Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Dad


So many memories add up to make a childhood don't they?  And to make an impression of a person you keep with you for a lifetime.

I can remember rushing to my mom's stationary drawer at 4:00 p.m.  I was little...4, 5, 6?  I'd go there often to write notes to my Dad, and when I saw his car working it's way down the street after work...I would actually hear it crunch first on the stones....I would burst out the door and run my little note to him as he got out of the car.  I remember feeling shy about that bursting out the door.  I can remember how he seemed tired after a long day, a long commute, but how he always had a smile as he took the note from my hands. I can feel the warm sun, the fresh evening air, I can smell the spaghetti cooking in the kitchen.

I can remember the time my Dad crushed his finger hammering shingles on the roof.  I was scared to death, hearing him yell for help.  I can picture his face, and the cloth diaper my mom had thrown up to him on the roof to stop the blood.  I can feel the panicked, scared feeling in my stomach that made me want to run and hide.

I can remember the time it was my turn...a brick (yes, Katie, I still blame you) dropped on my finger from a picnic table, a burning pain, blood dripping, me screaming barefoot across the painful stones.  My Dad grabbing me, running to the bathroom, another bloody cloth diaper (boy, those come in handy, don't they?), the cold water making it more painful.    The discussion...ER or not?  ER we go.  I know it was a warm, beautiful summer evening, and somehow that made it all better.  All the attention helped a little also.  I knew I was safe, because my Dad was in charge.  To me, he knew more than any fancy doctor.

I remember running out to visit my white pet bunny one cold spring morning, excited because my Dad had just spent the day before building a brand new fancy cage for her.  I remember seeing the hole torn through the bottom of the cage, finding my poor dead bunny around the back of the garage.  I remember wailing and running inside, and having my Mom and Dad panicked, "What? What?"  I remember the look of absolute fury on my Dad's face because we knew right off the culprit was the big mean dog whose owners let him roam the neighborhood.  I knew he would take care of it.  The fact that he was as mad as I was sad, made me know he cared so much.

I can remember when I bought my first used car, a little Honda Accord...saving for that down payment, negotiating over the phone.  I had no idea what I was doing and quite accidentally, because of pure desperation, I ended up negotiating a pretty good price.  I remember knowing, somehow, maybe from a little chuckle from him, or the look in his eyes, that he was proud of me for that.

My Dad is quiet, kind, forgiving, sensible.  A hard worker more than anything.  A bootstrap kind of guy.  I don't think he's asked anyone for anything in his life...an ounce of help, a request to borrow, a favor.  He does it all himself, and never expected not to.  He worked two jobs often to provide for his family.  At the same time, I've never heard him turn down a request for help in my life.  If there is work to be done, he works harder, faster, more efficient than anyone else, no matter what the job.  He can clear a field, plant and tend a garden, build a house, fix anything.  

And on top of that, I don't think I've ever heard my Dad complain once.  Maybe sometimes about his knees, only because he's had surgery on both, and only after he does something like haul two 40 pound buckets of maple sap for 8 hours a day, and still then, he'd do it in a way that make you think he's joking.  "I'm a little sore today, we hauled syrup from 2,000 trees you know."  Um, YEAH?  Your 73, DAD!!!

There is no one I could be prouder to call Dad.   He has set an example, in his actions every day of his life, for 73 years, of what it takes to be a good, honest, hard-working, loving son, brother, father, husband, and grandfather.

Happy Birthday Dad!

26 comments :

  1. Those are incredibly beautiful words written for what sounds like a incredibly wonderful dad!

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  2. you def. made me think about the memories of my dad. Yours sounds like the perfect dad for you! Where or what would we be w/o these great men?

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  3. Thank God for good Dad's! And Sarah, from your writing I imagine you being quiet, kind, forgiving, and sensible...a lot like your Dad. With a feminine twist of course!

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  4. This was beautifully written. From the heart of someone who loves their Dad dearly and I can see why. Sounds a lot like mine. [grin]. I jut got home from visiting with my Dad....he is very very ill with cancer and probably not much time to live...He is my hero.

    Happy Birthday to your Dad. Cherish every minute with one of the most important people in your life.

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  5. What precious words from an obviously precious dad. Isn't it a blessing to have a dad like yours? And mine. Happy Birthday to him!

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  6. Beautiful post Sarah. You are a talented writer. Bless you and your family and Happy Birthday Sir!!

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  7. What beautiful words, Sarah! Happy Birthday to your dad.

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  8. I smiled all throughout reading your post. Brought back memories of waiting for my Dad to come home from work and how he helped the pain from a boo-boo go away.
    And he was the only one who ever told me he was proud of me. I wish he was still on this earth with me ~ he only got to know my son for two short years :(
    ~Andrea in NH

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  9. What a great tribute to your dad! He sounds like a wonderful man! I lost my father 3 years ago -he was only 57-way too young to be taken from us. Enjoy every moment God has given you with your dad! I hope his birthday is blessed with love and joy!

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  10. What a nice tribute to a wonderful man.

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  11. What a beautiful example of a Dad, and sweet words of tribute. I feel exactly the same about mine, they sound very similar.I hope my girls are blessed to also marry men who will carry on the tradition of strong, sacrificial men.

    (I'm sure your parents are blessed to see you continuing their legacy of family devotion- so rare in this day and age!)

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  12. What a sweet way to honor your Dad on his birthday. I have a lot of sweet memories of my father, and I hope I can raise my son to be a good man and wonderful father too. Enjoy this special day with your Dad!

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  13. That brought tears to my eyes! Happy Birthday to your dad! What a blessed family you are to have such an honorable man at the head of it!

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  14. Happy Birthday to your dad! He sounds like a wonderful man!

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  15. What a beautiful post. This made me cry. What a wonderful dad!! It is so nice to see the values you and your family have!!

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  16. Thank you for telling us about your dad. My dad is 74-from the same generation as yours. I can sure relate to admiring your father for how hard he works and never asks for favors. You are a good daughter for writing such a beautiful tribute.

    Tell your dad he's famous all over the blogosphere now!

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  17. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! He sounds like what the old timers would call "the salt of the earth" and we need more like him! I know you are raising your kids to follow in his footsteps, too! He is, I'm sure very proud of his family!
    xoxo
    Joni

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  18. i can't think of a better thank you to a dad than hearing that from your daughter. a life well lived is a beauty to behold. sounds like he nailed it. :)

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  19. What a tender tribute. "I knew I was safe, because my Dad was in charge." Sometimes I think we undervalue the significance of fathers. They make all the difference. Love this post Sarah.

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  20. What a beautiful post. I have a "fix anything" kind of dad too, and I still call him for advice all the time!!
    Have a happy day

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  21. Wow, just beautiful. You're lucky to have a dad like that.

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  22. I feel the same about my dad! If folks are lucky enough to have a dad like that then they are in good company.

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  23. My mom turned 73 one day before your Dad! That was a good year, I guess :)

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  24. This is just plain beautiful Sarah :) Happy Birthday to your Dad!!!

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  25. Beautifully written! I am certain that you cracked that serious exterior and brought a tear to his eye when he read this.

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  26. I LOVE my dad too! I want to tell you how much I am enjoying reading your posts. Your sister-in-law Julie led me to your blog site and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites! I just resently started writing weekly for a blog and talked 3 weeks ago about my dad and what an IMPORTANT roll he played in my life. (http://www.motherscenter.org/blog/2011/02/what-i-learned-from-my-dad-a-k-a-the-master-packer/) Aren't dads AWESOME!?! Thank you for providing me some great weekly reading!

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