Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

My father has been dead for 40 years, but I still have vivid memories of him. Some are good, and some are bad, for he was, as we all are, human. I have long ago forgiven him for what were the bad times for me. I loved my dad, but I don't ever remember telling him so. That wasn't done in my family, emotions were, for the most part, held in. When emotion did show its face, it was generally anger, and I am sorry for that. I wish I could have said, "I love you, Pa", certainly more than I did, if ever. My brothers and I are better at showing our emotions to one another, but not much. I fortunately married into a family that was good at telling each other they cared, and I think my wife was the best. So, our children are very open about telling us that they love us. It's interesting that we know that the love is there, but it feels so good to hear it said. There never was a time that I felt that Pa didn't love me even though I didn't hear him say it. I got many things from my dad, his love of working with wood, his liberal politics, his sense of fair play, how to hunt and shoot, how to fish, how to build things, how to stand up for the little guy, honesty (except following the fish and game laws). I would have to say that I reared my own kids much the same as my dad did for me. I know that after he lost a leg in a logging accident he was always in pain, and so he self medicated with beer. That changed him and the family too, in ways that we probably never realized. I can still remember going on a road trip listening to Pa sing some of the old cowboy songs or recite a Robert Service poem. According to my oldest brother, Pa had a voice similar to Gene Austin. And, he was a fool for his grandchildren. Happy Father's Day, Pa. Love, Dan

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