Sunday, June 20, 2021


I've been thinking about dad lately, especially today on Father's Day.  I read my last post of my son describing a dream he had of dad, Papa Don as he called him.  When I say I have no bad memories of him, I am sincere. Dad was strict.  We got spankings.  But never at any point have I ever felt abused, and whenever I did receive a spanking, I knew my actions grieved my dad, which was worse than any physical pain. 

Dad loved my mom.  Dearly.  When he was engaged to her, he wrote my grandparents thanking them for the wonderful job they did in raising such a godly woman.  He understood her love for her family, and he always considered her opinion and advice when making decisions.  He was the leader of our family in a very traditional household, and he took that role seriously.  He provided, uplifted, and supported.

We had devotions around our table in the evenings.  It sounds crazy these days, but I believe that is what stoked my love of learning.  We talked, asked questions, wondered.  We also laughed, played, and poked fun at each other.  Dad loved a good prank, and he was always jumping out of doorways to scare us.  Or pinching our calves and barking like a dog to make us jump. I was forever sprinting down the hallway in our house to make sure I beat him from scaring me.

Dad taught us manners at the dinner table by using my doll dishes at the card table.  He went to my piano recitals.  He was the one who baptized me, the one who timed me on the track, the one who handed me my diploma (because he was on the school board), and the one who performed my wedding. 

Dad also modeled for us what a loving husband was like.  One year, for mom's birthday, he went to the pharmacy and got 52 empty capsules and a big pill bottle.  He typed up 52 "gifts" (washing dishes for the week, making the beds for a week, a trip to her favorite restaurant, etc.) and every week she opened a capsule to see what her gift was for that week.  There were also embedded sapphire necklace and earring sets in there.  Another time at Christmas, dad would hand mom a present, and every one she opened would bring peals of laughter.  They were inside jokes for the two of them, but we had so much fun watching it happen.

Dads, I hope you know how important you are to the temperament of your home.  Whether you realize it or not, your family looks to you for approval, for leadership, and for guidance.  I know I have been very lucky to have had the father I did.  I'm better because of him, and your family should be, too.  Happy Father's Day.