My dad was my rock. To say I always saw eye to eye with my dad, especially in my teenage days, was an overstatement! We often would butt heads as I was a rather rebellious teenager and didn’t like his rules and restrictions, but I always found him to be the very foundation of my life.
In the public eye, he was charming, caring, distinguished, knowledgeable and the list goes on. He loved people and loved being around them. He also loved to talk and interact with just about anyone. When I was little, I would love to go for rides. So, when he would go to the post office, which was every day as he was a salesman and had to get mail in by a certain time each night, I opted to go along for the ride. He would go into the post office and I wouldn’t see him for at least another half hour as he would be talking to anyone and everyone. He really enjoyed interacting with people and was very outgoing.
Looking at pictures of my dad when he was young, he was very cute. Then he went through an ugly, gawky phase, and thereafter I felt he became very distinguished. It made me proud that he could interact with any type of lifestyle. He always had on a suit, white shirt, and tie, and would also sport a hat on most occasions. At home, he often wore boxer shorts around the house. I never thought of this as underwear, just his shorts. This seemed to be a family trait as his brother also did this. Then one week in the summer, when he would be on vacation, he actually would wear old paint clothes as he would usually spend this time painting our house.
I have been told that he was very spoiled as a young boy by his grandmother. So, in his married life, he was the king of the house. My mom was receptive to this and kept up the tradition that his grandma set up. Mom would wait on him hand and foot. Then when he had three daughters, we too were subject to this activity.
One time that I remember, my mom was upstairs and was called down by my dad to change the channel on the tv set. He ruled the house from his burgundy recliner that sat in a corner of our living room. He was also very smart in that my mom’s love language must have been “words of affirmation” because he always complimented her, told her what a good job she did, and basically knew how to make her feel special. One time after she painted the entire main floor of our house, he was sure to point out to us girls what a fabulous job mom had done and how nice it looked. Mom just beamed and soaked in the attention.
Another example of him being the “King” of the house was when he’d come home from work and expected us girls to either brush his hair or scratch his feet. When we would have to scratch his feet, he would sit in his recliner and we had to remove his socks and shoes and then use our fingernails on the soles of his feet. At the age of 16, I finally got enough guts to refuse to participate in this activity.
He was an avid sports fan and would listen and watch whatever game was on at the time from his recliner in the corner. As a youngster, we were told he played many sports, but as an adult, he was a chairside observer.
Being on the road for his job as a salesman and being around people all the time, it was nearly impossible to get him to take his family anywhere on his time off. This, of course, was not a good trait for me as I envied those who actually did things on a weekend other than watching sports. I’m sure that this is what prevents me from enjoying TV sports as an adult.
Even though he was not active in attending PTA meetings, and taking us on wonderful trips, he was still my rock. You see, he was always there for me. He made me feel loved and secure. He taught me that I was special and to stand up for myself. I actually depended more on him than I did on my husband when I was first married. When he died at the early age of sixty-two, my life was in turmoil. I now had to become an adult and take charge of my own life without him backing me.
When he became a grandparent, he couldn’t have been prouder. The trend of having girls was to be repeated. Even though he would often, when I was younger, purchase toys for boys, he seemed to just glow when he had granddaughters. He loved them dearly and was very good at interacting with them. Unfortunately, he had a grandson much later, which I know he would have been so proud.
I often imagine his awe at the new technology, life events, and just everything that he missed since he passed in 1972.
Even though my dad was certainly not perfect, he was “MY ROCK” and I miss him dearly.