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!


dggp said...

Wonderful post Tricia. He must have been a great guy.

Anonymous said...

Those are some wonderful stories about your father. You look a lot like him by the way.


Ruby said...

A great and touching post, Tricai.
It seems that many of the finest of men/ fathers, said little but ran very deep.

Chris in FL--Joyful Mother said...

That's wonderful! What an adventure to live in Alaska for one whole year...wow! I always admire people who are or were adventurous...rather cool I think. :)

Heather said...

That is so neat! I think Vance looks a lot like him in the black and white photo. At least from the nose down with the strong jaw line and all.

Cinnamon said...

I love this post!! What a sweet stream of memories Tricia~ Beautiful~


Teena said...

what an awesome way to honor your dad. I miss my dad too. July 14th will be 3 yrs. He was a WWII Navy guy too. He was at Normandy.

I wish I would of asked more questions... cared more about his stories...

He died the day my youngest turned 4. I miss my kids having a Papa... their Papa.

But I have peace knowing he is with Jesus. His back isn't hurting anymore and he is whole.

thank you again, Tricia for sharing....


busymomof10 said...

This was such a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing about your Dad! I loved the stories you shared and are preserving for the next generation!!! I see his resemblance in you and your children.

I have been working hard this week scanning in old pictures of my parents and putting together a slide show -- my first attempt at doing such a thing -- for a 50th anniversary reception my sister and I are putting together for them next Saturday. Makes me feel very nostalgic.

Thanks for sharing!!!!