Father’s Day for My Dad

June 21st, 2009

Who’s your hero? I think every father secretly hopes his child will respond by saying “My Dad.”

Life’s experiences will usually reveal to whom we owe our true love and allegiance. As a child I loved my father just as any child loves his father. That love was nothing compared to how I felt about my father as I aged into adulthood and got to know him. As I experienced life I started to better understand this wise and kind man who had fathered and raised me for eighteen years.

During all the years we shared, he never once cursed at me or said anything that remotely suggested he was ashamed of me. We never had to wonder where he was if any of my family needed him. If earning a living meant he had to live away from us, he wrote every Friday and sent my mom the biggest part of his pay.

My dad’s first name was Tolbert, a name he didn’t take to very well, so he shortened it to Bert. His parents and siblings clung to the old name, but Dad didn’t give in. When I was born my mother, knowing how he felt, didn’t name me after him — a fact that was coldly received by my dad’s mother and older sister.

Bert was the proverbial “Jack of all trades.” He managed to keep us all fed and together during some very bad times. Nevertheless, we were a happy family. I think that the lack or absence of material things with their inherent distractions causes us to love and appreciate each other much more.

Not until I married and started my own family did my father’s abilities as a parent and husband really “hit home.” Good fortune had set me up in a good job. The work was not overly demanding and the working conditions were good. Bert hadn’t been that lucky. He did whatever he could find. I’ve wondered many times if his eldest son could have kept his family together and his sanity intact under similar circumstances.

While I was growing up, questions about all of the behind-the-scenes things that made up my happiness never occurred to me. I took my dad for granted. My dad made sacrifices for my happiness that I could never repay. I had to grow up to discover that there is another side to happiness.

God Bless You Bert
This One’s For You
November 29, 1917 — July 5, 1985

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Categories: Life | Comments (3) | Home

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3 Responses to “Father’s Day for My Dad”

  1. Shekhar |

    You are correct. A father does hard work for the future, so that his son wont have got to work hard.

  2. maza |

    i raise my glass to all dads of the world…to all who hv made it!?

  3. Tom |

    Nicely done, Larry. It’s too bad we sometimes realize how important people are to us after it’s too late.

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