Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers



Anne Sexton said, "It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was," and I completely agree. I am lucky enough to have had three "fathers" enrich my life: two grandfathers and my dad, and I have wonderful memories of all three of them. (My grandpas are both gone, but thankfully my dad is still alive and kicking.)

Above, in the yellow shirt, is "Grandpa from Florida;" he taught me to always hold my family dear. He didn't always have one - his mom died when he was young and his dad was a traveling salesman, so he spent a lot of time as a child in orphanages waiting for dad to come back from sales trips. I remember getting letters from him often. They always reminded me to remember other people's special days (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and while I found it silly as a child, it was an important lesson.

"Grandpa Bill," my other grandfather, lived in Michigan so I saw him often as a little girl. I remember he use to take a nap and I would sneak upstairs and yell, "Boo!" to wake him up. Little naive me actually believed I scared him awake - it wasn't until I was an adult that I learned he always heard me coming. I remember being scared of him too- he was a big man - but I always knew he loved me.

This handsome fellow is my dad - circa 1959.

That's his high school graduation picture, so I never knew him when he was that cute. I love science fiction because of of my dad. We use to sit on the couch and watch Star Trek together. He also taught me to love the natural world, science, and always made me feel intelligent. My dad (and my mom) are ham radio operators. I remember coming home from school one day and telling my dad we learned about Ohm's Law that day and he asked me to explain it to him. (He was also a high school science teacher.) After I did he put his arm around me and told me, "That's the hardest part of the amateur radio license test! All you need to do is learn Morse Code and you'll have your license." Not that I had any desire to get my license, but it felt good to believe that I could if I wanted to.

Now I'm wondering what my children will remember about their father...


I'm sure their fond memories will include hunting for mushrooms in the woods, feeding fish, The Land of the Lost and other Sci fi on TV, and helping them create their invented recipes in the kitchen. He seems to understand, "a dad is loved because he gives his children the one thing they treasure most - himself," (Author Unknown) and it is a wonderful thing.

Wishing you and yours a happy Father's Day...

8 comments:

The WoodLand School said...

What a lovely post, Liz! Thanks for sharing your memories ... and for anticipating those of your children.

dutchgirl said...

Oh, those are wonderful memories (and pictures too!)

Mandy said...

Tell "A" Happy Father's Day!

Thanks for sharing the memories.

Allie said...

What a blessing to have had such wonderful men in your life! Thank you for sharing them!

Christy said...

Lovely post! Thanks for sharing the memories. I love the last photo. I have several photos of my hubby and DS, walking away hand in hand. I don't know what it is about that type of scene, but I love it.

Brenda said...

What a great story.

Shannon said...

Thank you for sharing... it is amazing what lessons we remember most from our parents and grandparents!

Indy Mom said...

Great photos and stories. We are so proud of the Dad A has become. He's a good fella.