My Dad….

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad…  who I miss more than words could ever   say……  but, sometimes, I still try to write them out anyway…

A few poems I’ve written about my Dad:

And an old post I made in a different blog about my Dad.. 

June 17, 2007 —

Since it’s father’s day and all, it’s about time I talked a little about my Dad on this blog.  I’ve written quite a bit about my mom… but, not as much on my dad. 

First of all, yes – he was an atheist.  This was only something I was very aware of, because my mother made sure everyone in her circle knew it. To her, it was a BIG deal. But, “atheist” wasn’t a word that my father used much and isn’t one of the top adjectives I’d use to describe him (other than in this blog). It wasn’t like he ran around town with a sign or anything.  He simply told us he didn’t believe in God… and he wasn’t going to go to church with my mom… and he gave us our choice to go with her or not. 

But, lets go way back… 

My Dad was a survivor. 

He was in a major fire when he was 12.  He was burnt on 70% of his body.  My great grandmother kept a scrap book, and there are articles… newspaper clippings… pictures…  where they called him “Miracle Boy”… and said he was never suppose to have survived.  But, he did. 

He spent 3 years in the hospital… and many MANY visits after that.  I’ve heard many stories about those times.  Some terrible, but, true to my Dad’s nature – many were very funny.  Like, how they wouldn’t let him eat before surgeries, and he was hungry, and how someone had given him a fishing pole as a gift, and how he had tied the bed pan onto the end of it, with a note begging for food and lowered it down to the street.    He said folks would give him money, candy bars, whatever.  Then, there was the time he tried to escape in his wheelchair, and wound up in the maternity ward by accident…   or when his dad smuggled in his pet dog, Toby.

Anyway – he wasn’t suppose to live.  He did. 

Then, he was in a wheelchair for a long time (we’re talking years here), and was told he’d never even be able to stand up let alone walk.  Eventually, he forced himself to use crutches.  They were amazed, but said that he’d never walk again without some kind of aid.  But, he did. 

My dad told me stories of how he’d take his dog, and go out in the woods where nobody could see him.  How he’d try to walk without his crutches, and fall, and try again and again to walk.  Until eventually, much to everyone’s surprise, he could do it.

Yeah…  he was a survivor.  Stubborn and head strong – and, a survivor. 

They also told him he’d never have kids…  but, uh… hello??  I am living proof that, he did. 

My mother already had my oldest brother when he met her.  He was just a baby.  My dad fell in love with both of them, and they married.  Then – viola!  My other brother and I come along a few years later. 

Moral of the story thus far?  NEVER  listen to what “they” say. 

Now – some might say my Dad should thank God he survived.  And, some think my dad turned against God because of what happened to him.  My dad said, and I believe him, that neither was true. 

My Dad and I had many in depth, serious conversations on such topics.  He told me the main thing that made him not believe in God was when he was in the hospital.  Not because of the pain and suffering he went thru, but because of how much pain and suffering he saw close up that others went thru. 

He said, he couldn’t get out of bed for years, but he could use his arms.  So, the nurses use to let him help out with the sick babies.  They would let him hold the babies who just wanted that comfort of being held.  Many of them dying from cancer or other long term diseases.  He watched them suffer…  and the many treatments they went thru.  He watched their parents suffer, and pray and pray.  And he watched those babies die. 

One baby in particular had a lasting effect on him… where the baby had some kind of metal thing on it’s head that was like a clamp.  He told me how he saw that baby suffer, and the profound effect it had on him.  He couldn’t understand how any God would let this happen.  This wasn’t his only reasoning – but, it was when he first lost faith he said, and began questioning things. 

Of course, I only heard stories of all this – and saw that scrap book.  But, I never thought of my Dad as an “atheist” really…  or even a “survivor” when I was young – let alone a “miracle”.  He was my Dad.  As far as I could always remember he walked… with a limp…  but, other than that – he was strong, and tough, and I thought he could do anything…. and he was simply my Dad. 

My brothers and I didn’t realize that his scars were strange.  Or how much he had overcome.  Or how his legs and feet, just scar tissue and bones, hurt him immensely every day.  He winced every once in a while when we jumped on his lap, or banged into his foot… but, he never went around complaining of pain or talking much about it.  We never noticed how he stood still as a rock when we played catch.  But, wow, did he have long arms!  Us kids never noticed how he never wore shorts… and only went swimming in our pool at night when it was dark…  or quickly looked away or changed the TV channel whenever a movie showed someone on fire….

It wasn’t until I was older that I learned more about his scars and what they all meant.  I never really noticed them before that.  But, as I grew older – we talked more – I wanted to know…  and he told me… and I realized how amazing he was…  and how lucky I was to have him for a Dad.  

My Dad taught my brothers and I to: 
 – treat others the way we want to be treated
 – put ourselves in other’s shoes to understand how they feel
 – do the right thing – not the easy thing
 – speak up for what we believe
 – stick up for ourselves, and each other
 – respect him AND our mother (and grandparents, etc.)
 – not to believe everything we hear… and only half of what we see
 – be kind to animals, and those smaller or weaker than us
 – have pride and believe in ourselves

He wanted us to know that: 
– the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
–  that money doesn’t grow on tree’s…. 
–  that family comes first
and other life’s valuable lessons.

Oh – and this one was just for me… he was always telling me that:
 – “A guy always wants what he can’t have, and then, once he gets it, he doesn’t want it anymore”.  

LOL

Of course, there’s more…  but that’s it for now on Dad…

Thanks Dad!
~smj

26 Responses to “My Dad….”

  1. Wow, how touching. You are a great writer. TFS:)

  2. you love your Dad, it is revealed in your poems.
    beautiful love!

  3. Stephanie –
    thank you… some things I could go on and on about. My father is one of them….

    mossy –
    thank you. it’s all true. =)

    Jingle –
    yes.. I did… and I do… and I’m glad it shows… he was a really great person and father…

  4. so gorgeous samantha!!!!

  5. oh wow. thanks for sharing with us about your dad. he was a survivor..maybe one of the best thing he could have taught you…

    • brian,

      thanks and you are probably right… although sometimes, it’s hard to seperate “survivor” from “stubborn” or “strong-willed”…. and the latter two aren’t usually seen as a positive! lol …but, perhaps, they should be more often. ?
      I use to call my father (jokingly) a “stubborn old goat”… but, the fact is – that “attitude” is what kept him going and even alive.

      Sorry for babbling.

      I do that sometimes. lol

  6. I’m always thought the best person in the world is a good hearted athiest. You know what they are doing for has no motiviation behind what so ever. They are just good.

    Your dad sounds pretty amazing.

    • Raven – exactly! why don’t more people get that? You would think it would be easier to be “good” if you think you “HAVE” to be…. ? but, at any rate… yes… he was pretty amazing… thanks. =)

  7. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/thank-you-so-very-much-my-friend/

    important information is posted…
    see you later.
    take good care…
    thank you for the comments and encouragement!
    ;)

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more touching and real tribute to one’s father.

    • AIS –
      Thank you so much for visiting and reading… I like to talk about my Dad… I can’t help it really.. but, I often feel like it makes people uncomfortable if/when I do… so, it’s nice to have this outlet…

  9. That was a wonderful story. It really affected me very much. What a great Dad, Samantha. Thanks for sharing his story (and yours, really)…

  10. Wow…. Its really touching and a wonderful and expressive piece:)

  11. Hi. Great memory. Your dad sounds like a very very interesting person. I found it very intriguing that he practiced walking in The Woods. :) How lucky all of you were/are to have each other.

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