I feel blessed to still have my Dad in my life; and I’m happy he is able to hear my tribute while he is alive and in good health. So Dad, this is for you. Happy Fathers Day.
Until I had kids of my own, I didn’t fully appreciate growing up with a Christian father. That was just how it was. I didn’t know there were dads out there who drank away the food money, never came home, or abused their families. Dad provided for our family with a steady paycheck, came home for dinner every night, and unconditionally loved us. We never doubted his love. He was, and still is, ever loyal and dependable.
I don’t think Dad was ever unemployed until he retired. He had a real strong work ethic and each of us kids married hard working spouses. He didn’t talk about it, he just quietly demonstrated it.
Dad cheerfully woke us up most mornings singing. As you know, I’m not a morning person, so this is not what I wanted to hear as I reluctantly left dreamland. Though today, I remember it fondly and almost miss it.
On the weekends, one of our favorite pastimes was to go to Washington Park and feed the ducks, a tradition I continued with my own children (and will someday do with my grand babies). Throughout the week, we gathered stale bread in anticipation of our next trip to the park. Afterwards, we would go to the local A&W drive-in for a frosty mug of root beer.
Dad also played a ‘mean’ alligator, a game we must have made up. While Dad was ‘napping on the floor’ (It just occurred to me that he was pretending to nap because who would nap on the floor?) we made a pathway using our XL building blocks as stepping-stones. The object was to stay on the blocks. If we fell into the swamp, the ‘alligator’ would capture us. Last one standing on the blocks won. I don’t think I ever won the game. Being captured in Dads arms was better than winning.
In Swedish tradition, we spent every Christmas Eve with Dad’s (Hasselblad) side of the family. Then very early Christmas morning, Dad drove eight hours to Mom’s (Tweter) parents in Arcadia, Nebraska (population 436). Dad, Gramma and Grampa always had a scrabble face-off. We played every imaginable board game; some of them made up by Grampa, and relaxed the entire holiday week.
My dad is like the Bible Answer Man. He’s read through the scriptures more times than anyone I know (30?). If I have a question I can’t find in my concordance, or on www.biblegateway.com, I call him up and he knows exactly where it is. Dad is also a great man of prayer and prays for each family member by name.
Dad had an amazing relationship with my maternal grandmother. He cherished her like his own mother and she loved him like her only son. In fact, she lived with my parents for the last ten years of her life. I guess that’s why I wasn’t overly concerned when my mother-in-law moved in with us. Dad is a man of few words. He leads by example.
If I recounted all the fond memories I have of my dad it would take too long and I want to get this posted since it’s already late. My latest special memory occurred just this month at my daughters wedding, a day of firsts: my first daughter to marry, the first family member to dance at their wedding (we had a very conservative upbringing) and my first dance with my father. Since my husband I didn’t dance at our wedding, I missed the father/daughter dance. Almost 24 years later, at Bethany’s wedding, Dad asked me to dance. I was so surprised I didn’t savor the moment. So Dad, I have just one request, at the next wedding, will you save me a dance? *