My Father | #MyFridayStory No. 115

My Father | #MyFridayStory No. 115

There was a time when I was younger, I can remember being embarrassed about my father.

I’m sure most children go through a phase where they feel embarrassed about their parents. The most common period is during our later teens and can last until our mid-30s. The teen years are the more obvious problem years. As young adults start to gather their own thoughts and opinions about the world, they start to test their theories and share their views.

This can be an especially trying time for parents. Reasoning with someone whose hormones are in overdrive can be challenging. The views expressed by parents are considered old-fashioned and out-of-touch by the current generation. Young adults soon become negative towards everything their parents represent. Disdain starts to creep into how they treat their parents.

My Father was 40 years old when I was born. I was the last born of four siblings. I have an older brother 11 years my senior, and two middle sisters, 3 years and 5 years older than me. My Dad served in World War II and married my Mom shortly after the end of the war. The years immediately after the war were especially difficult for many people trying to rebuild their lives.

Men, in particular, felt the need to work hard to take care of their families. The factories, mines and industries that sprung up were hungry for compliant hard workers. The phrase, “Children should be seen and not heard” became common in many households. Although this might have held true to some degree for my Father, his true character always shone through.

My Dad loved cooking good wholesome food. He loved eating it even more. I remember being embarrassed about how messy he was when he ate.

I would give anything to see him again.

With a napkin tucked into the front of his shirt, he used a combination of his hands, his own pocket knife and a fork to eat. He would load up his fork with little bits of each item on his plate and savour each bite. Around his mouth, he glistened with the remnants of his feast. And every now and then, he let out a little yelp of pleasure, saying something like:

“Yah! A meal fit for a king!”

Author John Powers talks fondly of his grandfather, a bus driver for the city of Chicago. Passengers on his route would pass up other busses just to be on his. “It was like a moving party!” he quips.Many years later, people still come up to John and say, “I remember your grandfather. I used to catch his bus. He was the highlight of my day! Imagine that?

What a wonderful way to be remembered.

My Dad was like that. Folks who met my Father and spent a few minutes with him, whether your first time or your 1000th, would leave the encounter better off. On meeting you he was always immediately engaging, brandishing his debonair smile and a warm greeting.

Many remember him for his larger-than-life-character, others for his great listening skills. But he wasn’t only good at listening, his knowledge and experience from travelling around the world made him an exceptional conversationalist. This skill he practised whenever, wherever and with whomever, he could. From cleaners and bank tellers to apprentices and executives, my Dad loved striking up conversations with people.

Looking back, I realise how shallow I was to have ever been embarrassed by my Father. I don’t look back and think of anything except his legacy of love and sharing happiness with everyone he met.

What a wonderful way to be remembered.

Have an awesome weekend! 😄

Merry Christmas! 🎅 

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