On the eve of Fathers Day I thought it would be fitting , to put pen to paper, in a humble tribute to my Dad.
My father was born and raised in a 'Public House' (Pub) in the heart of London, England.
An original 'Cockney Lad',who always pulled himself up by his bootstraps.(like father like daughter I do believe!)
He served 'Queen and Country', during W.W.II - in the navy, and won several medals for Valor.
In times of war many boys become men overnight, and this was true for my father.
His Dad died in combat, and his older brother - a pilot - was shot down over Germany. His only sister died of Consumption back home in London.
When Peace began he came home, still just a young man, to assume Head of the House and Healer of the family.
He never said much about the war, but I am convinced that this time shaped him into the awesome man that he was.
As a child , he was always working, and therefore I did'nt see that much of him, but I do remember Sundays.
Sundays were special. My mother always made a midday Roast, and if we ate it all - (including vegetables!) and washed, dried and put away all the dishes........Dad had a treat.
He would buy us chocolate on Sundays!- perhaps a Mars or Milky Way.
He would slice it thinly on a plate and we would all share.
We were ,I think, the poorest of the working class, but that chocolate made us rich!
I grew the closest to my Dad in my late teens.
I loved to listen and talk with him, and often our conversations ran into the early hours.
We would discuss everything: boys, clothes, television, my brother, my mother, The state of the world.....
wherever the conversation would lead.
He oozed common sense and possessed great insight.
These are some of the statements I remember him sharing:
'The Bible is the best Guide Book for life ever to be written.'
'Men and Women are designed to compliment one another and not to compete.'(a personal favorite!)
'A good Parent enlists the cooperation of their children.'
'Always remember, when you are facing a difficult decision, that there are only two people you need to be accountable to: God and yourself.'
Did I mention that he was an awesome man?!
The last conversation we shared, 12000 miles apart, I remember very clearly.
I was pouring my heart out because my friend/husband to be had been diagnosed with an inoperable Brain Tumor.
My father told me,"Life is as long, or as short, as a piece of string," and that we should live in today.
When we said goodbye he called me "My Lovely Girl." It was the only time that he ever used that expression.
I had no idea that he too was dying of cancer.
His last coherent act was to sign a get well card for my husband.
My Dad was not a Christian, but upon reflection, I can't help feeling that God was in him all along. For the last weeks of his life Dad was in and out of consciousness and I am hopeful that, during this time, he accepted The Lord.
It would never suprise me to find him in Heaven.
I loved you Dad............
you taught me well.
( penned originally in 2008: reprinted in memory of an amazing man, in celebration of Fathers Day.)
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