Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Charisma


I wish you could have known my father. You would have liked him. Everybody did.

He was my father but he was more than just the man who helped my mother give birth to me. He was my dad but he was more than the man who helped to raise me and saw to my needs. He was my daddy.

I know that it sounds strange to hear a woman of my age refer to her father as Daddy. It is my special name for the special man in my life.

From my first memories of Daddy I could see that people were drawn to him. He was a charismatic man. He was so at ease with people and that made them feel at ease too.

Daddy could talk to anybody. He was not a conversation hog but he loved to talk. He liked the interaction with others. It was one of the things my mother admired about him.


Daddy had this lopsided smile. It looked a little rakish. What an old-fashioned word. But that describes it perfectly. Just a bit cocky and more than a bit friendly.

All of us inherited that lopsided smile. Most of our children did and so on.

Many of us have that gift of gab. Some even got a bit of the charisma.

I have a picture of him on the wall across from where I am sitting. He is looking at me with that lopsided smila and I feel the same comfort I did when he was alive.

Besides being so charismatic Daddy was strong. Physically strong. Mentally strong. Emotionally strong. We knew we could rely on him.

So did the people who worked for him. Daddy was greatly admired at work as well as at home.

It was a Good Friday when Daddy died. He was a strong healthy man. A sudden massive heart attack took him from us.

The men where he worked demanded the day of his funeral off so they could attend.

It was a gloriously beautiful day. They could have gone boating or had a barbeque. But every last one of them came to see my father one last time.

The funeral home had to borrow chairs from the church for extra seating. Even then there was not enough room for everyone inside. The procession to the cemetery was long.

Daddy felt deeply about honoring the dead. Memorial Day for instance was special for him. Veterans Day was special.

So he would have been proud of all the workers, family, neighbors, and friends who thought enough of him to say goodbye.

Daddy was the head of our whole family. We were happy that he was. My youngest son is fond of saying, "That is the reason that picture of him is hanging in every single house." It is true. We all have at least one.

I wish you could have known Daddy. You would have liked him. Everybody did.

8 comments:

  1. It's an honor to be so well loved.

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  2. Emma, I quite understand. My strong, kind, principled and reliable father pretty much just dropped dead one day in 1960. I was almost 11. In my mind I still address his memory as Daddy, even though I'm quite a bit older than he got to be.

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    1. A father is such a precious thing to a child. Not all children are fortunate enough to have a father in their lives and they miss out on so much even if they have a mother who does her best to fill the role.

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  3. After reading this post, Emma, all I could think about was that it would have been great to see your Daddy and his lopsided smile. However, I know you do not post family photos so will go by your description. And, your pist brought back memories of my own father, as we are in NJ at my childhood home this week, clearing our stuff from my late parents home and I have come across many previousky unseen photos of him. And, what a handsome fellow he was in his 20s and 30s and of course always to me. Perhaps I will post some of these old photos in weeks to come.

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    1. Perhaps I will post his picture in the future. It cannot harm him in any way or disturb his privacy. His Navy photo shows him as a rakish sort. That was before he knew my mother. The beautiful part is that I see pieces of him in his offspring. He is still here.

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  4. Dear Emma, your father must have been a wonderful man, and he would have been proud to read your loving portrayal. It must have been a shock that he died so suddenly.
    To be remembered by those who loved him is a great way to stay in heart and memory.

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    1. My family often talks about family members who have died. It is the best way to remember them and allow those who did not know them to understand why we loved them so much.

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