Happy Father’s Day to you Dad’s out there!
This is a picture of my Father and Mother in 1948. They were divorced in 1976. I didn’t know my Father all that well (except that he was color-blind), and I don’t recall many happy times when they were married. But my parents separation was devastating to my Father as illustrated in the words of a letter he wrote to me when I was merely 12 years old at Christmas in 1975….
“Jackie I want you to know how very sorry I am for the many things that I have done to cause this separation in our family. Many times in our lives we realize our own mistakes only after it is too late. This is a very terrible and heart breaking thing to have to live with the rest of your life…..I truly love your mother, and I would do anything, or give anything to have her back again.”
Both of my parents remarried. This is my Father and step-Mother with me and my husband, Arny on our wedding day in 1982.
“I would like very much to be forgiven and loved again by everyone, and especially you,” my Father wrote me in that letter in 1975. I never felt that there was anything to forgive my Father for.
A few years after our wedding, Arny and I bought a home less than a mile away from Daddy and Liz. I finally had opportunity to know my Dad better. Liz had three young boys, whom Daddy had adopted, and they were a fun addition to the family. My family was multiplying, too with the addition of my two children, Holly and Cory.
On Father’s Day of 1990, Arny, Holly, Cory and I took a cake over to my Dad’s house. There was no answer at the door, which was unusual because my Dad was almost always home when he wasn’t working. Rather than leave the cake, we decided to come back later that night. We got side-tracked with other things, and didn’t make it back over to their house.
Two days later, my Father died suddenly of a heart attack. Regret had set in hard. My Father’s words haunted me..”this is a very terrible and heart breaking thing to have to live with the rest of your life…..“
I read a poem at Daddy’s funeral on June 25th, 1990. I was a little embarrassed then because it seemed so child-like. But perhaps we wax child-like when we lose a parent. Here are my words:
He Was My Daddy
He was my Daddy; a simple man
Who’d watch TV with remote in hand
He’d watch Hee Haw, sports and news
But he couldn’t tell his browns from his blues
He was color-blind; and he always said
That his favorite color was “strip-ed”
You could count on Daddy to tell a good joke
And he always drank Pepsi instead of Coke
Daddy worked hard, and NO ONE could say
That he’d cheated his boss of an honest pay
He’d always been quiet and shy from the start
But he cared for others. Daddy had a soft heart
He lived the Gospel. He knew it was right
And he was home with his family every night
Daddy was never too tired, or had too much to do
When you needed his help, he’d see it through
He was very proud of his daughters and sons
Daddy had raised two families instead of one
Now, he wasn’t rich, nor held a degree
But he was the very best dad he could be
He’d never run for office, nor marched for a cause
But he’d never been arrested, nor broken a law
He’d never been to Europe or taken a cruise
But he taught his family the right things to choose
Daddy wasn’t honored or revered by men
But I think he’d live the same life again
He served mankind, as he served the Lord
Daddy endured to the end, and kept God’s word
He lived life worthy; he’s passed his test
Heavenly Father will tell him, “You’ve done your best”
He’s living now on a heavenly plane
We will be with him if we live life the same
It will be joyous; we’ll all be so glad
When we see again our wonderful Dad!
“I hope that we can both try to live our lives here on earth so that we can be together in the here-after”. I’m trying, Daddy…..I’m trying….Happy Father’s Day!