A friend and talented writer Elaine Thomas posted a lovely piece about fathers which got me to thinking about my own dad.
Daddy passed away in 1986, but even after so many years my memories of him are fresh. He was a kind and gentle man who didn’t raise his voice, and his disapproval was something I never wanted. On those rare occasions when it happened it cut to my core and made more of an impression that any words.
Daddy had red hair and blue eyes, genes that have not shown up again in my children and grandchildren. He often picked dolls for me, and many of them had his coloring. To this day I wonder how he always found the perfect one as red haired, blue eyed dolls are not too common.
Daddy dropped out of high school before he graduated. Though not well educated, he was smart in many ways. He was a numbers guy, and for sure he knew the value of treating people well. As a result, people liked him and recognized in him his trustworthiness. I would like to think I got some of his better qualities even if I didn’t get his coloring!
From childhood, the words I most remember him saying are “Pretty is as pretty does” and “Don’t do as I do but as I say do”. Even today I recall those words and realize they had more value than I might have thought at the time.
Before he passed away, we were talking and Daddy questioned what his life had meant. That made me so incredibly sad as he wasn’t giving himself credit for being the person he was. True, he never had a lot of what so often is deemed successful, but he had those qualities that are the measure of a good man. That and how he helped my brother and me find our own way are the things I remember most about him. I’m glad he was my daddy.