18 June 2010
Honoring My Father (and missing him)
This is my father. He passed away 10 years ago Father's Day week. I have been thinking about him a lot lately and would like to honor him this Father's Day. He was a wonderful father and husband. He worked hard, loved lots, and said little. But the few words that came from him were filled with wisdom and I learned so much from him. Amazing what one can learn from just watching someone who did much and spoke little. He was an electrical engineer and designed, maintained the radar bases for our country based in Greenland and Island. Working in connection with Norad in Colorado Springs. He loved motorcycles, camping, kids, shooting, hunting, anything outdoors. I see how I am his daughter!!
From him I learned:
To walk the road less traveled giving no mind or thought to the negative words of passers by.
Do the right thing and the needful thing without question.
If a job is worth doing, do it right and with might.
To laugh when I fall down.
To pick myself up and start over again.
Speak less, listen more. (I'm still working on this one)
"Make up and paint make a girl what she ain't" was his famous words. And it was fitting especially since he had 5 daughters.
That family is the most important institution on the face of the whole earth.
I think above all, he taught self reliance. In spirit, mind, and body. With him discipline was key. In all things. (He taught me this the hard way. He had a cut in the palm of his hand that gave him blood poisoning. Rather than take antibiotics or any meds he got rid of it the old fashioned way. For a full 5 minutes every day he stood at the bathroom sink running the hottest water over the cut without batting an eye. This draws out the infection. He actually invited us children to come watch him. As a parent myself now, I believe it was his intention to turn this into a learning experience for his 6 children.)
Two great stories about him that stand out in my memory!
He was a navy man during World War II. One year he did something "just for the adventure and challenge." He stayed in a tent in Alaska for an entire year. He hunted and trapped for food. There was a newspaper article written up on him about this adventure and I need to get possession of it. One of my favorite stories was when he was working up in Greenland on one of the radar bases. Something got messed up and he lost all power. Which, when connected to Norad is NOT a good thing. Norad got quite excited because they were "off line" in a sense and my father knew he had only minutes to get the back up system going so as to not get Norad too anxious over what was happening. (I'm surprised he didn't lose security clearance over that!)
He met my mom while at her house one day to pick up her older sister Donna for a date. Donna was sick so he said fine, I'll take your other sister. (my mom) And that was that!
My dad, Christie and I at the time we lived on the island!