone,
Joy and dread,
Blood, sweat and teardrops shed,
But to share these challenges with me,
You sent a soul-mate and a family.
I tried to meet the tests
And we've been richly blessed!

Now I'm coming home, Lord,
From this long, long run.
It's been a wild adventure, and I long
To hear you say, "Well done"
And continue my journey on the other side
But my feet are tired, Lord, Show me how to fly.
Yes, my feet are tired, So won't you help me fly?

I'm coming home, Lord.
Standing on the shore,
I hear the loving voices
of those who've crossed before.
As the shadows deepen I see your glorious light,
But my feet are tired, Lord, show me how to fly.
Yes, my feet are tired,
So won't you help me fly?


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:10 PM

Oh, guys, you're killing me, here. What beautiful and loving tributes. I wish I could give you giant hugs, I really do. Thanks for sharing. Here are some of my random ramblings:

My dad died when I was 18, and there is still hardly a day goes by I don't think of him, and what a shame it is that he and my daughters never knew each other.

I think how sad it was that he died only a year and a half after marrying a woman who adored him.

He taught me how to play backgammon for blood, and that you should teach a dog to behave if you want to live peaceably together.

He taught me that tenderness and discipline are two parts of the same love.

At a Phillies game (remember Vet's Stadium?!) when I was very young, there were a bunch of yahoos sitting behind us yelling, cursing, spilling beer all over. When he'd had enough of his little girls listening to it, he slowly stood up and looked behind him. Big, scary, mean-and-nasty drunk guys. He slowly turned back around and said, "Remember girls, discretion is the better part of valor." I'm sure I remember him strong and brave much more surely than if he'd had the shit beat out of him that day : )

He taught me to love the ballet, classical music, and that it is funner than hell to sing songs from musicals at the top of your lungs, especially "Bloody Mary".

When my parents divorced, he showed my sisters and I what the 'high road' looks like. He never spoke badly of my mother, and despite all motivation to the contrary, made us speak of her with respect.

He taught me to never tolerate shitty service, and to respect, honor and reward great service, no matter where found.

He taught me to appreciate good food in restaurants, at the family table, or lovingly, carefully, meticulously prepared by yourself for your own pleasure. I'm sure I owe my career to him, and wish he could share it with me.

So many things I learned without realizing it. And of course, there is the golden halo that parents sometimes wear when you don't get to know them as an adult, but there you have it. I miss him, and wish like hell that I had him around.

Dani


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM

I envy those who had a great Dad.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:38 PM

You may just have to be content being one, Kendall. I'm sorry the memories aren't there for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:53 PM

Kendall, it makes you all the more remarkable...what you have become despite that lack. Lucky us!


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,*Laura*
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:11 PM

June 6th marked 6 years since my dad died.
I think I've missed him more this last year than I have for a while.

It makes me sad that I never knew him as an adult. I recently said something that apparently he used to say all the time - relating to getting ready for bed - and I couldn't remember him ever saying that and it made me really sad that I don't remember some things.

But he took me to my first folk club when I was about 3 months old so I guess I have something there! And there are many many recordings from across the years so we can still hear his voice, which many people don't have.

It sounds corny but he taught me that songs speak for themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Genie
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 11:30 PM

What Jeri and Kat said, Kendall.
{{{{{{{ Kendall }}}}}}}


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: ClaireBear
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:46 AM

My father was a historian, and a brilliant one. He had more than a passing knowledge of every kind of history that was taught in U.S. universities back in his day, and a keen inquiring mind about the rest. He kept that sense of inquiry until the end: Shortly before he died (of cancer, at 79, 22 years ago), my brother and I sang the song "Woad" to him as a distraction. When we'd finished, he raised his head and said, faintly, "I wish..."

"What, Dad?"

"I wish..."

"Hmmmm?"

"I wish .... I knew ... more ... about the Picts."

He was dying, but he never stopped learning.

I am still desolate as I consider that I can never again ask him to translate "So this bear walks into a bar" into Latin for me, or describe the front of a lacquered-down picture postcard of the French countryside to him and have him tell me which Roman aqueduct I am looking at. (I did both of these things when he was alive.)

He taught Spanish period California history (and every other kind of history, when needed) at Santa Clara University, in California, but in 1961 he took six months' leave and we spent it in Europe. I remember standing with him, me aged 7, he 54, inside Agamemnon's tomb at Mycenae as he described to me the mechanics of the corbelled arch. I remember wading with him through the deep grass and cow droppings to explore Stonehenge at length, and savoring purloined apples and local cheese after touring the caves at Lascaux. (We got to Altamira as well, lucky us!) On that same trip, I remember asking him to identify something I had picked up on the ground at Pompeii. His eyes grew wide as he took it from me and identified it as a Roman nail, and then he scolded me severely for picking it up. I found it in his bedroom years later, in a box that also held two shards of marble lovingly labeled "Acropolis, Athens" and "Acropolis, Sparta."

But those are not the only things I treasure about my dad. I also thank him, every day, for reaching up onto the living-room wall in the house he'd built for us, pulling down his mandolin, his mandola, or his guitar, starting in on "Cancion Mixteca," "The Dying Hobo," "Santa Lucia," "Twickenham Ferry," "D'Ye Ken John Peel," "Long Black Veil," "La Marseillaise," "Lord Randall," "Black Black Black Is the Color" or any number of other songs, and requiring me to find and supply a fitting harmony. That man trained me to harmonize better than any formal musical education could have done -- and, at the same time, gave me a love of sung music that I know I would otherwise have lacked.

I miss him every day, and I regret that he never got to meet my husband or my son, who is his only grandson (though he did get to enjoy his six granddaughters, my nieces). I don't know, but I hope that there is a heaven, just so I can spend time with the three of them, discussing some detail of Yeats' poetry or the impact of the invention of the bow on warfare in ancient Persia. That will be a time.

Claire


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Cats
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:53 AM

Thanks for all your stories. Kind thoughts and love to all of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

This is a great thread.

Thanks to petr for sharing his story, as its immediacy has made all the others so much more tangible.

And thanks to cats for starting it and giving us the opportunity to reflect in a meaningful way.

Ever been for a walk in a cemetery? I love to. I'm not morbid, I am not fixated on tragedy and death. The thing I love about them is that they are the only places on earth that are dedicated to individual people. Each stone marks a life story and reminds you that each life mattered.

Just like each and every one of the posts in this thread, which remind us of the infinite beauty and brilliance of all the men mentioned in equal measure.

Hey Kendall ... if ever you fancied telling us some of his story I'd love to hear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 12:25 PM

reading this thread, I'm quite glad to be childless. i don't think I would ever have inspired this degree of affection.

my father was rather distant. he didn't mean to be - but its as if he'd known we were polar opposites. We led different sorts of lives and we couldn't relate to each other, and knew there wasn't much point trying.

I have inherited most of his bad points. can't have a disagreement without having an argument. judgemental. bad with relationships.

Few of his good points - not bravery, not athleticism, not hardworking, not much common sense.....

perhaps a little of his musicality.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:04 PM

I am on sensory overload right now. I have just read through this thread, and the missing ones have figured out that I can see them in your words. The message I keep getting is for those of us who are Dads and Moms, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, surrogate Moms and Dads, have to pay attention to our children and what we say and do, because we never know what it is that we will leave with them that they will carry to the next generations. In the words of Jeri, kat, Spaw, Dani, and Kendall, I get a sense of who their Fathers were, and how these dear friends came to be the friends whom I have come to know and love.

I guess that is the lesson of this thread, which has reduced me to tears several times both with the fond rememberances, and the not so fond remembrances. Religious beliefs and faith aside, your real legacy, your real immortality, lies in those whose lives you touched. Your children, natural and chosen, are the most important repository of who you are. Whether you try or not, whether you realize it or not, you will leave a legacy. Choosing your words, and your actions, carefully is good salt. Because you don't know which of those is carried forward. Re-read the posts by Spaw, Dani, kat, and Jeri. Think of the jackknife, the Vet's Stadium incident, kat and bet's Dad, and climbing into the engine "just one more time". Understand that those men, in those moments, influenced your lives, now our lives, and the lives of those that you care enough to teach the lessons to. You WILL leave a mark on those that follow. The real lesson of Fathers Day, Mothers Day, and Dying Day, is that we cannot walk the path or field, without leaving sign of our passing through. We ought think that through a bit. What sign of our coming and going are we leaving.

Thanks to each of you that posted. I mention the names I did because these are folks that I am very close to. But each of you have opened the door between those here and those that got away, for me.

Now I think I shall call my Mom and Dad and tell them I love them ..... and you.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:36 PM

As a teenager I was always worried that I would grow up to be like my father. Nowadays nothing would please me more than find out that I had done just that.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM

I had a wonderful father...descended from the petticoat-wearing men of Dunquin, Ireland...very very funny..very well read with only about a 7th grade education. He was a postman and we never had enough money..it was almost a cashless existance..he said when he retired that every day he delivered mail to a cafe and every day he wanted a piece of pie that they served there but he never gave in and treated himself. He made a big pot of gluey grey oatmeal every day at 5 a.m. and it was ghastly by the time we had to eat it but oh well...

He had been a sub mailman to the communities around the Columbia River and knew the very prettiest spots..towns where they only spoke Swedish, towns all on stilts...he didn't ever say too much..but we never ever had a fight..in fact I don't know if any of my brothers or sisters had a fight with him. A decent man, which is the highest thing an Irish-Catholic could aspire to. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM

Sadly while my father was alive Father's Day did not exist in the UK so I never got to send him cards or pressies. However there are many times when I miss him and wish he had lived to see me and mine grow up. I know my own older children miss their Dad too (they were 10 and 7 when he died). Maddie was only 9 weeks so doesn't actually remember him but we have kept him alive for her through photoes etc. and even though she now has Geoff , who she has called Dad since very soon sfter we met 12 years ago, she will always have a thought for her biological Dad.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:31 PM

I know it's no longer Father's Day, that special day has passed, but please, anyone that is reading through this, please keep this thread alive and share with us your memories. This is the best thread I have had the priviledge of reading in a long time and I think this is the cement that has built and bound us all together into the Mudcat community.
And once again, to all who have shared, you have made this a very special Father's Day for all of us. Thank You.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:33 PM

LOX, I'm afraid it is a very sad story indeed. A tale of a good man brought down by demon rum, the Great depression and a nasty father of his own.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM

I can understand what you mean by a bad example, Kendell. My dad reminded me of the line from Kill A Mockingbird, when they took Boo Radley's father's corpse out of that nightmarish house:

"There goes the meanest man God ever spat life in."

Can't say a good word about those type of parents. Hopefully we have been different to the children in our lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:09 PM

thanks again, for all your thoughts,
kendall,
my dad had a tough relationship with his own dad too. He told me once he was thrown out of the house on Christmas eve and spent the night walking around in the cold, something he said he would carry to his grave. But he became a strong loving family man and I can only hope to be the same for my two daughters.
Petr


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 08:14 PM

petr, you don't seem to be checking in to a regular mudcat account for PM. My condolences on your loss. You wrote a remarkable story--I'm sure it was difficult. It is sometimes difficult to utter a word so soon after such a loss.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:32 PM

My Mother was educated, came from a well off family and from a well off community 60 miles west of Machias.
My Grandfather was illiterate, and couldn't write his own name. He once said that women need only enough brains to get them from the kitchen to the bedroom. So, you can imagine the tension between him and my Mother.
I never liked him.I threw the first shovel of dirt into his grave with no remorse at all.
I've tried to be everything he and my Father were not.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 06:36 PM

Hey no pressure kendall,

I'm just not sure whether I'm nosily picking at a loose thread ...

or whether you're consciously or sub consciously leaving the subtlest of loose threads to be picked at ...

It all means something and it doesn't reflect on you ... you've won your respect long ago!


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 07:24 PM

I don't do self pity, but thought you deserve an answer to your question.    30


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Fathers day
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 08:40 PM

SRS ... Well Maggie, I have to say that you described your Father John very well. So it's been eleven years ... my how time flies. I think about your Father very often, especially whenever I drive North from our home in Everett. As I cross the Ebby Slough Bridge, I can't help looking off to the left and glancing at the strip of houses on Mission Beach. I no longer can pick out his house from the others, but I know it's right there. As you said, he never did suffer fools ... and I'm pleased to remember that he enjoyed me, as I did him. Hugs, Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM

Kendall,

I would never suggest for one second that you do self pity.

I'm talking about a story, the telling of which would involve no shame.

I respect your feelings though and on that basis will say nothing more on the subject.

If you read back you'll note that there are a few subtle comments on your character and not one is remotely derogatory.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 04:55 PM

I think he would speak for a number of the fathers here when I say that my father would have hated, scorned, swore blind, pissed all over the whole crappy concept of "Father's Day".   In fact, he often did.

One of the reasons I miss him so much, all the time.

(And don't get me started on my mother's reaction to Mother's Day.)



yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:14 PM

It's ok, Lox, I didn't misunderstand you. In fact, I appreciate your interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:37 PM

His old house is up for sale now, for more than 3/4 of a million. Things to change, don't they? link

They did a lot of work on it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:37 PM

DO, not to. oh, well


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Subject: RE: BS: No father on Father's Day
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:41 PM

I wish for a nurturing father, not an authoritarian one. We need to redefine father hood.


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