Sunday, 17 June 2018

Fathers

My father in 1945

It's Father's Day here in the U.K.
So I thought I would let the readers do the leg work, seeing that if is often the case that they have the more interesting stories than I do.
My father died back in 1989, so time has kind of dulled my memory of him now. But he was a strong character within the family even though he wasn't a hands on dad like the sensitive  and 'present' ones we see today.
I have always had an aversion to men wearing jewellery. This slightly irrational dislike stems from childhood bathroom moments when my father would occasional encourage  me to wash my hands and face. His supervision would always take on a slightly exasperated air and when my fat little hands didn't move as quickly as he would like he would rub the soap over them brusquely, often catching his wedding and signet rings on my skin as he did so.
A small memory perhaps but one, on reflection , that left its mark.

So what are your small, or significant , painful or joyous memory of your father on this Father's Day?

171 comments:

  1. I don't have many memories any more sweet than yours.

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  2. My dad had a heart attack almost two years ago,
    but thanks to the NHS he's still with us. A little slimmer but still kind and funny. His political views are not mine but we enjoy a good debate about why he's right and I'm wrong! hehe. Love him loads x

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  3. My father was a complicated and difficult man. He was a German Jew and we think the only survivor in his family. He made an oyster look chatty and I know nothing of his younger years.
    He had thick and incredibly clumsy looking hands - which shook, and as a hobby designed and made ezquisite jewellery.

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    1. I remember my father's splutter
      He was a chain smoker

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  4. When my ex and I were in the throes of separating, my stepmother phoned two or three times to say my dad had been rushed to hospital and didn't have long to live.
    He told her that he'd passed the message on but that I wasn't interested and wouldn't be visiting.
    By the time I found out and got to the hospital my dad was n a coma and died thinking I didn't love him.
    My ex did lots of horrible things to me but this is the one thing I cannot forgive

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    1. That is unbelievably cruel.

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    2. your dad knew that you loved him, Hard Up Hester

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    3. I try to tell myself that Kylie, but I don't believe it, my stepmother told me how devastated he was.

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    4. Oh, no! I'm so sorry!
      would you mind if I add you to my prayers?

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    5. Your ex holds the responsibility for this pain he inflicted on your family. Never lose sight of that

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    6. Thank you Kylie.
      John I'd never thought of it like that, it helps.

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    7. Our incredibly wicked. However, I still think your dad knew you loved him. Imagine your ex having to live with the horrible things they had said and done!!

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    8. Hester-Your Dad possibly was aware you were there for him after all xx

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    9. Dear Hester, my x did some horrible things much like yours. I think your Father knew. Coma or not he knew you were there.

      cheers, parsnip

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  5. My father bought me 6 dolls, all dressed in international costumes, for my 13th birthday....I remember being hugely pleased but a bit puzzled as he'd rarely been so generous before. 6 days later he left us for another woman. That and the constant rows between my parents are the overriding memories I have of him. By contrast, my father in law was the loving, extremely kind, funny, helpful and overwhelmingly family oriented father I never had, and I miss him dearly.

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  6. your talk of bathrooms reminds me that as a very tiny girl (not yet at school) I would sometimes watch dad shave and as he splashed on his after shave he would say it was nice and put a dab on my cheek. It didn't take long for me to start asking for it "can I have nice?"

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  7. My dad chose another family to be with when I was 10 years old so I choose not to acknowledge this particular day.

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  8. Sweet, kind, funny, these words do not describe my father at all. Not at all.

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  9. Hi John, your stories always top any other but today Sooze's story is the most poignant one ever. My dad was also not a hands-on dad but very loving and called me Cooks. He's been gone these 17 years. xx

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    1. I agree but look at the others below x

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  10. father's day here also. my sperm donor is (unfortunately) still alive and age 92. the last time I saw him was thanksgiving day 1989. I have no desire to relive the abuse he heaped on me, my sister, and my mother.

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  11. My father died when I was 16. My life would have been different had he lived, I am sure of that. I lost my way when he died.

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    1. Yes.. I understand this only too well

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  12. My father was sent away to school, as was I. As such we didn't meet that often; just enough for him to say Goodbye and Hello and the beginning and end of each term. Just how a father should be, I suppose.

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    1. No cro xx you know it's a no...
      But it was then

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  13. That's a handsome photograph.
    I would have been cooking my dad his favourite roast beef and all the trimmings followed by jam roly-poly and custard today. I lost him in 2015.

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  14. Kitty in the forest12:23 pm

    Such sad comments!
    My father was in poor health for the whole of my life, and died far too soon. I'm not going to pretend he was a saint; he had a dreadful temper (though it soon blew over), and he did not suffer fools at all - he could be very cutting.
    But he always had my back, he never ever let me down. He often took me out with him, and we had wonderful times. I never doubted that he loved me.
    It's now many years since he died, but I still miss him. At least I have some wonderful memories. Love you, Dad. xx

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    1. Kitty..you are right....so sad. You were one of the lucky ônes

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  15. I adored my father, I lost him when I was 35, he was a 'mature' father as I was born when he was 50 years old. He was kind, loving and my friend; the age gap didn't matter - he was interested in what 'you young things are getting up to' and I loved his stories about olden days.

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  16. Anonymous12:28 pm

    My Dad was Irish, and had the true Irish temper. Need I say more. He also had a tender side which we didn't see much of . I try to remember those.

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    1. Anger is always the emotion most easily accessible to people . It is also the one that is most remembered

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  17. When I was a teenager, a friend restored a Piper J-3 Cub, a real classic. Dad had learned to fly in planes like that. We had the opportunity to take it for a ride, I was in the front seat, he was behind me, we were about 15 seconds in the air, about 250 feet above the trees and the door flew open. The door split horizontally in the middle with half folding up and half folding down. The bottom half hadn't latched properly and fell down. My father laughed so hard I thought I might half to take over flying.

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    1. That's why you enjoy flying so much

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  18. My Dad worked in the far north of Canada so we never knew him. I was raised by my grandparents and my grandfather was kind and funny and believed girls should be educated. His two favourite sayings" There is never a road without a turn" and "There is no harm in asking." I miss him every day.

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    1. Should be grandad day too me thinks!

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  19. My dad died when I was twelve.. As a child I adored him.. As an adult I can't understand how he allowed my mother to beat me black and blue. I have memories of him telling my mother that I 'couldn't go to school with all those bruises'...

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    1. Maybe he was frightened of her too

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  20. Considering it's Father's Day, a day meant to be of celebration rather than the final judgment: Any good moments, good memories of your father, John? Anything fun? Something you miss about him? Something about him you recognize in yourself? Do you sometimes think of him as his own person rather than in his capacity as your father? Did you like him, did you love him? Did you like him but not love him, did you love him but not like him?

    U

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    1. Too many questions.

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    2. Too many questions.

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    3. Ok, just one then, the one I omitted and hesitate to ask: Would you have liked to be a father?

      U

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    4. And you would have been wonderful.

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    5. You are a father in a way ... maybe just not the sort everyone is used to but you are a parent to small beings that need you.

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    6. I think I would have been good too, it's my biggest regret

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  21. In The Netherlands it is Father's Day as well. I have good memories of my dad, he was a friendly, caring and hard working man. Which didn't mean we hadn't our argues:-) We both share(d) the same kind of characters, reason for the occasional row, don't you think so? My father died 8 years ago and the strange thing is that I miss him more than I did shortly after his death.
    However, Father's Day doesn't mean anything to me, you'd better appreciate your parents throughout the year (as long as the deserve this of course).
    Enjoy the Sunday!

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  22. An anomaly was my father. He listened to opera but drove a cement truck. He grew up surrounded by traditional, village people, but ended up being interested in all things "new age". He could fix anything and re-engineered things to work better. He loved a good story and loved to laugh. He and my mother had a relationship that was long lasting but often times bitter and cutting. He was probably an alcoholic until I was about 12 years old then he quit drinking completely. His name was John, but to anyone from his youth, he was called Jack. My own children have no memory of him at all, but he had an ease with babies and held them in his huge hands while sitting in his favourite wooden rocking chair. -Jenn

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    1. Jenn that was all rather beautifully said

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  23. I have no memories at all of my father, he died when I was two.

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  24. My Dad is still with us. He was a very strong and dominant character and is mellowing with age. A bearded pipe smoker with a gruff voice. I have many memories of my childhood with him but one that sticks out in my mind is when my Mum told me that she and my Dad had stayed up late one Christmas eve whilst they made a fur trimmed red cape for my doll to be worn on Christmas day. I think my Dad did most of the making.

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  25. My dad is a very complex man. His own dad died when he was 18 months old so grew up without a father figure. My mum often used this an excuse for some of his behaviour. He was a hands on dad when my sister and I were small but as we grew he had no idea how to deal with us. My sister was often on the receiving end of his hand and anything he got hold of in his alcohol fueled rage. He often physically threw her out of the house and locked the doors. I would wait until he went the bathroom and let her back in. He had a stroke 10 years ago that altered his personality even more. He's in the early stages of dementia and frankly is pretty horrible to my mum. So far I'm still in favour but I don't visit often. But he's my dad and the only one I know

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    1. If only all of us could stop making bad memories for others eh?

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  26. I think of my father as someone who thought he was capable of repairing anything (rather than buying a new one) but always ended up hiding boxfuls of dismantled machinery in a dark place in the garage. He never threw anything away, including dead light bulbs, which he would carefully put them back in the original boxes (like I say, he never threw anything away) then put them in a cupboard in neat rows.

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    1. A nice memory can you smell those boxes too?

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    2. I can smell the garage. I can smell him too. He always wore nylon shirts.

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    3. I just knew you would, I smell things too when I remember

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  27. I returned to England to visit my Dad when he was hospitalized with pancreatic cancer in 1976 (at age 76). He died a couple of weeks later after I returned to the US. I'm always glad I went then while we could still converse and I could stop by M&S to pick up a few favorite things for him, such as rice pud! At that point he could eat very little. He had a sad childhood and never knew his own dad - was put into a kind foster home - and enjoyed being in the RAF during WWII where he met my Mum. Married life was hard after the war, they had very little, however worked hard and gave me a wonderful Devon childhood. I'm looking at old photos of my Dad today (Father's Day here too), and miss him a lot. He only visited here one time but really enjoyed it - returned to Torquay and stopped people on the street to tell them stories of his marvelous "holiday in America." He was a simple man, always wore a trilby hat, suit, tie and waistcoat, was highly respected, and always had a smile.

    To all the fathers out there - be special and loving to your children, give them good memories.

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    1. That was a lovely memory. Thank you for sharing.

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    2. Mary , your final sentence was nicely put

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    3. Mary, I had tears reading this, but happy.

      cheers, parsnip

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  28. My father died when I was a child. It was and still is one of the most painful and saddest experience of my life. It changed my world completely. It was the end of my childhood. I've written about it before:

    Click on this linked post title: The thing about fathers.

    I've never gotten over the loss but I've learned to live with it. It was the first great lesson on life that I still embrace and practice to this day: If you love someone, tell them. Everyday. Life is short. You never know when the end will come. So live every day as if it were your last.

    Happy Fathers Day to all you wonderful fathers out there. Your love means the world to us. Thank you for trying to be better people and for loving us. And to all the amazing mothers and others out there who had to step in and take on that father figure role, Thank You for loving us and doing your best. Thank you for trying to make life better.

    ...*.(@)*(@).*
    *.(@).(@).(@).*
    ...*.(@)*(@).*
    .........~|~
    .........\_/
    .........(_)
    .........(_)

    Happy Fathers Day.

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  29. MaggieB2:24 pm

    My special memory of my Dad was the one time I recollected being singled out for a treat. We were 5 girls growing up and 2more came along in my teens and I have no doubt we were all clambering for individual attention.

    My Dad’s normal workday was a standard 12 hour shift in a factory Monday to Friday. This particular spring day would certainly have been a Sunday and as a family we were walking through the nearby bluebell woods. I was approx 9 years of age and for the first and last time he lifted me up and over his shoulders and I rode into a clearing in the woods, on his shoulders. I was thrilled to see several girls from my school picnicking with their families there, and we all waved as we passed by. I felt so special that day. MaggieB

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    1. This read a like a little movie

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    2. Beautiful, little things mean so much.

      cheers, parsnip

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    3. MaggieB10:45 pm

      Yes, little things DO mean so much. This was 58 or 59 years ago! Best wishes to all, MaggieB

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  30. My Dad was my ''Rock''-I felt safe in the world with him around.He was a tall ,broad Italian who chain smojed & ladies liked him which concerned my mum.A generous man with a good heart x

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  31. I wish I could share a positive memory, but he deserted our family when I was about 5 yrs of age, never contacted us afterward or provided any financial assistance. I’ve had reason in my later adult years to wonder if he might have had PTSD since he served in Europe during WWI. Of course, in those days they used other terms like shell shock and had little understanding of the psychological effects of war and other traumas on many. I learned of his death after the fact from a relative when I was a high school senior. I was very angry with him for cheating me once again, as I had planned to learn his location and visit him — out of curiosity, just to see what sort of person he was and how he would respond to me. I’ve always felt an unfillable hole deep in my gut. Some men just don’t understand how important they are in a young girls life and their absence is sorely missed. Financial support doesn’t compensate either.

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    1. And some just have too many demons of their own....

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  32. My Dad had a nervous breakdown when i was 3 years old... Growing up i think of my father as a there but not there presence.. From what i've been told he was never the same man after the breakdown.. My older brothers knew a very different father.. One that took them hunting and fishing and snowskiiing.. They had a very difficult time accepting this new man... The man i knew had extreme highs and lows... Took a long time to convince him he could not drink alcohol with his medication... YOu would often find him sitting in a chair smoking one cigarette after another... one leg crossed over the other.... Often in his own little world.. My favorite Dad memory.. is the one day in my early teens when he roused himself enough to take me down to the stables and rented horses for us and we went horseback riding... Rode them up to the lake and into the water.. I hold that memory near and dear in my heart.. Hugs! deb

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    1. Just for that day he connected with you and probably felt so good

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  33. My mother had me at a very young age and I think it made my childhood much more special, being around her young sisters and brother. my grandparents could have been my parents ! I adored my dad .. we lived near the beach and I have such memories of him walking into the surf with me on his shoulders, keeping me from being afraid of the water .. drowning :)
    He spent hours helping me learn to ride a bike and he gave me my first lecture on boyfriends. How to handle them.
    He was pretty much the perfect Daddy.
    Actually, with a few changes here and there, he still is :)

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  34. What I cherish most about my dad is that he didn't have a great example in my grandfather who was abusive, but he took a different route in his life. The more the years pass I realize this more and frankly stand in awe that he, although never outwardly affectionate, loved us deeply. It did not come naturally to him, and I love him all the more for that.

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    1. I think you go just one way or the other

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  35. My dad used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to me when I was little. I still can't hear that song without choking up. Unfortunately, they've been using it in television commercials a lot lately and it always catches me off guard.

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    1. As usually is the comments that outweigh the blog entry

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  36. My father came home from work, expected his dinner to be ready, then sat with it on a tray in front of the television at 7pm to watch Cliff Michelmore on 'Tonight'. We had to shut up or go out to play. He drank and smoked himself into an early grave. I wish I had had a nice dad.

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  37. My husband and my sons-in-law are magnificent fathers. About my own and my stepfather I have nothing to say that would befit a comment here.

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  38. My dad adored me. I felt like I was the sun in his life. I had the security of knowing I could count on my parents. My brother (four years older) and I were adopted as infants and were the best things that ever happened to them (from my point of view). My other was closer to my brother and my dad to me. I had an idyllic childhood. When I was 39 my mother died and a few months later my father died.
    A couple of years after that my brother died. All three died from cancers. I’m now 71 and rarely think of any of them, but when I do it is my father I miss the most.

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  39. My father died last year at age 90, over 60 years after his "best by" date.

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  40. Dad has been gone 13 years this October and I prefer to remember him n his younger days as, as years progressed, he became a little 'difficult'. I remember always being welcome where ever he was doing a job on the property...whether it was repair work, or animal husbandry, or farm work. He was always glad to show you how to do something and explain how it worked. Dad was a great nature lover. I recall being dragged out of bed on a frigid winter night to see the Northern Lights...and another cold winter day being trudged down to the far end of the farm to see a Snnowy Owl that had wandered a bit far from its normal habitat. I remember his wacky sense of humour which I seem to have inhereited (for better or worse) and I remember him playing his harmonica in the evenings (blue skirt waltz, tennessee waltz, string of pearls). He was artistic and funny and hard working and I miss him like crazy.

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    1. Children remember a parent going that EXTRA MILE it reinforces how important they are

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  41. My dad died when I was a young adult. My memory of him has faded over the years. He was brusque and had a temper and I was afraid of him. Over the years he mellowed a bit, but not a lot. I only saw him shed a tear once, and that is when we had to put our dog down. The story you wrote of your dad was touching. Thank you for helping me to think of my dad on this day. Take care...

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  42. Anonymous4:16 pm

    What can i say about my dear dad? I certainly wouldnt be where i am without him and dread the day we must say goodbye. Taught me to swim. Taught me to ride my bike. Picked me up at 3am from my first nights out as a teenager. The most intelligent and best man i know. I am lucky for sure

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  43. Never knew my father. He left my mom for another woman shortly after I was born. Mom moved out-of-the-state to California and didn’t want his name mentioned. He never reached out to me, so I never saw a photo or heard his voice. THEN, when I was in my mid-twenties, mom called to say he died. That meant nothing to me as he was a stranger, but she wanted me to go to his funeral in Oklahoma. I said I wasn’t putting myself out, that if the Oklahomans wanted me there, they would have to reach out to me. Shortly after, she said they'd sent me a plane ticket. I met aunts, uncles, stepbrothers, two stepsisters. Oldest stepsister met me at the airport and first thing I asked was to see what my father looked like. She took me to funeral home. So first and last time I saw my dad was in his casket. Oldest stepsister wanted a relationship, but I came away bitter for a while because all the steps had been sent to college and had material wealth, while I had been raised up poor, struggling and my life was still a struggle. Consequently, I never kept up with my father’s side of the family. Didn’t help when I later learned Mom had tricked me into going. They did not send for me, she bought the ticket. I eventually put it all behind me and was satisfied in seeing my dad's other family were not all that attractive, that I myself was his prettiest child. Vanity was my cure for bitterness.

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    1. This is a powerful, honest post. My husband has a slightly similar story. His birth father died two months ago. He felt nothing & certainly why should he have? He did not reach out to his bio dad's second family as he had no interest. Fortunately, his mother did not push him to do so.

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    2. Upon reflection I realize I called my dad's other family "steps". Since they were all his children, that makes them half-brothers half-sisters.

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    3. So many sad stories here today. I hope writing them has been in some way cararthic

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  44. My father was a boy in '45. He was a wiley teen here in SF in the 50s.

    I have a memory of 'shaving' with my father on weekend mornings. I'd take the shaving brush filled with soap and move it all over my face as he'd done. I'd then move a butter knife down my cheek while standing on the toilet seat in order to peer into the mirror near to where Dad stood. It was a fun, little ritual.

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    1. Rituals in family life are as important as breathing

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  45. I had a rather fractious relationship with my father over the years but you know, he's been gone now for about 14 years and I'd give almost anything just to spend an afternoon with him again.

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    1. I think many of us wish that when we wear our more mature heads

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  46. My dad was part of the 1st wave that landed on the beaches of Normandy. He and his division then mostly walked the rest of the way to Germany. Was in the US Infantry and lost most of his close friends. Dad would not discuss the war...ever. But the last few months that he was alive, out of the blue, he quietly opened up and began telling me some of those stories. I guess he figured I was finally old enough to hear them or maybe he just had to finally let them go. Some of those stories have kept me up night but I'm grateful he trusted me to hear. With our Mom (who was a handful...but that's another story) he brought up four girls and taught us all how to sing, dance like no one is watching, laugh, and be independent. I was unbelievably lucky to have such a dad. He passed away two months ago just shy of his 98th birthday. I held his hand and wished him a safe journey, hopefully this time with wings. Today has been a tough day. Smiling through tears.

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    1. Beautifully written . And remembered

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  47. My dad died about 10 years ago. I admired him, but he neither loved me nor liked me.

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    1. I don't know? I wasn't a boy? I wasn't cute? Not lovable? He is gone now anyway.

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    2. Not knowing is painful ...is it not?

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    3. At this point my reaction is to say I don't care, but I suppose I am deluding myself. His most famous vicious remark, one among millions, was when we had invited my parents to visit us in Brooklyn [in our big NYC loft, so proud of our new home] and I made a special dinner, after which we announced that I was pregnant with my first child. Dad stared at me and finally said, I think that's a really bad idea. You'll ruin your career and besides, you'll be a terrible mother. Kaboom. No champagne toast, as you can imagine. And remember, the baby was already there/ here/ on its way.

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    4. Liz, I am a big advocate of counselling. ..it's a place to park your crap.....your dad was an arsehole x

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    5. Thank you for your kindness, John. LOL It might be ME! I went to therapy for awhile...the woman, who had reinvented herself by spelling her name backwards, as if I were Yzzil or you Hnoj---- heaved a big annoyed sigh and said, I'm bored with your bitching and moaning. [yes, I m prissy and the word bitch offended me, unprofessional]. I got up and said, I hope you don't expect to paid for this session, goodbye. End of time wasting therapy/ counseling. I have two wonderful children, good friends, and despite health issues, a life I love in an amazing beloved place , and a sweet little pug companion dog. I paint and knit and make quilts. I write my blog, I read, I cook, I walk on the beach. Life is good.

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    6. Anonymous7:25 am

      Wow... Liz. I bough to you. And will try to take a leaf out of your book of life. Respect.
      Elsewhere from amsterdam

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  48. John, I loved my Dad dearly. I was an afterthought, born when my Mum was forty four and had an elder sister twenty two years older than me and a brother eleven years older than me. What they must have thought when I arrived I can't imagine. But my Dad took me everywhere - searching for a cataloguing birds nests, wild flowers, butterflies and moths. We spent hours roaming the fields and lanes of rural Lincolnshire.
    Then when I was older he read Poetry to me and together we learned it off by heart - and so began my love of Poetry.
    Dad died in the early seventies, just six months after Mum. I still miss him every day.

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    1. He sounded lovely weave

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    2. He sounded lovely weave

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  49. My father loved our mother and once I accidentally caught him sweet talking to my mom before going away on a job (he illiterate & took jobs as a ranch hand, miner, firefighting). He didn't show his affection for us much but the occasions that he did, I remember. He harangued us about our future over meals which we hated but I remember his words because both parents died before I graduated high school. It's his words that drove me to continue school so that I could be self sufficient. Now I can work with my hands as well as use my mind to work. I'm retired now with a good pension.

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    1. I guess he prepared you for life on your own. As all good parents should

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  50. My Dad was a wonderful hardworking man, who allowed my mum to raise us 4 (later 5) kids as catholics despite being quite averse to religion but ended up having to do one heck of a lot of driving and running round as a result, never moaned once. He instilled my love of motorbikes in me, and once came to rescue me when my bike wouldn't start 80 miles away and just gave me a wry smile when he flicked a (very obvious) killer switch on the ignition and it started straight away and when I grovelled my apology he said he was landed to have had a chance for a nice bike ride on a summer's evening and led me back home the scenic route avoiding the M4 motorway. He took me away (aged 20) as pillion passenger when he and his very blokey mates went off to Holland for a boy's trip to the Dutch TT (we had an absolute ball!). Ill health cruelly limited his full life from his early 50's and I ended up being his main carer. A tough time but a privelige.

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    1. Another lovely tribute

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  51. My dad left us when I was two and had no further contact. I tracked him down in my teens but he was abusive and had abandoned my half brother too. In my twenties I asked him if he would like to meet my children but he declined. My half brother died young of alchoholism which I largely put down to him being abandoned by our dad. A few years ago I heard that my dad had died and I felt relief and closure at last.

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  52. Where to start . . .make it easy. My dad was the kindest, gentlest, funniest human being ever.
    He could do most things in the house apart from ironing but he made lovely stews and pies. He adored children but they only had me as my sister died as a baby. My children were his angels and they also loved him back. My mum said they broke the mould when they made him and I agree. I count myself the luckiest person to have had him and I just wish he was here today he would have loved my grand children and great grandchildren. Love Andie xxx

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  53. My dad loved to sit around the table and tell stories of when he grew up. It was the favorite part of my day when he was home. Sometimes my mom and brother would go to bed but I would still be there listening. Often there was a cribbage board in the mix . . .

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    1. Oral stories are rather magical when told well. My father wasn't a storyteller but my mother was

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  54. My dad is 85 and worked all his life in a weaving mill. He now has tinnitus and cold, probably due to that. He has aspergers and is quite "emotionally unavailable" but it matters not. I am his only child and I love him unconditionally.
    He taught me to get up every day, go to work, don't complain and find your pleasures where you can.
    He's so difficult to talk with. He sees the world differently. He has just been diagnosed with oral cancer and is having an operation shortly.
    I was very upset when I got home from taking him to the hospital and explained to my husband that dad didn't seem upset at all. My husband summed him up, "He sees the operation as an engineering problem, he will be ok."

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    1. That should read copd not cold.

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    2. I love the fact you understand his limitations

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  55. My father was a kind and generous man. He and my mother divorced (her choice) when I was a young parent, and it was the best thing for him as she had been critical and unkind to him for many years. He had his faults (don't we all?) but in his later years we were extremely close, especially after his stroke when he was paralyzed on one side and had to live in a nursing home. He became my child in a way, as well as my father, and it made it extremely hard to lose him. He passed away three years ago just a couple of weeks after Father's Day and his birthday (which always fell close to Father's Day). I remember laughing with him at times until tears ran down our faces and we couldn't talk.

    It has struck me more than once how many of your readers had very unhappy upbringings. I feel incredibly lucky mine was happy. I wish everyone could have had the solid foundation that is provided by loving parents who believe in their children.

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  56. Think of the demographic . I think that may have something to do with things

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  57. Even the short comments mean a lot to the persons who made the short comments. I know mine did and even if it did not share a long story it meant a lifetime of difference to me.

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    1. The honesty here is incredibly moving x

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  58. "Our" dad was one of the good "uns.
    When mum and dad divorced he raised me from four years old, with little or no help.
    He was a smart, kind, and caring man, a brilliant motor-mechanic, and could fix anything that broke around the house.
    He used to sing Al Jolson songs to me, "Climb Upon My Knee Sunny Boy", even though I was a girl, those songs made me feel loved.
    He left this earth much too early at 58 years young, I 'spect God needed a good mechanic....
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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  59. Barbara Anne7:19 pm

    I was born when my father was 40 yet he taught me to do cartwheels and to stand on my head and he must have been nearly 50 by then! He told corny jokes, taught me to draw house plans and a cube, had a wonderful laugh, could fix almost anything, and was a hard worker. He didn't cuss and he could cook (from a box of "Scratch" - bad joke). He has been gone 35 years but I did see him once after he died. He was standing beside me in church as we were singing a hymn and in my peripheral vision, there he was, rocking back and forth, heels to toes, as he always did while singing. I tried so hard not to blink.

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    1. BA
      The importance of silliness .......how wonderful

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  60. Dad liked treacle sandwiches. Dad showed me how to develop Kodak films in a dark room. Dad taught me how to drive. Dad was so proud that I followed in his footsteps and became a teacher. Dad died in 1979. I still miss him.

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    1. YP , you have touched upon an important thing here
      The power of a parent teaching their child......

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  61. Some people handle whatever their childhood lacked primarily by finding ways to heal, and I applaud that. A few who's parents were less than stellar did that and also used it to become more sensitive to what others need to be happy and well. John,I place you in the second category. You are so kind and nurturing to people and animals that most cannot help but love you.
    My father would include me in conversations others wouldn't think a teen-aged girl could contribute anything valuable to. He made it obvious that he admired my intellect and valued my opinions. That taught me to accept nothing less from the guys that wanted to date or marry me. One especially precious gift he made for me was a jewelry box. He gave it to me on Valentine's Day when I was sixteen. I still have it.-Mary

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    1. No false modesty ..I agree with you.....when you are touched by a difficult time and have some insight you just know where to go

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  62. My father came home from work very tired but still find time to play with us, his three children. One Friday evening we were playing hide and seek and we could not find him after having searched high and low and calling out for him to come out of his hiding place and our mum had to help us look for him. We eventually found him in the coal shack, behind a coal heap, and he was fast asleep.
    Greetings Maria x

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  63. My Daddy adored and loved me. I have a memory about 4 of him taking me to a union meeting and I enjoyed donuts 🍩 and sweet coffee there. He was a good provider. Mamma said he was hard on my brothers but with me being a baby girl with thick black curls he showed me off. We would go to the market and get a pork souce sandwich with chips. We would spend time talking every day. He saved me from my Mother. I still call out to my Daddy! I miss him deeply. Last memory, I had studied hard that semester at university at 28. I asked my Daddy to take us to the ocean on Spring break. I drove 500 miles to Tennessee where I’m from and he drove the additional 12 hours to get there. Me and the children loved it. Daddy didn’t feel well but never told me no. I love him! Gabs😅

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    1. I love the way that the small memory of a type of sandwich and the fact you had a donut means so much too.... quite lovely

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  64. I lost my dad a year ago today. I worshipped him as a child. When he lost mum 22years ago he never got over it. He refused to move on it got progressively worse Sadly his stubborness killed him. He fell and didnt tell us. He was on blood thinners and a clot formed in his brain. He was hospitalised and I had to push the young stupid doctor to agree quality of life would be poor if he survived. He was paralysed. I told him I loved him . He died if aspiration pneumonia caused by Tube going in his lungs and feed going in. His care was shite. I was crying at his bedside and the only person to show kindness was the tea lady. If I sound bitter John I am. I miss him but he had become very bitter. He never to have me fork stopping him driving. The state of his car when we got it out of the garage was a mass of dents.
    If you have your dad's cherish them. I am off to Paris for my 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I will light a candle for him.

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    1. Bad care must spark the terrible of pain like a knife. It also leaves you continually angry and upset.
      I have seen this a few times during my career.
      And it hurts
      So sorry xx

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  65. Sorry terrible English :(

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  66. My Dad is a very quiet, very hard working man. I've never heard him swear, and can count the number of times I've heard him raise his voice on one hand. We lived in a large town, and Dad hated it. Every opportunity he got he would take us into the countryside, fishing, crabbing, hunting for slow worms in the woods. He taught us about birds and insects and plants and trees. Today, I feel blessed that he is hear to teach my grandchildren the same things. Also a John, but always known as Jack.

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    1. Nyree, the quiet ones have more punch sometimes... my grandad was the same.......
      Good luck for the change next week x

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    2. Thank you John -I am thinking of a new name :o)

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    3. To me you will always be the Prof's PA
      I shall mss you

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    4. At least I'll get let off the ironing :o)

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    5. BEYOND the job description ..I can't believe you did that

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  67. TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SHARED FEELINGS AND MEMORIES
    Thank you all for being so honest and braver, there is a lot of honesty here xxxxx

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  68. I never really appreciated my father until much later in life. We never saw eye-to-eye on anything. But since he, and I, are much older now I can calmly see that he was and is an incredible human being. He is almost 102 years old now and can carry on a conversation with anyone. Incredible because his wife, my mother, was not well for most of their marriage......bipolar disease it is called now. He could have run to the hills but chose to work his butt off 6 days a week to bring up 9 kids. Mind you the older kids did a lot of lifting to help him but it was under his constant guidance. I think he accomplished raising a great family, all things considered, because he wasn't a complicated man. Saw him yesterday at his Veteran's Hospital home. He was happy he could read his paper once again after cataract surgery one week ago.

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    1. Jimbo, that photo of him smiling in his chair was lovely

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  69. Linda P.11:32 pm

    My relationship with my dad was complicated. He loved my mother dearly, always, and that was probably the best gift he could have given us, especially us girls. We bonded over calculus and physics, and he was so proud when I asked for homework help and even prouder that I was excelling and chose a physics major in college. He let me climb up on the roof and help him lay shingles. He taught me to unlock the gears in the old manual Studebaker that was my first car. But, I knew to lock the bathroom, always, when I went in to bathe. I begged my younger sister to let me close the bedroom door each night in our shared bedroom but we had no air conditioning, and the attic fan wouldn't draw without the door being open. I was always, always the first person awake each morning as he was an early riser, too, and I didn't want him waking me. Nothing happened to me, other than his barging into the bathroom when I was bathing. Nothing happened to me. That's not true for all my sibs, though, I have learned. He was bigoted, and we had many arguments about that. And then we had to make the decision, all four of us sibs, whether to withdraw life support when he had had yet another stroke and heart attack. I think we banded together and made the decision he would have wanted as he had extracted a promise from each of us that he would never be put on life support in the first place. But that's a tough decision when you have complex feelings for a parent. Then, several years after his death, I was standing in a grocery store line, and spotted a man who looked like my dad's double, and I felt this rush of affection before I remembered that wasn't my dad. I felt I had healed a lot then.

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  70. My dad was my hero when I was a little girl, but he abandoned us for another woman, I was so hurt for years by his complete lack of communication once custody was decided... My brother(who was supposed to be in his custody) and I bridged that gap once we were 18 and 19. There was never a true coming together again and some very troubling incidents... My last communication to him was my hope that he would raise his latest offspring through her whole childhood, a feat he had not accomplished with any of his other five known children. He did... When he was dying he asked my brother not to tell me until he was gone and buried... My stepdad died the following year, he was a real loving man, we all still miss him seven years later.

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  71. My father was a product of (a) his upbringing - wealthy but cared for by staff and (b) the war. He was alcoholic but dry most of the time and kind and intelligent although somewhat distant. My parents were separated during my early childhood, and I only met him when they reunited when I was 8. At which point I was sent to boarding school. Mother had her hands full sorting him out, without coping with me and two half-brothers (his first wife had died when the boys were toddlers). I felt sorry for him, alcoholism is a dreadful disease, constantly gnawing at the sufferer and making everyone's life uneasy. I never felt really close to him, both because of his personality and most likely because we had never 'bonded' at a young age. My model of "Father" is a friend's wonderful father, in whose home I spent many happy hours during my university years. He was a hands-on dad, he could sew the girls dresses, cook, clean, taxi drive (!) and was emotionally warm and smiley. In the end, I had to work through the family I was born into and 'connect the dots' to learn about a better model!!

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  72. My Dad was lovely. I was lucky to have a gentle, quiet and caring father who shared my love of quiet books and still moments. He loved his family and friends and was loyal and kind to all with never a unkind word to anyone. He worked hard to provide for his family juggling three jobs when I was a kid, but never complaining.

    The memory that always sticks with me was when I was a little girl and had trouble sleeping, of him leading me to the kitchen in the wee small hours. He would warm up a cup of warm milk and sit with me while I drunk it and gave me a biscuit, talking gently to me while he rubbed his tired eyes in his wrinkled pyjamas. Then tucking me into bed so that I would fall back asleep.

    Even though he couldn't say he loved me - I know he loved me from everything he did and shared with me his whole life. He died two years ago and I miss him every day.

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  73. Hello John:

    My father, like yours, was in World War II. He was in the 101st Airborne Division and was wounded on the beach at Normandy.

    What I remember the most about my father as a kid was his pipe smoking hobby. I would carefully watch him as he indulged.

    Sadly, my father passed away in 1994. I miss him greatly.

    PipeTobacco

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  74. I'd like to acknowledge my step-father who was born in the USA of Japanese parents who emigrated here when they were young. Dad came into my life when I was a slightly rebellious 13 year old. He was 45 and had spent his life caring for his widowed mother and younger siblings on a potato farm in Montana. He was a blessing to me. When I was going to college at age 32 with my two children only 2 and 3 and a half. John was on dialysis mon, wed, Friday. My husband's job changed to day shift and I was going to quit college because there wasn't day care available like there is now. John told me to go to school on Tues and Thursday and he would babysit for me. He loved taking them to the grocery store when he babysat, where everyone stared at this short Japanese man holding hands with two little blonds calling him "Gwanpa" while they picked out grapes and candy.

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  75. Even though my Daddy died many years ago in 1968, I still miss him every day. He taught my sis and I so many useful things, how to change a tire, how to cut down a Christmas tree, how to plant a veg garden, and many more things. He was always so patient and understanding with us and with my Mom who was an alcoholic. He was also very reserved and undemonstrative; the only hug I remember from him in my life was when he was in hospital after a bad accident, and when I left after visiting him he gave me a hug from his hospital bed. I was a teenager then and I've never forgotten it. Love you, Daddy, I never told you that back then.

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  76. Coming in late to this conversation... Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads who are celebrated today (and everyday)
    My Dad died of a heart attack the month after I turned 13.. he was 41! It was such a shock to us, my mother and brother aged 4yrs. I was present when he was dying and it was terrible and had a profound effect on me and the funeral even worse! However I had been his shadow doing all the stuff around the garden and the car so these became my responsibility and I always felt him close when I was doing the mowing with the dreaded pull cord Victa mower or washing & polishing our car.. and cars have been a shared passion to present day for me. His nickname for me was Petal and at nearly 70 years I can still see his face. I missed him terribly until my mother passed in 2004... now they are together - somehow then I could think of him without longing because my mother suffered so much in losing him changing her into a remote and unhappy person she would at last find peace.

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  77. I posed a long blog entry about a father I didn't know.

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