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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Wherever You Are

Theodore Paull
On Father's Day I'm reminded of my dad and our thirty-one years together. I used to complain about how unfair it was to have had so little time with him, but after chatting with various people about their childhoods, I stopped. I'd rather have had thirty-one years with mine than sixty-two with yours. Hopefully your dad was great too, but I've heard multiple stories about abusive fathers. This is not one of them!

Although he never hit me, he could snap me into line with a look  for it was critical not to disappoint him. Unlike most children today, I had fear mixed with respect when it came to my father. When I became a parent, he told me, "Don't ever hit your children, but don't ever let them think you won't." Yep. He had me fooled.

Dad had a funny side too. Having grown up during the depression era, no one spent money on luxuries such as getting one's teeth straightened; so, Dad enjoyed making us laugh by squinting his eyes and showing his skinny little teeth with spaces between each one. Still, I couldn't wait for my handsome daddy to come home each night. My siblings and I listened for the groan of the garage door followed by a steady bump, bump, bump up the staircase. We'd charge out of bed to hug Dad who would remove his sports coat and replace it with his worn, blue terrycloth robe. I loved when Dad put me in bed because he'd tuck me in with a series of geeks, ya it was goofy but so was Dad at times. Although my kids' memories of my father are sketchy or absent, they know what geeking is all about.

He hated this picture but I love it!
Dad loved to tell pop corn, such as how his classmates nicknamed him Tadpole. A teacher with a thick German accent called attendance: Ted Paull came out sounding like tadpole, and the name stuck. Dad had his own nickname for me BooBoo, and my sibs had their fun with theories of where that name came from.

A cornier pop corn came from Dad's boyhood walk to school down Flora Place. Every morning the neighbors would lean out their windows and sing, "Theodora don't spit on the flora." Fertilize the lawn with that story, which always sounded best coming from Dad.

When an earthquake shook our house, Dad hollered, "Florence [my mother]! Quit jumping around up there!" But don't think he didn't care deeply for her. He showed his love and devotion through constant care for Mom when she became ill. He quit working and socializing to be by her bedside while she lay unconscious in an Iowa hospital. Refusing to leave her side, his stress became evident when he lost control of his Diabetes. Mom's health improved while Dad died of "total system failure" in 1993.

I miss my daddy on Father's Day and every day, but I have been blessed to have married a kind man who is much like my dad.

10 comments:

Word Nerd said...

What a wonderful man your dad was!

Mojo Writin' said...

That was gorgeous. Your dad sounds like a great character, someone I would have enjoyed knowing *hugs*

Brenda Stevens said...

WOW and handsome too...reading this made me chuckle and cry; thought of the story NOTEBOOK. Wonder if many would sacrifice like this..wow awesome tribute...awesome genetics there missy! Makes me adore you even more

Joyce Lansky said...

Thanks for the comments. Actually, the genetics suck. We have every disease known to man in our genetic make up. Even one of my aunts had the gall to ask my mother why I had children with such a bad gene pool. Can you believe that? I never knew grandparents and unfortunately my kids are living without theirs; however, we die with all of our teeth! ;)

Debbie Does Coupons said...

That is such a touching story! I have a great Dad, too and will miss him when he is gone. It is evident you loved him very much.

I am a new follower from the Managing Monday blog hop.

Whispering Peace said...

Aww what a great post....
I even hate to say thanks for stopping by my blog and that I'm now following you as well---just doesn't seem to fit with such a terrific post.

Chris said...

What great memories of your dad! I totally agree that it's better to have had the years you had because you learned the morals and goals he had set for you and you knew you were loved.

Thank you for stopping by my Loving Disney. Please email me with any Disney World questions you have and I will do my best to answer them for you. Congratulations on your daughter attending college close to there. I tried for years to get mine to do the Disney college program but they haven't given in yet. :)

Chris
www.shmily1-lovingdisney.blogspot.com
chrisaltm@gmail.com

Yetsky said...

What can I say?! I have mixed reactions and so I toggled on funny, interesting and cool bec that is exactly how I feel while reading that article. I remember my dad :-) I so miss him :-)

Don E. Chute said...

Joyce, I believe our Dads are hangin' out in Heaven together!

Like you, it was the best to have been with him.

Aloha From Hot Dry Florida!

Chrystina said...

Visitng from Chasing Joy. Loved reading this post, tears in my eyes right now actually. Very cool - he sounds like a pretty awesome man, and it's pretty awesome that you found one like him. Have a great night!