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11 April 2013

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My "father" was my step-father. After my "real" father left suddenly when I was 11, my mother met my step-father, Richard. After my mom died, I was talking to Richard about my childhood. I said,"we weren't your responsibility, but you were so wonderful to us." He answered, "I saw kids hurting, and I couldn't walk away." He loved us as his own. I am deeply grateful

Happy Birthday George!! We miss you!! Lovely post Corey!!

Memory of my father is playing catch the day of my First Holy Communion in our front yard, me in curlers waiting to go to church on Holy Thursday in Paradise, CA where we used to live.

My father had the flattest feet I've ever seen (flatter than my own, even). He used to wear out the soles of his work boots long before the uppers and would go to his workbench in the basement to re-sole them time and again to his own specifications so his feet were comfortable. As a farmer, he was a tinkerer!

Thinking of you and your Dad today, Corey. In six days I'll be thinking of my own Dad's birthday. It's the first one without him.
He called me every day often asking, "What are you doing?" It would drive me crazy but we later learned (after he died) that there was a small handful of loved ones he'd call daily. It was his way of not checking up but reaching out and letting them know he was thinking of them. I used to roll my eyes when he'd call sometimes but how I'd give anything for that phone to ring again.
XO

I am a musician but my father is not. However, we both love music and he loves all types of music. One day we were lying across my bed listening to an albumn. I can't even remember who it was but when the song finished we looked at each other and both of us had tears in our eyes. We never said a word. I remember it like it was yesterday.
My dad is 88 and he is the best man I know.
Thinking of you and your father today, Corey. xo

My father was only 68 when he died from Melanoma; it will be 9 years next month since he passed. He was a builder and when I lived in another city he used to phone me every Sunday morning for a 2 hour chat about life, antiques, politics and all sorts of topics. I remember so well one time when he came to stay with me while on one of his classic motorcycle parts hunt/jaunts; it was a Saturday evening in my very small apartment and I was playing some 30's music...Dad moved the furniture and we danced around the lounge together. Mum and Dad were wonderful together on the dance floor!!

Well. My dad was extremely complicated. He was a very abused child who never knew love. He was completely over his head when he had kids of his own and his bewilderment was demonstrated daily. So -- I did not have the loving relationship that you had with your dad and for this you can be extremely grateful.

I missed having a dad every day of my life.

I think you will appreciate this memory in particular. My Dad finally quit drinking my senior year at college. After I graduated and I was living at home, he apologized to me. I know so many other children grow up in homes with addiction and they never hear from their loved ones the words "I'm sorry." I know how blessed I am. I love my father very much and appreciate how now as an adult I can understand and love him all the more. In many ways I understand him in ways that others don't and I treasure our relationship deeply!

His small finger was damaged. Permanently doubled over and couldn't be unbent. I would cling to that hand and try and unfurl that finger. He would let me . He'd had a very difficult childhood and was barely able to show affection and never said he loved me. But it was there in every hold of the hand and the patience as I tried to straighten that finger.

Wow, everyone's comments are so touching! My Dad was very much like Mr. Amaro and very beloved. One memory of Dad was when I was in the hospital after having orthopedic surgery. Every morning I was in the hospital, Dad would pop by on his way to work and remove a banana and at least two Oreo cookies from his coat pockets. He'd also give a hug and encouragement. We'd laugh because it was like he had secret compartments in his coat, hiding the food. He'd often also come by after work and visit. You could talk to him about anything and everything. Like Mr. Amaro, he could fix anything, loved his family and friends deeply and had a terrific sense of humor. Miss him every day, always will.

Beautiful post of HOME . . .

My father memories . . . dad to me, the first vivid memory was standing on his toes and he was holding me in a dance. Oh my, could he dance . . . and he often included me. Greatest quality was his ability to include others . . . My favorite . . .

Dad passed away 36 years ago at age 53. His untimely death left a huge void in my life and if it hadn't been for the fact I had his business to suddenly run and his affairs to settle I would've come unhinged. But his spirit is with me each and every day and I have many fond memories to keep me going. The simple road trips for his business stay with me and never fail to bring a smile. I loved those trips, riding with dad in the car, stopping for lunch or icecream, chatting and sometimes singing in the car. I will always remember those great times with the dad who was my "rock."

Happy Birthday to your dear father Corey.

My father would celebrate his 100th birthday next month ~ he died at age 90 with grace, a sharp wit, perfect memory and a loving countenance. He was a farmer by career and a carpenter and furniture maker in retirement. He had a nice long retirement and my home is filled to the brim with his creations. I have his love all around me and for that I am grateful.

He loved the woods and the lake and my heart is filled with memories of long walks and fishing, summer and winter. My greatest memory is of the day he passed. I was alone with him, my mother having run for a nurse as he took his last breath. I said, "I love you, I'm sorry, thank you for everything." Then, a peace beyond description filled me and I knew I was blessed to be at the birth of his soul going to heaven. I will never forget that feeling, nor his love and gentle strength.

My dad died at age 68, ten years ago. Every night, for more years than I can remember we had our nightly phone call when we would review the day's events - during the 10PM news. When he died I kept reaching for the phone every night. I will always miss him. He went way too soon.
Barb in Minnesota

Beautiful,Corey and also for what you wrote also,Patricia. Bestest

Happy Birthday to your beautiful dad Corey!
My dad used to read to me every night. I would cuddle up with him in my parents bed and listen to his soft nurturing voice reading stories to me. I could not wait for him to bring a new book from the city and listen. He gave me love for reading, curiosity and imagination and I am very thankful for that.
My dad is 84, his mind still very sharp, reading daily. I love him so much.
( Loving these beautiful comments).
Thank you so much.

My most vivid early memory of my Dad was sitting by his side on the couch, watching him sketch a barn outside the bay window. I must have been all of 3 years old but I remember thinking how utterly amazing he was! A quiet, gentle soul that was a prolific carver of shore birds. Oh how I miss him....

My dad? I don't know how to put it into words... Everyday, I am grateful that he is my dad. When I had cancer, and had major, major, surgery, he came to spend the day with me and make me lunch. My dad. Make lunch. (He only knows how to schnitzel -- mind you, he can schnitzel anything! -- and heat canned pea soup.) But he came, every day. And when I was doing chemo, he drove me to Toronto (the traffic is worse than L.A.), 100 km away.

From the time I was little, we would always talk, and debate. He tells the most wonderful stories... When I was pregnant with our first child, I lived with him for 4 months while we were renovating our house and had no kitchen. When I was unemployed and when I was recovering from cancer, we would take little trips and have adventures. He can be such a goof! He is my rock, my closest friend, my only real family, even though, technically speaking, he is my stepfather, and only came into my life when I was 4. I love him much more than my biological father, or frankly, than my mother.

He lives in Prague now; my fingers are crossed that he really will make the trip over this summer to visit. He is a big part of why we would dearly love to move back to Europe. My heart aches to have him near.

My mother and my father both
walked out of my life before I
was two years old.
My maternal grandparents adopted me
and became my "real" mom and dad.
I was treated like a princess
by both of them, but especially
by my grandpa.
I wondered how I came to be with them.
He told me he was in the garden and
found me under a cabbage plant and that
I was so beautiful, he just had to keep me.
I miss him so, and still love him as much
as I did when I was two years old.

Wonderful way to remember your Dad, Corey, thank you for sharing with us. My memories are much like Kim's above. Even tried a recent visit to Florida praying for a different outcome. I guess there is that inner child in me that holds out hope.

My father was on his deathbed and I held his hand and said."I love you Dad" He mumbled..." I love you too" the first time in my life I had ever heard it. Because he voiced it so automatically at the time, I hold on to it with all my heart and try to imagine that he actually knew who I was.
RIP to Dads everywhere. xo

Your words are just beautiful!
I wish everyone had this sameness in their lives.

My Dad was always the one to encourage me to do what I wanted to. He was also the one to wake me up each morning to get ready for school.

When I decided to study French and Russian in high school, he said why not. No, I didn't have to take typing and stenography, yes I could study foreign languages.

He became ill during my graduate program. I spent many months going back and forth between Colorado and Alabama to see him. He lingered for almost a year and then he died. I was so sad and missing him when I came home from his funeral, but the next morning I heard him say loudly and clearly, C'mon , Linda, it's time to get up. I finished my graduate program and I'm sure he is proud that i got up and got the job done.

My Dad and I have an odd relationship. He taught me to be independent. Even before the feminist movement, he saw no reason why I couldn't do the same things that the boys were doing. I was his carpenter apprentice. I was also his punching bag. This man whom I adored also has a temper he cannot control. I understand that now, but as a child I thought I had done something wrong. Even now I tremble when I hear loud voices. I have forgiven him for the beatings. Now I see him paralyzed, lying in bed 24/7. He has given up. Food is unappealing, therapy is tedious, life is difficult. I greet him each morning the way he greeted me as a child - "good morning merry sunshine". I see a twinkle of recognition and a hint of a smile. I am teaching him to draw with his good hand. He draws stairs and explains how to figure out the rise. Everyday, I get a math lesson on stairs. I will listen and hope each night that he will still be there in the morning waiting for his "sunshine" to greet him and learn about building stairs. xoxo

Four little girls curled up on the double bed listening with rapt attention as Dad read from Winnie The Pooh. He made us animal pancakes on Sunday mornings. Taught us to dance, play tennis, water and snow ski. Shared his memories of WW II where he served in the Pacific. Gave us all a strong work ethic as we worked with him at the pharmacy. He died at the age of 49 from smoking related lung cancer while in the Peace Corps. He never knew his eight grandchildren but would be so proud that each graduated from college. I miss him every day and it has been 38 years.

When I was really little, I remember taking my dad's boots off after he'd come home from work. He wore a blazer and tie and cowboy boots. In San Francisco! As little as I was, I remember thinking that was funny to be so formally dressed but wearing boots I'd only see again on tv or in movies. My dad is originally from Montana and never lost that part of his identity... He'd come home, sit on the edge of his bed and I'd pull each boot off his feet. Such a silly act but one that made me feel really close to him. I have no idea what compelled me to start taking of his boots but it was fun and it was a way for us to connect. So silly! Thanks for the opportunity to remember this, Corey!!!

Daddy playing Italian songs on the accordian while us four girls danced with each other around the room. It was so much fun, he was a wonderful father. Thinking of him and Uncle George on his birthday.

I only had my Dad 12 years to make memories with, but I have so many that have stayed with me for life. He taught me to do a job right the first time, to create with my hands,and to love the outdoors. He could build furniture and made doll beds, a toy hutch, high chairs and nic nac shelves for my sister and I. He grew a fabulous garden which led to wonderful meals. He bottled home made root beer, picked blueberries, fished and I thought he was smart enough to be president. I would have loved to known him as an adult.

Oh my you hit one of my favorite subjects, MY DADDY. I miss him so. He lived 90 yrs to the fullest. I was his only child, thus his daughter and son. We lived overseas most of my formative years which was such a great experience.. He always said he had 2 girls, me and Mother. He taught me to be rather fearless as I felt so secure as his kid. "See the world kid, it's the best education you'll get." I loved his whistle, his sense of humor, his smarts, and the way he loved my Mother and me. My greatest honor was to accompany him to the 50th anniv celebration of D-Day in Normandy. Like you Corey he left me with fond memories to sustain me.

My dad passed away in 1990, my mom 6 months ago. I now have their lovely country French dining table in my dining room. At first it was too visceral a reminder of them both, but now as I see my own family around the family table of my youth, my parents come alive again. Sometimes I just pretend they're in another room..:)
Great memory of my dad: the loud belly laughs while I was watching Bugs Bunny cartoons!

Dear maria, I love your note. It fills me with tons of emotion for my dad..thanks for sharing.

Wow another great note on dads
Its just so joyful to read about these men!!!
I can only imagine it was your greatest day to go to Normandy with him...speechless!

love love...

Beautiful forgiveness and grace.

My dad supported us 4 kids by selling forklifts. Mama stayed home..
He worked us in the groud, growing our own food on weekends and to keep us away from the male hippie's
He came home for lundh every weekday to have lunch and listen to Paul Harvey.
He wore wingtip shoes everyday and I loved to shine them for him now and then.
I love to call daddy once a week and get his opinion of what is happening in the world...and whats going to happen. He knows it all
Daddy has been working on the family tree for 100 years. He knows every story about every person on the Tree and what they had for lunch on any given day.
My daddy loves junk cars and has about 20 of them out in the pasture that he is ging to fix up one day and take a trip with..
Is he able to express his love for me? Of course not, but I know he loves me so.


Amazing story Ella.....

My Dad is 84 and although a little slower, he still shines like a rock star in my family. He is Papa! - always with the exclamation point. When we were kids, he would sit and read the newspaper. We would pull up stools and chairs, pull out our box of hair barrettes, elastics and ribbons and play "hairdresser". He had 4 daughters and little hair. He should have complained as we worked our magic, but he never did - regardless of our pulling and tugging. Now, he makes huge bird hotels in his spare time. They are like gold to us.

As a kid, returning home from trips to Grandma's house on Sundays, I always pretended to be asleep in the backseat so he'd carry me into the house. It was probably quite obvious that I wasn't actually sleeping, since I had been chatting enthusiastically three blocks earlier, but appeared to be out cold by the time we hit the driveway. He never questioned me.

Thank you, Corey, for your beautiful writing! I lost my dad 17 years ago and hold so many happy memories of him. Dad was the one who always told me I was beautiful - whether I had braces, had just cut my own hair, was having one of those awkward preteen days (or weeks, or months!), or was 8 1/2 months pregnant and feeling big as a house. Dads, and their unconditional love, are one of the greatest gifts. I miss him so much.

Beautiful Corey...touching words and comments bringing back memories of my father. Ella's words ring true in that he had a difficult childhood and didn't know how to show affection. Though he never told me he loved me, I know he did. Dad whistled on his way in to the house every single day after work and I remember as kids rambling to take his boots off and taking turns eating dinner with him. We grew up in a small beach house with a kitchen table just big enough for two although we were a family of six! But, with the ocean for a back yard it hardly mattered as a kid. Happy Birthday to all of our Dads. Never forgotten.
Thanks everyone.

Warm day, dusty truck, windows downs, radio on..

One, Two, Three O'clock, Four O'clock rock,
Five, Six, Seven O'clock, Eight O'clock rock.
Nine, Ten, Eleven O'clock, Twelve O'clock rock,
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.

Singing with toes a tapping all the way out to our favorite fishing hole.


Happy Birthday Corey's Daddy.
My dad was a dandy,as he use to say-wore fabulous clothes always with a hat. He was a saint among men. At least, that is what I thought, because he lived with my mother, grandmother and me, that is a lot of women to share one house. He was wonderful and I shall always miss him. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Such lovely stories in the comments today.
Wow!

My father passed in December of 2006; it was my deepest pleasure to be sitting by the side of his amazing 92 year old self as he ceased his breathing. He married my mother in 1948 and adopted my brother and I, had two more sons and loved us all with an equal measure of stern and kind, guiding us in learning so much about our world, and how to live sustainably and how to be respectful of all people. So much of my life today reflects the lessons I learned from my dad...my friend, my strong guiding force until his last breath. Thank you Corey for pulling my thoughts to him this day.

We lived on a large farm in kentucky until i was almost five. Daddy built us a new home, the first on our long street and the second in the neighborhood. soon after we moved into town my father took my sister and i to a local garden center and let us choose something to plant to add to the landscaping.
i chose the Orange Blossom tree. and in spring time it would be loaded with blossoms , even in Kentucky.
Daddy planted an Ash Tree nearby, which provided a large shady area. after he retired he set his lawn chair under the tree to enjoy the outdoors. nearby was my "tree".
my husband and i moved to florida when i was 24. but every visit i was sure to check in on my special gift from daddy.
Last summer we closed the home and sold it. it had been in our family for 55 years. it was a very very hard day for me. today my eyes tear up thinking of daddy and his beautiful lawn, sitting in his chair with his grandchildren crawling all over him and the blossoms nearby. thank you for letting me share with you Corey. xo jody

i agree, for the phone to ring again with both my mother and father on the other end, would be heaven on earth.

When I was in the first grade, I had the lead part in the school Christmas operetta as a rag doll in a toy shop. That snowy icy Kansas day, my dad had a car accident during work when his car slide off the slick icy road into a snow bank. I can still see in my mind his scraped legs doused in merthiolate...his cure for all wounds. But in spite of it all...he made it home just in time to still be there at our all school Christmas pageant. I've never forgotten that. In fact, Dad and Mom both were always at every concert, every dance recital, every Scout ceremony. But I especially remember the one with the bright pink merthiolated legs. Thanks, Dad. I'm blessed to still have both of my parents as they enter their 90's.

All these remembrances have moved me to many tears. At one time I would have termed them bitter tears, but now I can finally think of my father with some degree of forgiveness and empathy. He was an unhappy man -- unfaithful to my mother, and seemingly clueless about how to be a father. Now and then he would show a burst of feeling toward me and my brothers, but it was always short-lived and left us confused and wanting more of his attention. He and my mother were finally divorced when I was in my 30s and I remember rejoicing at the news. My visits to my mother became so much more relaxed and happy when I knew there was no chance of him happening by. After struggling for years with wanting him to be like the loving dads I'm reading about, I've finally come to accept that he was missing the "daddy gene." He lived his life the only way he knew how. When he died I had not had any contact with him for 25 years. Such a waste. My brothers and I would have loved him in spite of all his faults, but he was never around enough to give us the chance. He remarried and started a new life, which included a close relationship with two boys who were the sons of friends.

Your father was a prince among men.

So very grateful for having a wonderful father. Another memory of Dad. Dad never sang at home but did driving on road trips. A wonderful baritone voice. His favorite was "On Top of Old Smokey". When it came to "angels in heaven know I love you"-he always would glance towards Mom sitting next to him ad me in the backseat. Now just seeing those words makes me tear up. Angels in heaven know I love you too, Dad.

Circa 1992, we board the fishing boat Lady Irma in Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg. Upon reaching our destination, lines are dropped and the magic begins. Dad and I are standing along the back of the boat, 15 others along the sides and front. The two of us are pulling in so many fish that the deck hands can't keep up with netting our catches and rebating our hooks. We've caught our limits (15 each) and continue fishing, catching the limits for others on the boat. This is my first fishing trip and I'm astounded. I said "Dad, the Portagee's are catching all the fish on the boat." I also caught the biggest fish on the boat that day. He was so proud of me and I felt such simple joy in this shared adventure between father and daughter.

Frank...did you know our father?
Joan Belforte Thodas

My father always told me that he could bear anything from me but lies.
One sunday afternoon, I was about 16, I told him I would go to a dancing club with my friend. Outside the place, we met two friends, and it was a sunny winter day, a pity to stay inside. One of the guys drove us to the mountain, we parked the car and took a walk. When it was time to come back the car left us, no way to move it. A man living there helped us and we managed to be back outside the dancing club just in time for my father to pick me and my friend up. It was all well and fine, he would never find out what I really did that day. This innocent lie was buried inside of me for a very long time. One evening we were sitting on my living room couch watching my daughter play on the carpet and we talked about the pressure and the responsability of being a parent. I listened to him for a while and then I exploded, telling him in a rush what I really did that afternoon so many years before. He quietly told me he knew something was wrong the moment I went inside his car that day but he would never have pushed me, knowing that if it was important I would have told him. He said that the burden of telling him a lie, even an innocent one, was enough a punishment for me.

Oh Corey, next month will mark three years since my Dad, my hero, left us.. Several weeks before he passed away I was at my parents home doing what I could to help out. I'd brought along a little red radio/cd player and some music I thought my Dad might enjoy. I set it up on a table ad put in a Johnny Cash cd and cranked up the volume. Dad was in pain with the damn cancer in his hip and was sitting in his lazy boy chair so I made myself busy doing dishes at the kitchen sink. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him pulling himself out of his chair and limping towards me. I dried my hands and met him halfway across the room. His eyes twinkled and he started doing a little jig to the music. I boogied alongside him and for a moment I think we both forgot the sickness that was consuming him. I will cherish that memory forever and when sadness and grief come to visit I picture us dancing that day and am able to smile. I'm planning to visit France next summer to walk in the Freteval Forest where my Dad was kept safe by the French Resistance during the summer of 1944. He was a young Canadian Airman who bailed out over France during WWII and next summer marks the 70th anniversary! I personally owe a huge debt of gratitude to France! Here is a link to his story. I LOVE your blog Corey. Please, never, ever, stop writing. :) http://www.rafinfo.org.uk/rafescape/freteval/sandulak.htm


How did I miss this post? I remember bedtime and my Dad would "fly" me to bed. He would pick me up and I'd spread my arms like an airplane. We would take a lap around the living room, then down the hall into my room where I'd come in for a landing with him tossing me onto my bed. Were we the luckiest girls in the world? To have such kind, gentle fathers.

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