In Memory of My Dad


My sweet Dad gave up his valiant fight for life on Monday, January 19. Of course, an official obituary will run in the paper on Sunday but it is just so stiff. It’s hard to capture a life in the stiff, formal manner of obituaries so I thought I would share some thoughts on here.

My Dad was truly an amazing man though mostly just appeared to be humble and normal. For the most part, he was. He worked hard to support his family, he was kind and patient and followed the rules.

But there was so much more. Growing up with him was a true blessing for me. He was the kind one and didn’t like the discipline part of being a father very much. He had the patience of Job as he managed to teach me to drive and when my own politics began to develop, vastly different from his own.

He blessed me with so many East Texas “country” sayings that I find myself using them in the work place today to the shock and awe of younger team members.

Dad was funny. He had a way of teaching life lessons without being harsh. When I was blessed with a car, he made me learn to change the tires and the oil. “If you are going to have a car, you have to know how to take care of it”, he would say. Don’t ask me to do this today but I was whiz at it through my college years.

Dad was a chain smoker and that is what took his life in the end, though he hadn’t smoked in more than 30+ years. He wanted to make sure I didn’t pick up the habit. When he picked me up from school in the 6th grade and saw some friends smoking (hey it was the 70’s), he asked me if I might want to try one. He and my Mom both smoked so I said sure. He made me inhale that thing until I threw up and I never wanted a cigarette again in my life. That was how he handled things.

As a young adult, I leaned on my Dad for financial and career advice. My hard work ethic came from him. He worked hard and considered it a priorty to support your family. He was dedicated and pulled double shifts at the plant anytime he could. He would tell me it would mean more money for college. In the last few years, he would tell me I worked too much and I would remind him where I learned it.

When my child was born, it was probably the greatest thing that had happened to him. Becoming a grandfather was the highlight event of his life. He rejoiced in that kid and spoiled her rotten. He would sit on the floor for hours playing with the child and later initiated weekly trips to McDonald’s. No one could take the kid to McDonald’s but him so it was a real treat. As she grew, he rejoiced in her every achievement.

Most of all, my Dad was kind. His kindess permeated everything he did. He was always kind and would stop to pick up a puppy off the side of the road or to help one of the neighborhood boys who might not have been so blessed as I was. As he moved to eldercare, he was kind to everyone and they all treasured him.

I was so lucky to grow up with my Dad. I thank my lucky stars for him every day. He helped make me the person I have become.

And that, my friends, is how the “cow ate the cabbage.”


10 responses

  1. Sorry for your loss- the post you wrote is very sweet-your Dad sounds a lot like mine-very special

  2. Nancy,

    Your tribute to your Father is beautiful. You are so right that obituaries are not the place to properly share as you have done. You say that the highlight of his life is the birth of your son, but I think you are “prejudiced” if not too humble: I sense that you are the great light of his life. Thank you for taking the time to share your special relationship with your Father during this time. My prayers are with you, your family and your Father; may God’s perpetual light shine upon him.

    Frank S.

  3. Your father must have been so proud of you Nancy. And you can find comfort in knowing you and he had a beautiful relationship. He will be with you always.

    Thank you for sharing him through your ponderings.

  4. Your words here were a lovely tribute, but more than this…. your ACTIONS over the last couple of decades were the real tribute. Only a few of us actually got to personally witness your countless hours dedicated to his care, comfort, safety, entertainment, companionship and advocacy . You took “treat others like you want to be treated” to a whole new level. If there is any comfort for you as you learn to live without your dad, it will be that you did ALL you could for him while he was alive.

  5. Great tribute. I’m sorry for your loss. He sounded like a wonderful person and the type of person the world could use more of.

  6. Nancy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember meeting your father at your Christmas Eve party a few years ago. I remember he was sitting on the sofa, and we visited a while. Your father had a good sense of humor. Your tribute to him and what he taught you is beautiful. I will be sure to read his obituary in Sunday’s Chronicle. If there is anything I can do to help you, please just ask.
    Big hugs,

  7. Sorry to hear about your dad. I know how much you will miss him. I still miss my dad and he died in 1950. Your desciption of him was so beautiful and it showed how much you loved him. I remember how thrilled your parents were when your child was born. They were such special grandparents. May God bless you and the kid always. Love Rama

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