Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

This is my dad!

We usually call him Papa but when we’re at the lake, it switches to Captain Ron.  No, he’s not really a sea captain – he was actually an engineer before he retired.  But I think he looks just like the Gorton’s fisherman with his hat and white beard, don’t you?

My dad has the patience of a saint.  He and my mom had 3 daughters and the 3 of us were all teenagers at the same time.  That is a LOT of estrogen running through a house and he took it all in stride.  Sometimes he’s kind of quiet and he would never purposely hurt anyone.  He creates beautiful items out of a piece of wood and his lathe and he makes the best damn fried potatoes I've ever eaten! 

He rarely raised his voice and seldom got mad.  Yeah, ok, I did get spanked on a number of occasions when I was a kid and believe me, I deserved every one of them.  But dad always looked me in the eye before the spanking and quietly said “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it’s going to hurt you.”  And he was probably right.  But what he didn’t know was that disobeying or disappointing him bothered me way more than the half- hearted swat he would give my backside. 

If we were out late at night, dad would wrap his 3 girls in his treasured army blanket and bundle us up in the back seat so we would stay warm on the ride home.  That old army blanket was an itchy old thing and he always kept it in the trunk of the car, but it also served us well for many an impromptu pizza picnic at the park.  I sometimes tease him that I am going to bury him with that old army blanket, but when I see it, it always reminds me of dad.

Dad spent many a summer evening tossing a softball to me across the front lawn.  He taught me how to fish and encouraged me to play softball and run track, bought me a hockey stick when I wanted one and told me it was ok for girls to climb trees.  He spent countless hours trying to drill math facts into my head.  For an engineer to have a daughter who was totally inept at math- well - that had to be extremely frustrating.  I would stare at him like a deer in the headlights while he droned on and on and on about how 8 + 6 would always =14 or how X + 4 = 16.  Ugh…. He would literally poke his forefinger into my forehead and tell me to “THINK!!”  To this day I still have to THINK to figure out that 8 + 6 still equals 14 and believe me, I will NEVER use algebra.

Dad was always there to tell me I was pretty, even when I didn’t feel pretty.  Or to tell me that it wouldn’t matter in 10 years that I didn’t make the cheerleading squad.  When I totaled his car he never asked me how the heck I managed to “total his car!”  All he did was wrap his arms around me and tell me he was thankful I was ok. 

I’m a grown woman but I still ask his advice.  Sometimes I still tell my husband to “just call my dad” if we need help fixing something around the house.  Sometimes I still feel like my dad knows the answer to everything, you know?  He is one of the most influential people in my life.  I doubt I’ve ever told him that.  So I’m telling him now. 

There is a song that I particularly like called “Daddy’s Hands.”  It was written by Holly Dunn.  It’s a beautiful song and I’d like to share the words with you here.

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

(written by Holly Dunn)

Happy Father's Day Dad!


  1. You and I have such parallels! My dad and I are really close, he was a fighter pilot, and taught me to fish, and I was his only boy!! (only child) we rebuilt cars, boats and whatever!! I'm lucky enough to have my dad this year, continuing our 3rd year of a battle with Cancer. He's 84 soon to be 85, we have him here with us on Sanibel! Love your tribute...think I'll do the same thing!!

    Happy Father's Day to your Dad!!

  2. Very nice Kim, I totally agree. Love you Dad!

  3. Shell; your dad sounds like a fighter! Tell him HFD for me. He's spending it in a special place, thats for sure.

    2cat: we DO have the best dad, don't we?

  4. What a sweet post! Your dad looks like a fun guy! I miss my dad so much. He taught me to fish when I was a little girl :)


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