Saturday, June 14, 2014

MY DAD ... 

My dad was raised in the Mormon Colonies in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1914.  Times were hard and with eight children in his family money was scarce.

My father had a feisty spirit and to say the least he caused a little "trouble" at school and at home. His teachers could not make him mind and they punished him by making him copy passages out of the Bible. With no exaggeration, I'm sure he copied it in its entirety several times. 

He terrified his teacher more than once. He and his friends lay in wait for her to start home and when she got half way across the swinging bridge they jumped out and started the bridge rocking. Her hysterical cries brought "help" running and the boys quickly scattered. They copied a lot of Bible for that.  My dad was a "hellion" who's stories are almost legendary. 


No one could control him... not his dad or mom, or the school or the sheriff. Then my mother caught his eye. She was as prim and proper as he was wild and to add to the drama she was the daughter of a Mormon minister. Not a sensible match but in the moment LOVE had very little sense. 

They married at just 19 in the middle of the depression and my dad suddenly found himself responsible for a wife and before long... a house full of kids. Without any education or real skill the only thing he had to offer was that he was a hard worker who would not give up.

For all his rebelliousness he spent most of his adult life in law enforcement and he was good at it. I guess he could see it from both sides. 

As a child, growing up, I didn't have a lot of interaction with my dad. He worked two jobs and when he was home he was tired. I would have to say we were pretty much "strangers"

Then, the year I graduated from high school, my family moved from California to Utah. I went off to college and my brothers, all except my youngest, were on their own. Somewhere in the next four years my dad and I collided in a good way. He was immensely proud when I graduated from college... something he yearned for but never accomplished. After I starting teaching school he would visit my class often. I think he viewed "teacher" in a new light.

When I married and had children he saw his "second chance" My father morphed into the kindest, most patient, involved grandfather I could ever imagine. Never once did he lose his temper with my kids... and there was plenty of opportunity. 

He use to drive my youngest two daughters on their paper route every afternoon at 4:00 They knew to be ready. Here he came in his great big Lincoln. They would pile in with their heavy bags and off they would go laughing and talking to Grandpa. 

It was Grandpa that would treat us all to Friday night pizza and root beer. It was Grandpa that taught my kids to mow lawns and pluck chickens and "mind your mom."  

He loved us, he took care of us, he taught us and he protected us. We almost lost him when his heart gave out playing soccer with my oldest. He endured a seven bypass surgery and we had him for 10 more years. 

I miss my dad. It was my profound pleasure to watch him become the "best version" of himself.  When he did leave us I thought the world would quit turning. It didn't, it kept going and so did we. My children were the lucky recipients of a life lived across the street from Grandpa. We still laugh at the endless memories and speak his name with the greatest of love.

Happy Father's Day to one and all!