This is my first repost from my old blog. It’s appropriate as today it has been 12 years since we lost our Dad!
The older I get, the more I realize just how special my Dad was. Why is it we never appreciate what we have until it is gone? I’m sorry to say that I fall into that category. I always complained about how my Dad could have done better raising me or how he could have told me that he loved me. It wasn’t until he was gone and until my children began to grow up that I realized how foolish I was.
Granted my Dad was not the perfect Dad. I know he felt that he had failed as a Dad to us all and shame on us all for helping him to feel that way. He was a good man! He loved his family and he took care of his family. You can’t deny that no matter what he did in raising us all, we turned out OK! Not one of my brothers or sisters is a criminal. Not one of us have been in prison. Not one of us is running from the law. We all work hard, make a living and take care of our families. We are a pretty productive lot and I am proud of us all. How can you call the man who raised us a failure?
My Dad was born in 1928. He was raised in the depression era. His father wasn’t a man of great wealth. From the stories I have heard, my grandfather was a very mean man. My Dad had an 8th grade education and he worked at the Detroit Grocery Market (Detroit, Texas) from the time he was 11 until he went into the Army. He had one love at that time and that was the rodeo. How I wish I could have known him then. He had to take care of his Mama and sisters and he had to put up with his father.
I can say this much. My Dad did make mistakes while we were growing up. But if you look at it from a viewpoint of how he was raised, he did a great job. Yes, we got spankings but Dad never abused us. Yes, he didn’t take us to the doctor when he should have but he made us tough. Yes, he drank and did many other things but he never let that be an excuse to treat us wrong.
When I look back at my life, I try not to look at the bad things that some focus on. I look at the times that my Dad made raisin pie at Christmas. I think of the fruit bags that Dad gave us at Christmas. I think of how I never went hungry, always had a roof over my head and never feared my surroundings because I knew Dad was there. Yes, he never said “I Love You” but he didn’t have to. I’m sure he never heard that either. He showed his love to us everyday. He bought my 2 brothers cars when they were younger. He bought my sister a car. He was going to give me a car but I had to be crazy and up and run away from home! When we needed help, he helped. Yes he gave you the customary lecture but he still helped. When I needed a place to stay after getting out of the Army, he let me stay in his house for 2 years and I never paid a penny of rent. He never demanded it either. He understood that I couldn’t find work in the place I was at. He could have thrown me out, like some parents would.
I am so thankful for my Dad. I spent so many years full of hatred toward him because I thought he had done me wrong but I was the one who was wrong. He started the trend of turning things around in our family. He could have been mean like his father, but he started trying to make things different. Today, his children are raising children and we have taken it another step further. We go out of our way to make sure our children know how much we love them. We take pride in seeing our children graduate and become honorable citizens. And as our children grow and have families of their own, the change will be even better. When we gather at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Dad is not there anymore, but when we look around and see the great family we have become we can give all the thanks to him! He was not a failure! Our children are a reflection of who we are, so just look at what his children have become and you will know that he was a good man, a loyal husband and a loving father. He just had to learn to do things in a different way for us all.
I miss you Dad! Each day that goes by I love you more and more because I now know how hard it is to be a father. Thank you for all you gave to me and to the rest of the family!