My dad passed away October 28, 2006, followed by years of revelation into his great love for me. I was the lucky one of the family of 3 girls; my first six years were spent playing the role of the “only child”. This long period of time with my parents and grandparents admittedly spoiled me.
My relationship with my dad was a mystery until he passed. It was then that I began having conversations with my sisters about our childhood together. We were born 6 years apart which meant a weird sort of knowing but not knowing each other. Knowing but not knowing details and important facts about our family upbringing. My dad was a very stern German, who took out his anger and aggression on me till I was 18. Not a pleasant memory. But remembering the wonderful times we had together has made me smile and realize he loved the heck out of me regardless. My dad was a very hard-working steamfitter in Pittsburgh and worked on skyscrapers, hospitals, schools, the civic arena, the stadiums, and did it in all kinds of weather conditions. He was loud and mean sometimes swearing like a sailor, but we knew that came from the harsh company he kept on the construction sites. He was either really nice or mean; moods came and went, and he didn’t even drink! He took good care of his mom until she died, a devotion and dedication my mom did not appreciate. My dad would fix everything around our house, take care of his beautiful flower garden and vegetable plants, and kept busy most of the time he wasn’t working.
My dad treated me like his pal, almost like a son. He was the youngest of 5 sisters, and probably hoped for a boy when I was born. Dad and I were always together, fishing, ice skating, horse back riding, baseball games at Forbes field, staying up to watch studio wrestling and roller derby programs, and playing with my first dog, “Boots”. My dad was very kindhearted amid his German temperament, and always brought me cool presents when I was sick, for rewards, or just because. .
I remember the day he came home from work with this big hand-carved, painted wooden horse (of which i only have the nose remaining). He told me the story of how a Negro man at work had this tremendous talent of hand carving, and he told him about my love for horses. At the time I was reading the black stallion, so that’s what the man created for me!
When I had my tonsils out, daddy bought me a beautiful china statue of a horse from a store in the Jenkins arcade. I still have that horse statue and keep it in my china closet for safekeeping
When he was working at one of the big hospitals in Oakland, he bought me a china pitcher with the words,”WHAT THE FOOL DOES IN THE END, THE WISE MAN DOES IN THE BEGINNING”. He admitted it had a special message for me, personally. It now holds pens and pencils on my shelf.
In conclusion, I feel that certainly I am the “fool” inscribed on the china pitcher—-because it is in the end this fool has found her dad’s love ……
HAPPY FATHERS DAY DADDY! I LOVE YOU!