by the way sunday...

~Dad's Day~
According to Wilkpedia...

In the United States, the driving force behind the establishment of the celebration of Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent raised his six children in Spokane, Washington.
She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day.
Although she initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally so feted by his family in 1916.
President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
Your BTWS task for the week...
Tell us something about a special man in your life who deserves to be honored on Father's Day.

Hmmmmmmmmm... where to begin? My dad conjures up a lot of emotions and thoughts. Because my mother died when I was very young, Dad has been my stability. And he tried his best. Today I would say that we have a Mother/Daughter relationship, even though he's not my mother, if that makes any sense. I can tell him anything. Even when he doesn't want to hear it. And sometimes I do, just to shock him. Other times I do just because it's got to be said.

On the road to creating that relationship, I have to say that my experience with him was almost like an absentee father. He wasn't especially nurturing and for most of my life I felt like I didn't matter. Not just to him, but to anyone. And I know if I had been able to articulate that thought, I would know (as I know now) that my thoughts were simply not true. But, as a kid thinking those powerfully magical kid thoughts, it surely felt true.

As I matured and got older I lived at home longer than my sisters did. I lived at home until I was in my late-20s and he was getting remarried. I felt, and still feel, that my role in the family dynamic is the glue. I keep the pieces together, I facilitate the family. I will be the caretaker as we all get older and older. I'm ok with that, I relish it. Having said all that, I had the unique opportunity to know Dad as an adult man, not just as a dad. And he had the opportunity to know me as an adult woman, not just as a daughter.

When I teach some of the social aspects of history (like the traditional roles of males and females in a growing USA), I talk often about "the measure of a man" and the qualities that built our nation--a man is: and then we make a list of what a man is. Then I like to flip it and talk about men who are the opposite of that list of traits. When we flip the list we are talking about my dad. And when the kids shift uncomfortably in their seats and think that the flipped list means that men aren't manly, I talk about how not everyone fits a list of traits...

Without further ado, here is a snapshot of my dad: believe me, this could take up the rest of the internet, but I'll try to keep it brief.

He has a great sense of personal style--he has an incredible eye for cut, color and cloth. I do well to follow in his footsteps in that regard.

He has a great sense of humor--with a somewhat observational take on the trivialities of life.

He has a passion for music--since his retirement from education, he is able to indulge his passion. The greatest treat for me is to watch him lose himself while playing the church organ. And I know, I know, the stereotypical church organist is like listening to someone sitting in the living room plunking on a Wurlitzer, but he's more like Diane Bish and the Joy Of Music. He is a gifted actor, singer and director.

His passion for music is contagious and infectious--he conducts two local church choirs, is the liturgical musician for both churches (has been in that role at St. Mary's Catholic Church for 56 years), has played for more weddings and funerals than anyone in the state (yes, that's a fact).

He is thoughtful--by sending news clippings and notes to former students and other people mentioned in the newspaper for achievements, support and comfort, or sending appropriate condolence notes. He remembers anniversaries and birthdays--and all events of note. (he has a system that I never quite mastered)

He is artistic--expressing his gift through flower gardening and interior decorating.

He is impatient--hates to be kept waiting, hates to "frig" with directions and things, hates poor service, hates traffic, and doesn't suffer fools.

He is not handy nor mechanically inclined--my love for mechanical things stems from his impatience with putting things together. Here's a quick anecdote: on one of my rare collect-calls home from Ireland, I had to explain how to program the VCR to record a show he didn't want to miss. Literally 15 minutes spent walking him through the steps... collect, international call. We still joke about that.

He uses his driving time as relaxation time.

He will not have/use a cell phone. I think that's where my aversion comes from.

He reads interesting articles and headlines out loud.

He rarely sits still. He is the king of multi-tasking.

He loves all forms of art. I was lucky enough to grow up exposed to all forms of classical music and have a true appreciation for the arts, something that is not too common in this region of the world.

He does not give unsolicited advice.

He has glorious white hair and beard. He should play Santa sometime, with his twinkling eyes, jolly laugh and dimples.

When I talk about him, I often get emotional. It's not just me who thinks he is a wonderful person. He is charismatic and charming. He is genuine. When he talks to you, you know he is fully present.

I am my father's daughter. People frequently tell me that my mannerisms and a lot of my personality are like him.

1 comment:

WendyDarling said...

He sounds absolutely wonderful!! :-)