Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day

     It's a difficult day.  My Dad was born a little bit before the 1929 stock market crash and grew up, third from youngest of a very large family, in the shadow of the Great Depression and World War Two.

     Competence, thrift and frugality were not mere concepts to him; they were ingrained characteristics.  He did what he could to teach them to his children, though I think he despaired of succeeding.  Nothing mechanical was a mystery to him, though he'd hire a plumber or an electrician if the job was too big or required specialized equipment.  He did woodwork with ease -- nothing fancy, never an extra bit of ornament or fancy finish but all of it square, true and plumb.

     He didn't suffer fools and had scant patience with pretended competence.  He had nothing but admiration for people who could do a job well but found the lazy, uncorrectably ignorant or foolish beneath contempt.

     And he was the funniest angry man I ever knew.  Not always; he could be moody and a truly towering rage could leave him at a loss for words, but usually the things that annoy most of us, he could turn into wonderful slow-burn rants and flights of fancy, and end up laughing himself.  It was a valuable skill.

     My Dad's been gone well over a decade now.  I still find myself thinking, "Oh, Dad would know that!" and starting to reach for the phone, or wanting to tell him about something that happened that would amuse him.  I still miss  him.

2 comments:

pigpen51 said...

My dad has been gone for 5 years now, and I also find myself wanting to reach for the phone to call him, to ask him a question, or just to chat. My dad and my mother were extremely close, with my mom passing in April of 2013, at the age of 79, and my dad passing in April of 2014, at the age of 86. He died of natural causes, but I know he died of a broken heart.
It is on days like Father's day, and also Mother's day, when I have no one to call or visit, that I am reminded of my own mortality, but also of the fact that I am now an orphan.
I am sad for you, also, that you have no father, to celebrate with on Father's day. And I think that we all understand just how hard it is to be in these shoes. The best we can do is to remember them, and to be thankful for the time we did have with them. I wish everyone who has lost a parent, or both parents, to have fond memories and warm hearts this next few days.

Elkins45 said...

My dad died in 2010 and I still think about him almost every day. I wish I had him to talk things over with. He was born in 1930 and shared a lot of the characteristics you describe of your dad.