Saturday, June 19, 2021

Daddy

 As much as I loved my mother; that is how much I adored my father. 

Daddy was born into a large family. He had one younger brother. The other 9 children were quite a bit older. His father was an alcoholic. His mother was a woman tasked with raising all those children in rough circumstances. Unfortunately she was a selfish woman who could at times be cruel.

When WWII broke out Daddy was still a teenager. Finally cane the day my father came home to find his father drunk once again. They had an argument that ended with my father telling his father that he was done with getting into fights because of him. 

Daddy went and joined the Navy. His ship was under radio silence when his father died. He was not notified until after the funeral.

While Daddy was on shore leave he bought a few souvenirs. Among them were two kimonos. One was for his wife and one for his daughter.

He had not yet met my mother. That happened after he was discharged after the war. His younger brother was dating my mother's younger sister. Those two arranged a blind date between my mother and father. It was a double date.

My parents hit it off. My aunt and uncle eventually broke up and married other people.

After my parent married I was born. I was the little girl Daddy wished for. I have always felt special because of that. I wore that kimono until I could not fit in it. 

I will admit that Daddy spoiled me some. That is not to say that he did not discipline me because he certainly did. But I never felt unloved. 

When I was grown Daddy was so important to my life. There were times when I was tired of being a grown-up. Daddy's emotional lap was always there for me. After being with him for a while I could go back to being an adult.

Daddy could do anything. My family under his direction actually built a house. He laid the foundation, did the plumbing and electrical installations, laid the floors, erected the walls, put on the roof. We helped by pounding in nails, handing tools, installing sheet rock, and painting. Mom wanted hardwood floors so once the wood was installed she did the finishing. The house is still there. I drive by it once in a while and remember the love and labor we put into it.

All of Daddy's grandchildren have wonderful memories of him. They laugh about him throwing his slipper if one of them stood too long between him and the television. They remember him coaching their little league games. They remember the workshop he had on his back porch. He had a section filled with old tools, boards, screws and nails set aside just for them. They remember just spending time with him.

The only time I ever saw Daddy cry was when my brother was killed in Vietnam. He was so hurt and so proud at the same time.

He never quite understood why any of us moved away to have our own families. He was most content to have all of us right there with him. We loved the security we felt knowing he was there for us.

Daddy was not yet 56 years old when he died of a massive heart attack on Good Friday. At the time he was the manager of the plant where he worked. 

In a case when a member of the company died the union would send a delegation of 2 or 3 people to represent the workers. My father was so well thought of that every one of his employees wanted to attend. 

Even though it was unprecedented the plant was closed for the day of his funeral. There had been the holiday of Easter. There was beautiful weather. All those men could have been with their families at a barbecue or out on their boats that day but they all showed up at the funeral home. A lot of them stood outside because there was no more room inside. Daddy would have been so proud.

As you can see my father was a wonderful man. He was loved by his family and friends. He was a community leader. 

Most of all he was my Daddy.


18 comments:

  1. Dear Emma, your Daddy was a wonderful man and you so lucky to have him!
    When I read about the hard circumstances he was born into, I see his great optimism and vigour to build up a life of his own, which he did so successfully!
    Dying so young, it must be have been a hard loss for all of you. To see the respect and admiration shown by his colleagues must have been a little consolation for your mother. Did she after his death live in the house he built ?
    You must be proud of your father being such a special man.

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    1. The house we built is near where I now live. My family had moved to the big city due to my father's employment. Yes I am proud of my father. I was very much a Daddy's girl.

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  2. you were so lucky to have such fine man as your father dear Emma

    he sounds an ideal man who made his family and everyone around him loved and well cared ,i think this is the best earning one can do in this life .
    fathers are head of the family and if they are of high characters family can survive beautifully as there is nothing impossible for them .
    he was special man indeed .
    thank you for sharing about him my friend!

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    1. He was so happy to have a family. We all felt loved and wanted.

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  3. I have a beautiful Chinese embroidered gown that my father brought back from the war years. I also had an amazing father. Hope all is well, Diane

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    1. A girl's love for her father sets a good foundation for her life.

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  4. This brought me to tears. What a beautiful tribute to your father, who was clearly a wonderful person.

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  5. My experience was so different from yours that reading your post was very much like reading a foreign language I struggle to understand.

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    1. Although in my life I have seen evidence that not people have good relationships with their parents I have a hard time understanding. I am sorry your experience was not as good as mine.

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  6. A very moving post. My father died suddenly 61 years ago when I was 10. But he still visits my dreams sometimes as a reassuring presence. Some peoples' influence never ends.

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  7. This was a very personal and heartwarming tribute to your father, Emma. Indeed he was a special man much beloved by his family and yourself perhaps more so being the first born.

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  8. How lucky you were to have such a wonderful father.

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    1. I was. And all his grandchildren feel lucky too.

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