Tell a story about your father.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Novenotes : One Thread
Tell a story about your father.--Al
-- Al Schroeder (email@example.com), March 29, 2000
That towering godlike man who inhabited my just barely aware years, or later encouraged me to go to Boy Scouts, collect stamps, take part in the summer reading programs, who, in the summer would take Mom and I on rides in the country, or all day trips into the mountains, the man who got up picnics with family or people who he worked with ? The man who seemed to grow shorter as I grew taller but seemed to be wiser the older I got. He loved my Mom and treated her as a full partner as well as showing his love for her in many ways. Any one who loved my Mom was A1 in my book, especially if he was my Dad.
He did not want me to go to work at the company he worked at, and for a long time I didn't understand. After watching him work undercover helping to form a Union where he worked I began to understand his reasoning. While in school I began to read what I could find on the Labor affairs, and the problems the working man had surviving. There were times I worked non-union when union work was unavailable but always went to a union job as soon as I could. In later years there began to be books detailing things like the Ludlow Massacre. I read that book to Dad in his wheel chair. He told me that as a 10 year old boy he worked in a plant that manufactured ice boxes doing work of a man, being paid as a boy. My Dad was proud of me, which made me love him all the more. He raised me and taught me honesty, honor, respect - - - - all the good things we are supposed to be, and he taught it mostly by example. He died in 1978 but has stayed alive in my memories and in my children, my oldest boy will be 56 this June and is a better man than I am and his Grandpa would pop the buttons off his shirt about him. He is my Dad, he was alive but is still with me.
-- Denver doug (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 29, 2000.
I want to make a comment on your question, "where does fatherhood's claim end?". I hope that as long as he is a competent parent, it does not end. I won't pretend to know the whole story, but I would hope that this father does not give up his right to this child.
A story about my father, how about a good one (I have lots of ugly ones unfortunately)... As my siblings and I grew up and moved out of my parents home, my parents started converting bedrooms to meet their needs; a playroom for grandchildren, an exercise room, a guest room and finally my dad's office. In my dad's office he had baby pictures of all the grandkids and pictures of his own children in our youth. He also had several bookshelves holding books that contained all kinds of information about his passion; handicapping, or horse racing. There was his computer, a TV, his desk, his chair and a couple of old recliners for his friends. Some black and white pictures hung on the walls; of horses in various stages of race. On the edge of a shelf unit facing his desk was a small second place red ribbon. One day while sitting in one of those recliners, where I'd sought out some privacy to nurse one of my babies, I noticed it. Just hanging there, really nothing special about it, a little frayed, faded too, with a crease. A gymnast was posed on it so I knew it was one of mine. As I sat there I began to think back to the days when my dad would drive me all over the state to competitions. Of all the ribbons and trophies I had won, my dad placed a second place ribbon in his office? At that point I took more notice of the things in his office, as I looked around I couldn't find any other mementos like this ribbon. My brothers had all done sports and I was sure they'd won awards, but there was nothing other than that ribbon. A few days later, I was back in that office seeking out my dad to ask him, why that ribbon. Wouldn't he want to see the All-state trophy and remember the moment I was best in the state? When I asked him sort of laughed, he looked embarrassed even and he finally told me about when I'd won this ribbon. I remembered it as well, when I was nine I'd been goofing off with some friends on the uneven parrallel bars, when one dismounted, she knocked me off the bar, I fell and broke my ankle. After several months of recovery, I'd started working out again preparing for the next meet so I could qualify for the All-state competition again. At the meet I nailed my routine and dismount, but as I landed, my ankle snapped, I stumbled, but didn't fall. I stood on my left foot, not knowing what I should do. My dad came from the bleachers and carried me off the mats. It was obviously broken. I actually won, qualified for State Finals, but was unable to compete, I went and cheered on my team. My team took second and I got a ribbon as well. That was the ribbon he'd kept, to remind himself that even when things are difficult there is a way to succeed. Two weeks after my cast came off my mother had a massive stroke, my dad carried that ribbon throughout my mother's two year recovery in his wallet. He said when he quit drinking it went back in his wallet again and then again when my oldest son was born and we spent so much time in the hospital with him. That ribbon, never meant much to me, in fact I'd forgotten about it, dismissed it as one "I didn't earn", I didn't even know where it had gone to. I'm glad he did.
-- Glenna B. Yarnot (email@example.com), March 30, 2000.