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.