Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

This Father's Day I write this post not only to honor my father, but also the fathers I admire, who have touched my life. I am fortunate enough to know many men who are amazing fathers, the first of which was my own dad.
Carl
My dad was tough. He loved us and raised my brother and sister and I to be independent thinkers, as long as we thought his way! He loved and respected my mom and through him I learned how to choose a good man to be the father of my children. My dad died 10 years ago and I miss him more and more each year. I would love to have him see the intelligent, caring men our sons have become. I wish he could meet his great-grandchildren and see his grandsons in their role as parents and the successes they have had in their chosen careers.. I wish I had more photos of he and I when I was an adult. But here are some from my childhood. Thanks to my sister, who is scanning all mom's old photos, I am able to feature a few here.
Dick
Dick was my husband's father. A man who looked nothing like the big teddy bear that he was. He was a rough/tough steel worker but yet he was the grandfather who got down on the floor to play with our boys. He was a man who outlived two wives, raised my husband to be my Mr. Romance, and loved my cooking. I miss him. 


4 generations of first born sons
Father John
Father John was our parish priest who became a good family friend. He performed the marriage of Michael and Jenny, baptized three of their 4 children and came over often for dinner. We loved to hear his stories of travel before he became a priest and appreciated his wisdom and friendship. He died a few years ago and we still miss his wisdom and sense of humor.


Frank
Frank was my dad's best friend and confidant. He "got" my dad. They had the same politics and outlook on life. Our family did everything with Frank and Dollie and their sons. I have so many fond memories of Sunday dinners at their home.  I knew if I had a problem I could talk it through with Frank and he would explain my dad's point of view without the emotion I would get from my dad. I could complain to Frank and he understood my concerns because he understood my dad. I haven't seen Frank in a few years and need to make the effort to drive the 90 minutes it takes to go and see him.

Pat
Pat was also one of my dad's dearest friends. He and LaVonne have been my second parents. I love visiting them and even asked Pat to be "my dad" when so many of the dad's in my life had died. I try to visit him every year. He also lives a few hours drive from my home. This saying is so true, "old friends are the best friends". Can you believe these active seniors are 90 years old?  I remember riding my bike to their house to visit them on hot summer nights when I was a young teenager. They thought I was visiting them but I was really trying to get one of their sons to notice me, Ha! Ha!  I remember going  camping with their family at a Boy Scout Camp (how's that for beating the odds when you are a teenaged girl?). I think since they only had boys I learned a lot from Pat and LaVonne about how to be a mom in an all-boy family. I treasure their love, wisdom and friendship.


Brent and Michael
Brent and Michael are our 2 oldest sons. They are such good dads. Michael was the first to give us a grandchild and Brent followed a few months later. They each have 4 children and are very involved dads. Their children love and respect them and I love seeing them as fathers. Usually we get them a sentimental card for Father's Day because we are in such awe of their parenting skills. But this year we got them a funny card. I'm sure most parents can relate when they think of their sons as little boys and then see them as fathers.


Michael, Jenny and family
photo by Diane Stanley

Brent, Molly and family
photo by Libby Jones

and finally my Mr. Romance...
Paul
I hit the jackpot and so did our boys!  I think one of the greatest compliments a person can receive is that they are a good parent. We recently had our friend remark that Paul is such an amazing father and wanted to know where he learned to be a good father. He had a good role model but I think it is more than that. He is such a kind and caring person who truly loves his boys and they love and respect him, too! I've always said the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love and respect their mother. So we all win. I have an amazing husband and our boys have a loving and caring father.

1991

2003
2010

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.


5 comments:

Annabella said...

What a beautiful post and how generous to not only honor your own father but others as well. Love the photos of your father.

Cindy Lou said...

Awesome post!

Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts said...

Di, loved this post. Such a beautiful tribute to all the Dads in your life. Your sons are such a handsome bunch! What a beautiful family you have.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

You really touched my heart deeply with this devotion of love and admiration. Not only your father but the men in your life who have influenced you to become who you are. That, I love.

Geri Centonze said...

Beautiful post to all the fabulous fathers. Wow! Did you take that photo of Brent's family (the B&W...I see your watermark on it)....that's awesome!