Yesterday was my dad's birthday. He died in 1968 at the age of 52. He was a cancer victim. Sometimes it is hard for me to picture him in my mind anymore. But the things I remember about him are more than just what he looked like.
Dad was an executive. He wore starched white shirts every day. When he was home, he wore long baggy shorts in the summer, and in cold weather he had the ugliest mustard yellow pair of heavy twill pants and a moth eaten brown sweater that he wore when working outside. He loved to garden and I think we had every imaginable tree and plant in our HUGE yard. (I never could mow that yard to suit him.)
Dad loved his family. He was an excellent provider. He exalted Mom and because she was the only woman in the house, he insisted that she be treated with the utmost of respect. The most trouble I ever got into with him was because I "sassed" Mom.
Dad took his faith very seriously. He was a big worker in his church. He gave his tithe and an unending amount of service.
Dad loved his toys. He had a speedboat, then progressed to a pontoon boat on which we partied alot.
Dad loved to fish. Living on a lake gave him ample opportunity to do what he loved. When you couldn't find him, just look on the end of the pier, and there he would sit in his old lawn chair, feet propped on the rail, fishing pole in the water.
Dad loved to entertain. He was an excellent griller, had a grill installed in the family room fireplace, and cooked the best steaks around. He loved having people around.
Dad hated his cancer. He fought like a trouper the whole time he was sick. The last 30 minutes of his life he told his doctor, "what are you going to do now, 'cause this sure as hell isn't working." Then he was gone.
38 years later, I may not recall everything about my dad, but these are the most important things. These are the things I hold near and dear in my heart. Happy Birthday, Dad!