On May 15, 1975, my dad suddenly left us behind on this earth. I was only 23 years old and was just beginning to know him as an adult. Strange, isn't it, that after 34 years I still miss him? I mean - really miss him. Though I don't remember ever receiving a hug or kiss from my dad, I had the utmost respect for him and deeply loved him. And I know he loved me. I don't know how I know that, as it was never said, but I always knew it. My earliest memory of my dad was when I was very young (I'm not sure how young) and he started to wrestle with me on the floor. I was very frightened and ran away. As I was running upstairs I remember my mom telling him that I hadn't seen him in such a long time, with the harvest and all, that I was just shy. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings.
We were not a family that showed tender emotions, but I grew up believing that parents always got along and never had harsh words with each other. I believed that all men treated all women with respect, always looked out for their neighbors, always lent a helping hand when needed, and that all grown up men were honest, faithful, solid and men of integrity. That was my model.
Attached are a couple of my favorite pictures. I remember taking the picture of dad with his tractor in 1966 when I got my own camera. I remember asking my brother to take the one of dad and me in 1968 when I was 16 and starting to really appreciate him.
I miss you, Dad. Thanks for being such a solid living rock in my life for 23 years - and a continuing influence for all the rest of my years. Happy Father's Day!