The obvious blog subject of the day here in the U.S. of A. is Father’s Day. I have two stellar examples of fathers prominent in my thoughts and conspicuously absent in the flesh. My husband, the father of my four children, died in 2008. My father, who had 5 children, died in 2010. What they have in common is that they both felt woefully disappointed by their own fathers (at one time) and were determined to do better. I’m glad to say that my husband had the chance to improve his relationship with his dad over the years, whereas my father did not. They both had an internal sense of the kind of father they wanted to be, and were clear in their values. They were incredibly dependable, stable providers of basic things, although in slightly different mixtures. My husband was far more of a “warm fuzzy”, emotional Teddy Bear. My father provided more structure and logic. I’ve come to realize that these are not opposite qualities in parenting, they are important components. There are as many ways of concocting a life-giving balance as there are fathers.
My favorite memories of my dad contain literary and educational aspects: his voice reading aloud from story books, the ballet and opera and museum tickets he treated us to regularly, the vacations and nature walks we went on. My favorite memories of my husband as a father are visceral and physical: how he held them, laughed with them, cried with them, sang to them, praised them and worried over them. When a man is giving the best he has to his children, it’s a beautiful thing. Well worth celebrating, whatever flavor it comes in.
You gotta give Dad a tie on Father’s Day…
(Okay, photographers, clearly the slides taken by my father’s Leica in the 1970s came out better than the prints from my Canon AE-1 that I scanned into a dusty screen. My brother-in-law converted the slides to digital images somehow; I love how sharp they are!)
These images are so heartfelt. I love the first one and I so remember that adorable girl in the second one. Never knowing your husband, I can say from your pictures and what you say about him, that he seemed like a great guy and terrific dad. A blessing to have had both in your life.
I am truly fortunate!
Dear Scilla, I just wanted to tell you that I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. I love this post–you are a fine writer. (My Dad had a Leica, too!)
Thank you very much! Can you tell me a bit more about this honor?
I love how Lobster Emily is making that “What the hell is wrong with these people!” face.
Or perhaps, “Where the hell did my neck disappear to?”
I felt quite emotional when I read this because my father died when I was just 17 and I remember practically nothing about him now and only have a handful of photos with him in.. I think you only really get to know your parents as you get out older.. I’m glad you knew yours so well Scilla
That gives me motivation to continue to tell my children what I remember about their father.
Please do.. but I think the fact that you have lots of photos will naturally bring back memories
Reblogged this on scillagrace and commented:
These are still my favorite fathers, and always will be. I did comment on a FB page today that Aldo Leopold was another fine example of Fatherhood – his 5 children all became Environmental Scientists. However, I didn’t know him personally.
This is just wonderful, to see and read about their love for their children and your love for them. ❤
I’m glad you enjoyed it! I do enjoy spreading the love around.