Archive for December, 2013

Remembrance of One I Loved

December 12, 2013

Some might consider this a long overdue eulogy.  So be it.  To me it’s my way of having an ever lasting memory of one I love even to this day.  Yes, I’m talking about a deceased member of my immediate family.  His birthday is this month and I wanted to do something for him even after thirty (30) years of being long gone.  He lived for a very short forty two years.  Some may have called him every name in the book and then some, others may have called him a friend.  However, I’ve always referred to him as “father.”

For the most part he was a good father.  His only character flaw to me was his lack of showing how much he truly cared openly.  Don’t get me wrong.  There were plenty of times that he openly showed he cared.  It’s just those times were few and far apart.  Otherwise, his love was shown in the best way possible.  He was always understanding even when he didn’t voice his opinion.  My father was certainly supportive of his three children.  His one thing was we had what we needed even if he had to do without.

From the day my father left high school till the year before he died, he worked as a tool and die worker.  You may have seen some of his work when you climbed into your automobile or truck in the past.  He built the molds for a large number of plastic parts that went into those automobiles and trucks.  One such mold I remember him having his shop order a microscope so he could fix a mold someone else botched up.  It was for the Ford four speed shifter that was to go into the Mustang of the time.  Alas, this is but one memory of my father.  Not the fondest of memories but just one.

Probably the earliest memory of something my father did for us kids was when we lived at the house on Pulver Road outside Three Rivers, Michigan.  One year it snowed deep enough for him to come out and make us a snow fort semi-igloo with a snow shovel.  At the time we weren’t even old enough to handle a shovel all that well.  I think I was around eight at the time.  My other two siblings at the time were seven and five.  It was a lot of fun.  I think my father even got into a snowball fight with us kids.

The next fondest memory of my father was when we lived on North Main Street just a block outside of Three Rivers.  It was on a fourth of July.  At the time my father was big into muzzle loading guns.  He had ample amounts of gun powder in the house for shooting as well as testing barrels for some of the guns he build himself.  That fourth of July he took the time to make home made firecrackers and shot off his muzzle loading rifle out back sans lead balls.  I still think he had more fun than us kids that year.  It was the same year my mom’s oldest brother showed up with his family.  He had to show off to my father after seeing my father’s muzzle loader.  He brought out an old WWII vintage Thompson semi-machine gun and lit it off (shot it) in full automatic.  Needless to say we had police at our door ten minutes after my uncle put the weapon away.

By far the best times with my father were spent on our eighty acre farm he bought back in 1973.  It was almost half way between Jones, Michigan and Three Rivers.  We heated by a wood/oil burning furnace as well as a Benjamin Franklin style stove.  Many a times either my entire family or just my father and his two sons went out to cut wood for the winter.  He’d cut the trees down and cut them up so we could load it onto a trailer.  A lot of wood got split by yours truly as well as my brother.

Funny thing is I was not there for a picture my mom shot of my father when he wasn’t looking.  I believe she still has that picture today.  The picture in question had my father out in the driveway the day after an evening snow storm.  All the trees are covered in snow as well as the ground.  My father was looking off towards the woods to the south and thinking about what I don’t know to this day.  To me it’s by far the best picture of my father I’ll ever see.  I have one other of my mom, him, and myself that was taken around my high school graduation time but it doesn’t even compare with the one mentioned.  I think he was actually in his element when my mom took the picture of him in the driveway.

My last memory of my father alive was during a Christmas leave period (while I was in the Navy) in 1982.  I was home for his last Christmas as well as his last birthday alive.  He’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor just two months before and had come through surgery to remove some of it.  He didn’t go for full removal because he didn’t want to loose his mobility.  Instead he opted for the partial removal and to finish his life out making his final plans for his family.  When diagnosed, my father was given six months to two years to live.  He left my mother, my brother, and my sister but five months later in April of 1983.

It’s been difficult to write this short piece about my father.  My eyes are watering and tears are starting to roll down my cheeks.  My only wish is that anyone who reads this will remember what my father meant to me and think before they have bad thoughts about their own fathers.  Sometimes fathers do things for the strangest of reasons.  Most times they do them for the good of the family that is theirs.  For better or for worse, I LOVE YOU FATHER WHEREVER YOUR SOLE IS NOW I HOPE YOU SEE THIS.