In my thoughts, I have repeatedly penned these small reflections of our Father. It is challenging to know where to commence writing so many heartfelt memories and lessons taught by our father
My two sisters’ and I always refer to him as ‘Daddy’. He was a tall, handsome, kind, compassionate, and gentle man that never failed to grace those he came in contact with a smile that would light up a room. He was a man of few words but when he spoke the words brought forth wisdom and a reason to stop and listen. Daddy was not a formally educated man; primary school is when he stopped attending. He was needed on the ranch to assist with the daily chores. His father died when he was 21 years of age leaving his mother even more dependent on her youngest son.
We were told that he and our mother could dance away the night. In fact, he taught me how to properly do the waltz before attending a Father/ Daughter dance. He taught about courage, how to overcome broken dreams and a crippled body after surviving a stroke in his late thirties. Daddy was proud to be one of the American’s who had the privilege of defending this great country. Our possessions were to be respected and cared for just as he did with everything he had or did whether that was his well-manicured yard, the woodwork he crafted, his cars or our home or the patients he cared for in a long term care facility. He had a work ethic that was one to be admired and followed.
He loved his family of origin that resided in Colorado; you sensed his enduring yearning to be closer to them after our little family settled in Montana. He was always patient and loving as my sisters and I grew into womanhood, married and had our own children. His grandchildren were the highlight of his life. There were eleven total and now there are soon to be 17 great grandchildren. I can still see his face light up when his grandchildren would be in his presence. I often wonder what he would think knowing he now has so many great grandchildren. I am saddened that they will never get to experience is unconditional love and gentle hugs. I still hold tight in my heart a hug I received from him during one of the deepest darkest times of my life. With tears streaming down his checks he held me tight and told me it grieved him deeply to know how much I was hurting. I know the reason I never have been angry with God is because my earthly Father was kind, gentle, forgiving and loved unconditionally just like our Heavenly Father.
I am so grateful that my sisters, Connie, Peggy and I were chosen to be his daughters, If I could talk to him I would say Daddy, you would be so proud of your grandchildren, who have all grown to be fine young men and women and are passing on many traits of your legacy to your great grandchildren . You are missed more and more as time passes. I still yearn for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
Thank you for being you and always being present, especially during our formative years. I yearn to be little again, if just for a little while.
I love you, Daddy
Until we meet again.