Fathers, Memories

Happy Birthday Daddy


Each year on this, his special day, I thank God for my daddy’s love and example.

Daddy showing off his new birthday shorts
decorated with Jack-0-Lanterns & Bats.

If my dad were alive, he’d be 103 today. And if he hadn’t had a second bout with the horrible Big C, with his good genes, he might have been with us yet. (His dad lived to 96, and the doctors said Daddy had the vital signs of a young man.)
But as it happened, the cancer that started in his colon turned up in his lungs and brain several years after we thought he’d won the war. Before we knew it, he was gone. He lived about six weeks after symptoms set in, and marked his 84th birthday one day before he died.

The longer I live, the more I recognize how blessed I was to have the parents I did. My dad loved life and people. He adored my mother, Will and me, was quick to show his affection, and doted on his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a tease and loved a good joke.
Daddy and Mom in happy days.
Daddy never made a lot of money. Generous to a fault, he gave away more than he ever saved, but he was rich in other ways. I received a great inheritance of love and joy of life.

His Better Boy tomatoes were the best!

A hard worker, Daddy relaxed by plowing his sister’s fields, cutting back hedges and planting flowers. After he retired, he always had a big garden in the back yard.

Daddy in his signature cap

He played the piano by ear and once told me it was the way he worshiped God. I can still see our three-year-old grandson, Brady (now 27), and GangGang at the piano singing When We All Get to Heaven.
I have a feeling he’s playing and singing with a heavenly choir today.

I am so grateful for Daddy’s influence in my life. If I end up being half the person he was as far as kindness, joy for living and perseverance goes, I’ll feel proud. Some of you know he kicked a drinking habit when I was very young and never fell back into it. He worked in AA for the rest of his life. And he refused to give up on those who struggled with addiction problems. He’d tell them, “Get back up. Start again.”

So whatever your struggle or fear, I can hear him say, “Today is a new day. Get going!”

And folks, get your wellness checks. Mammograms may be uncomfortable and colonoscopy preps are the pits, but early detection can be the difference between life and death.
Happy Birthday to all you LUCKY people born on October 3!

It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; 
who conducts his affairs with justice.
  Ps 112: 5

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved

7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Daddy”

  1. Beautiful tribute, DJ. As you know, my Dad just turned 85…and every day I tell him how fortunate I am to have him for a Dad. He is my friend and advisor, and sometimes my shoulder to help bear small burdens. I know you miss your Dad terribly, but he's proud of you…believe that.


  2. Thank you, Gayle. Your relationship with your dad sounds so sweet. May he enjoy a long and healthy life! And your mother, too. I always knew my dad accepted me and was proud even when I might not have felt I deserved it. I was blessed.


  3. You've every right to be so proud of your Dad, Dorothy. This is a wonderful tribute, but I'm certain even better is the one you're paying him by living your life the way you do. We don't connect much, but when we do, I feel your gentle nature and sweet nature coming through. ♥


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