Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day I am re-running this post I wrote 2 years ago, with an updated photo.

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.
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 in December 2000 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 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 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 Dolli 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 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 in their 90's?  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...
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.



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


suemac said...

What a sweet post. I am still lucky to have my Dad. He is 88 and still volunteers and drives himself around.

Canadian Abroad said...

How wonderful to have all these amazing men in your life. You are blessed, and they are blessed to have you.

heart of charnwood said...

That's reall lovely, and a great day to honour the fantastic dads in your life!

Linda Coleman said...

great photos Diane.

Lynz said...

Oh, I'm a bit misty eyed reading this! I love the last photo of ALL your boys. *g*

Valerie said...

What a tender post Di! You have such a sweet family and it is obvious how much you love them and what a great connection you all have.

Geri said...

I love this Di - very moving and what a tribute to all the great men in your life. I love you ♥

Ginny said...

What a wonderful tribute to the "fathers" in your life! You are blessed!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

A lovely collection of 'Dads' you have gathered round you xxx

Dianne Neale said...

Great post and some wonderful photos!

Sarah said...

Lovely post Di! You are blessed to have lovely Dads in your life. So am I! Great photos too. I love seeing all your family.

Cindy said...

Love love this post Di. What a wonderful "Dad" tribute. Love all those pictures of Mr. Romance and your boys.