Happy Fathers Day
I have been blessed to have had two special dads in my life, one my father, Howard and the other my husband Tom, the father of my children.
My dad was a hard worker, providing for his family both in the military and as a civilian. He was born in 1918 the son of an Army SGT from North Carolina and a Southern Belle from Georgia. He was born the 5th child and only son. His parents divorced when he was around 12 and lived a difficult life that would take him through the depression.
In 1934, he lied about his age and joined the Army, to help take care of his mother. He had a deep sense of family that showed through how he raised us. Dad was always there for us while we were growing up. I was 14 when he died suddenly, and it affected me deeply.
I was daddy’s little girl, his shadow. I went with him everywhere.
I remember always half walking and half running to keep up with his soldier’s pace, and then finally, as I got older, I began to match his pace – step by step.
As we walked everywhere we had many talks. I wish I could remember what we talked about. I only remember those walks and just being with my dad. I do remember when he told me some of his experiences in Europe during WWII serving with the Third Army under General Patton. He told me of landing on the beaches of Normandy and marching his way through Europe (sometimes hitching a ride on a tank) to Germany. And he told me when he was wounded sometime after landingin France and since we cannot find a record of a purple heart I can only guess that he just kept on going as many young soldiers did then. I remember vaguely talking to him about WWII for a history assignment and he mentioned the Battle of the Bulge but did not talk much about the details of his experiences.
What he did not tell me was how the Third Army liberated a Jewish Concentration Camp, the suffering and heroism of the Battle of the Bulge, and the death and destruction.
He was my daddy and my hero. And whenever I think of him I see
us walking side by side, holding my hand, and talking mostly about everyday
things, as we walked to whatever destination it was for the day.
Tom, my husband is also, an important person in my life that I would like to also remember on this Fathers Day. I can still see him the day our son was born, the first time he held him. The first time he became a father. We were both in awe of this little person that we were now responsible for. When our daughter was born, he would soon be thrown into a world of dolls and dresses, something a little foreign to someone raised in a family of 4 boys. The joys of a little girl were more than he ever could have expected. From the first day of both of our children’s birth, he became their protector and provider.
From T-ball practices to girlscouts, he was there for each event. He
took them to their activities, cheered them on as they played sports, or
He played games with them like “sack of potatoes”, throwing them over his shoulder and carrying them like a sack of potatoes when they would laugh and giggle. We had the mad wash cloth that attacked the kids during bath time that would bring forth shrills of delight. One of my favorite memories was when Tom would read bed time stories to the kids. We can all agree how monotonous that can be, especially when they pick one story to read every night. Our children were no exception. So Tom would change the stories that would bring laughter that stills echoes in our hearts. As they grew into young adults, Tom has been there with support and advice to help them make the right decisions and be there for them when things did not turn out the way they expected.
There were good times and bad times; fun times and painful times, and through it all, Tom has been a devoted husband and father. My memory of Tom with our children will always be the silly games he invented and the laughter that still fills our home.
Happy Fathers Day to my two favorite dads.