Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happy Father's Day 2018

It's become a tradition that I share the post I first wrote 7 years ago about the fathers in my life. Here is that same post with a few updates.

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, 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 ceremony of Michael and Jenny, baptized three of their 4 children and was often a guest at our dinner table. 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.

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. Sadly, Pat died last year, a week before Father's Day. I still miss him like crazy.

In 2014 it gave me great joy to present these influential friends each with a quilt of their own, made by me.

Frank is the last of the influential dads in my life. 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. In recent years his health has declined to the point where he mostly sleeps. I still have not made the effort to go see him. It's selfish, but I want to remember him as the moody man of my youth. I saw Frank in September 2016, when he traveled to attend my mom's funeral. It was so great to see him and he was looking well and feeling pretty good.

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 (2011) 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 
2018 Dad and donut day at school

Brent, Molly and family
photo by Libby Jones

Father's Day 2018

This is Kyle's second Father's Day. He,  too, is a very hands on dad, always taking Valko to the park, on his evening walks and helping in all aspects of parenting. Kyle travels a lot for work, lecturing and teaching all over the world about dental implants, but when he's home he and Valko are best buds. He's learned to wear his dad hat (literally, this kid always has a hat on) very well. It's so fun to see your baby with his own baby. 

Evan is the last of our boys to join the daddy club. Ellison was born last October. Evan jumped in full force and he's completely smitten with his sweet baby girl, Ellison. There's something about a dad and daughter relationship that is just precious. Ellison is one blessed little girl to have such a loving dad. I pity the boys when they start coming around to date her!

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.


missing our eldest son. 2018

One of Paul's most recent favorite photos of us from 2012

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