Monday, June 17, 2013

Of a quiet Father's Day~~~~

Father's Day Darklings,

For those of us who are lucky that have/had wonderful, supportive fathers, "Father's Day" is a great day to acknowlege the man who helped raise you, guided you, protected you even after you flew out on your own.

At least from a girl's point of view.

From a Boy's point of view he's the man that at first we want to emulate, then dispise because he's interfering, and then later go to for advice and information, and in the twilight of his life share a beer and laugh at embarssing situations.

But for those who never had a Father like that, Father's Day can be a horrible joke.   Mother's Day can be like that as well.

It all depends on how fortunate or unfortunate one is in their parents.

My siblings and I were fortunate.  Dad survived WWII came home, raised a family, cuddled and cared for his wife our Mother.   She was the girl he wanted to come home to.

He was humble but brave, never once were we spanked,  well Brother Dear did get punished on occasion, but if we were out of line Mother would have us go to our room and then when Dad got home, she would tell him of our transgressions, we'd come down into the living room, waited while Mother was laying out our "sins" and then sit down while Dad asked "Why did you do or say that?"  and we had to defend ourselves.

When we were little under the age of 7 the response was usually "I don't know" or "I don't know how that happened" or "I didn't do it"  For the last two it was always clear that we were somehow involved.  And Dad always decided on the punishment, sometimes consulting with Mom about it.

Because of how we were brought up we had respect for our parents, we worked at making them proud of us, but we were also instructed that if we transgressed it was best to be honest about it.   It got to the point where if something looked tempting but wrong we'd ask ourselves "What would Mom and Dad say?"   That made us think about our actions and our responsilities.   Something that is much harder to instill into children these days but it can be done. 

My brother and sister are examples of that,  even if my brother has 3 boys who are complete hellions.   My sister-in-law has said that many a time with those boys it's like driving a troika or 3 horse coach, all three need to pull and work together and it takes a skilled coachman to do it.

But this Father's day was a quiet one for me.

The evening before I had Coralline sleep over, and sure enough she fell asleep in my bed as we watched "King Kong Escapes" on Svengoolie, but we did have a chance to remark about the interesting clothes the evil woman was wearing.   So we slept together in my bed and I was greatful for the company although Belladonna was puzzeled why she had to sleep at the foot of the bed since Doyle wasn't there, but made the best of it.

The next morning we had brunch at our favorite resteraunt, although it was crowded with families for Father's Day and many more going to the Ball game at the Coliseum,  because of that I decided to take the backroads to her parents place, and it was fun.  Coralline likes to take the scenic route if there's time, so do I. 

After dropping her off I kissed my Brother and sister-in-law good bye, I felt I needed quiet time, so Belladonna and I drove to a near by Safeway and picked up a deli sandwhich and drink, a small flag and flowers and we went to the cemetery where Dad and Mom are buried.  It was mild weather, so with a small umbrella, our lunch, a blanket,  I spent a little time with Dad and Mom  placing the flag and flowers on their grave and thought about all the years with them. 

I remember the time Mom got into a fight with a big trucker that dented the car and she a little thing, started verbally going after that man hammer and tongs and Dad picking her up and throwing her over his shoulder saying to the man "Wait here I'll be right back"  The man was surprised with Dad's actions but when Dad got Mom back to the car he said to her "Toots, don't start something I can't finish";  while Mom's mouth was agape, he went back to the man and they exchanged insurance info.  Dad was tall and wirey, and this trucker was Big and burly.  I had a feeling that Dad would have been on the losing end of a physical fight, but he did know his psychological way around, and got a positive response from the man and the man's insurance did pay for the damage.  

In many ways Dad reminded me of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird".   He made decent money and we never wanted for anything but we made things last,  Dad could do many repairs to the cars we had, he did repairs around the house, but he also acknowledge when something was beyond his ablity, he and Mom handled the finances together discussing bills and savings.  

And this was in front of us children, we were never excluded, that kitchen table saw "High fiance", math problems, english essays, "gourmet" dinners of meat loaf and stew,  family counseling, dealing with grief and loss and family fun.

I remembered one time it was a hot day and we were in Gilroy, we had parked to get lunch but the car would not start.  Dad fiddled under the hood, and then came out from under and said "It's an air lock, we'll have to wait a bit."  and we did for 30 minutes, then the car started just fine.  But cars were simplier then.

And his reaction when he came home and Mother announced to him that she had "burnt the refrigerator".   That is a long story I'll save for another time.

Then the sun dipped a little lower, it got a little cooler, so I raised my bottle of Sierra Mist and said "Thank You Dad, for being You."

Now I will go into work later today, my Boss called me early and said he needed to have the afternoon covered so if I would come in later he would take me home at days end.  An equiable arrangement.

Later Darklings


  1. Sounds like you had a great dad. I wish I'd known mine better.

  2. Such sweet memories you share. And the time you shared with Coralline sounds just as sweet:)