Monday, June 22, 2009

Four Score and Seven Years Ago... Daddy was born!

photo: Daddy and Alvin Fernald, 2007

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

So, so many stories I could tell you, of course, about a man born in nineteen-and-twenty-two (as his father would say). The time at twelve years old, on Halloween, putting an outhouse up on the roof of the bank building downtown. Going to the neighborhood grocer on Thursdays, with his dad's paycheck in hand. The grocer would "cash" the check, pay the family's bill for the week, and Daddy would leave with a handful of vanilla cremes the grocer put in his hand on the way out the door. It was Daddy's job to coax the furnace to life in the mornings. Then there was the time he woke up with inches of snow on top of his blanket. And on. And on.

He skipped his senior year of high school to care for his baby sister after his mother had surgery, then went back and graduated a year late. He married "the girl next door" at nineteen. Three months later was Pearl Harbor. He proudly served in the Army Air Force. When he came home, he began a forty-one year career at General Electric. Mom and Daddy's life had many joys as well as sorrows--he has nine children waiting for him in heaven, as well as his "pretty girl." For his fifty-year high school reunion he wrote a tiny biography, and called himself "a simple man, raising a family, married to the love of his life."

But of course, he didn't tell the whole story. How he is the ultimate in human role models for How to Be a Godly Man, and How to Live Your Life with Integrity. About Duty and Sacrificial Love and Fun. About how all you had to do was watch him awhile, and you could see the Father God's love shining through him.

And, of course, he could fix anything. And do anything.

Because he's my Daddy.


Inglesidemom said...

Happy birthday wishes to your dad! Lovely tribute!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Barbie Heart. Thank you for this testimonial to a great man. Oh that every little girl had a Daddy like "Smo." That's what his brother "Mo" called him. Or was it the other way around? Oh well, the important thing is that he lives to love another day.

Your recollections are so vivid, it leaves little for me to say, but I do recall the "telling" of a Christmas Story, as I was still a twinkle in his eye when it happened. A Love Story to rival O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi."

On their first Christmas Eve together...It was 1941, just 2 weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After most people had settled in for their long winter's nap, Dad walked down to the local Christmas Tree lot in hopes it was still open. There, he selected a magnificent blue spruce for only 50cents. There wasn't enough money for presents, but they were rich with love. Mom and Dad stayed up all Christmas Eve decorating that tree with popcorn strings, 2nd-hand glass balls, little hand-made ornaments and papier mache garland. The lights were from pre-Depression Christmases gone by, handed down from Grandma. In those days, if one light was out, none would work. And it must've been a special gift from God on His Son's Birthday that miraculously, every light shone brightly upon that 50-cent tree. And Love adorned the top branch in lieu of an Angel. Mother's magic touch, for which she would be remembered long after her departure, was the cotton snow to blanket the tree. Gently and meticulously placed, one branch at a time. Oh, I wish I could've been there to see that sight and welcome the Newborn King together with them.

Happy Birthday, Dad, from your Pinky Marie