Father’s Day has become a bittersweet holiday since I lost my father. I’m a father myself, so we still celebrate with dinners and gifts and our own family circle of love; but for the child in me, there will always be someone missing.
My dad skipped college to join the Army as World War II broke out. He served in General Patton’s infantry, one of the guys with packs and guns that followed the tanks. After the war he was a guard at Nuremburg. He liked to tell stories of the soldiers he knew and the funny things that happened; like the time he was commissioned to buy the beer for the battalion. He used another supplier and got twice as much beer for the money. His platoon had the extra hidden under their bunks and he and the other sergeants used it to trade for all the things the men needed but were in short supply. He never talked about why he was awarded the bronze star or about the sniper that put that crease on his left temple in Korea.
He was the best woodworker, electrician, and general repairman I knew. There’s a pride I still take when I see my sons, now on their own, pull out their toolboxes to do some home repair. My dad put these together for them, stocking them with an eclectic collection of hand tools. They say they’ve yet to need a tool that he didn’t include.
Lots of guys my age have similar memories of their fathers. And so Father’s Day becomes a day of remembrance.
For those of you that see your dad this Father’s Day, give him a hug. We’ll be with you in spirit.
Great thoughts and memories, Ed. Thanks for sharing and Happy Father’s Day.
My dad’s no longer in the picture but I have a wonderful friend who’s 86 years old. He and I and my daughter will be going to lunch at a local garden center where they celebrate dads with burgers and beer. This man didn’t finish high school but served in the military, married a 16 year old, and drove and repaired big rigs until he retired. His baby bride passed about 5 years ago. I’m proud to call this man my honorary dad. I hope everyone has someone they can honor on this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all of you!