Tuesday, April 14, 2015
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.