I Heart Dads

My father and I

Father’s Day.

What I wouldn’t give to have one more day with my father.  What would I say to him that I never got around to saying?

I love you, Dad.  I’m doing well, Dad.  I’m very much like you, Dad.  I have your square, sturdy hands and your troublesome hair—I even wear it short like you did.

I like to build things.  I can’t think through a problem without a paper and pencil in front of me.  I like people just like you did.  And I care about them in a way that is personal, that makes me need to touch their shoulder when we are talking or kiss a cheek in the right moments.  I also have too many good ideas like you did without always having (or caring about) the straight business side of things.

I love the smell of lumber and sawdust and rain and sun and the mirrored gleam of a calm lake on a sunny day.  I like campfires and small children.  I like a really cold beer after a hard day’s work.

I lack tolerance for people or things that lack a basic common sense.

I like to read—but never got into Louis L’Amour or westerns.  I like to listen.  I like to smile.

I miss you every day but carry you in the heart that you and mom made for me.

When my father died, my mom showed me two little pieces of paper  with quotes on them that he had carried in his wallet for years and years.  They were tattered and almost unreadable but still so relevant for all of us.  They said:

“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power, and that he may command the hidden soil and seed of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure which is: Try to Please Everybody.”   –Herbert B. Swope

That’s the kind of man he was.  I miss you Dad.  And to all the other “Dads” in my family, I’m thinking about you today, too.


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I Heart Dads — 3 Comments

  1. I am so glad that I knew your dad. Of course at first he didn’t much like me – I think he just loved you and wanted to make sure that you weren’t hooking up with some no good. But we got to know each other, and I think I finally pasted the test. I remember the night you got the call to “get here right now”, and you left for that trip across the state by yourself. And how you made it in time. He was the best – really just the best.

    • Hi Dorothy,
      Yes, they are definitely words to live by. Hope your writing life is going well. I am in heaven back up here in northern MN. Crazy, and so much work, but I guess it is home.

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