Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Daddy

As you have probably noticed, if you are at least 40 or older, time has a way of getting away from you.

It is always good to reflect on the past; not to dwell there, but to remember people who help mold you into the person you are today.

Thornton Wilder once said that the greatest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.  Today is my late father's 96th birthday and I am always filled with gratitude when I remember him!

It really doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remembered he was.  And I remember him very well.

My Dad served his country in World War II. He was in a German prison camp for over two years before he escaped.  The war greatly affected the rest of his life.  Looking back now I think he was too soft-hearted to see and experience the things he did during the war.

He and my Mom married when he returned from the army in 1945. They celebrated 57 years together before he passed away.

My sister, Linda, came along in 1947 and thus began the long-time career of my Dad being a wonderful, caring father and grandfather.

I came along 15 months later (poor Mom).  I don't have many pictures of me as a little baby.  Do you think my Mother was a little busy then?  This picture is of my Daddy holding me and my sister standing next to me.  I know it was Sunday because my Dad has on a tie and the young boy in the picture(Kenneth Dean Hughes) was a boy who went to our church.  We lived about two blocks from church and he would come down and want to help get me and Linda to Sunday school on time!

I laugh now because I see most of our pictures were made as we were getting ready to go to church!
Our parents always took us to church....not sent us....they took us!
I was so blessed and didn't even realize it!

And Daddy was always with us when Mother made our pictures with what Santa brought!  I love these pictures and can remember this little table set, my doll and the metal set of toy dishes! (But can't remember what I did last week....oh well!)

I remember this Christmas especially.  My sister and I were always dressed alike.  These dresses were hunter green corduroy.  My doll's name was Suzy and she was a "walker" doll.  You could hold her hand and her legs would move as you walked.

Here's another picture of Daddy with us and our Christmas dolls! He is holding our dog Penny.
Daddy loved dogs and we always had one.  I guess that why my sister and I both LOVE dogs and so do my children!

I remember this day.  It was Sunday afternoon after church and we went to the park.  We had a friend who played with us after church and she went with us.  She took the picture.

This is one of the few pictures made of me alone with my Daddy.  When you have two girls so close in age it is hard to find one of you by yourself with your parent.  Or least it was in those days!  Is it strange to you that I can always remember my clothes and what color they were? Mother made almost everything we wore.  This little dress was brown on the bottom with a little pink print in it.  The top was cream-colored with material from the bottom of the dress made to form the "V".  My mother was a very talented seamstress.  (I can't sew on a button and neither can my sister. Go figure!)  My little purse was pink and had French poodles on the front.

I skip up to our teen years.....oh my!  This is one of those "yes we will all go and have our family picture made for the church pictorial directory" pictures!
I think I was a senior in high school('66) and my sister was a freshman at the U of A.
My sister looks beautiful and I look like I've got buck teeth.  How do you like that "flip" hair-do??

Many years later, 1973 to be exact, my Daddy became a Grandfather for the first time.  Pap-pa
was a loving grandfather and he thought his first grandbaby, Kelly, was the greatest thing he ever had!

And then, in 1976, Pap-pa welcomed his first grandson, Chris.  After being surrounded by all the women in his life for so long, he finally got a son!!  A GRAND son!  He loved Chris so much!

Pap-pa loved to spend as much time as possible with his only grandchildren.
He relished every visit with them!

My children always grew up knowing their Pap-pa ( and Mam-ma) thought they were the finest grandchildren ever!

So, even though my Daddy has been gone for almost 10 years now, I still think of him and miss him greatly.  I especially think of how, if he were alive today, he would be so totally in love with this great-grandgirls, Harper and Hollis!  Pap-pa knew about raising little girls!

I am so very thankful that the Lord put in me in a home with a wonderful,loving Father.  This makes it easier for me to realize how much my HEAVENLY Father loves me if my earthly Father loved me so much!

I wanted to post one last picture....a very old picture of my sister and me.....just to show Kelly that she comes from a long line of mothers who dress their daughters alike! And look at that LARGE bow in my hair!!!  LOL


Alex and Lyndsey said...

This brought tears to my eyes. My mom has one sister and me, my siblings and cousins grew up with grandparents who thought we were the greatest in the world. To me, this was one of the greatest influences on my life. Their unconditional love, prayers and support mean more than anything to me. Thanks for sharing today:)

Carol said...

Oh, Judy, this is such a precious post. It brought me to tears, too. My Daddy has been gone for almost 25 years & Mother 14. It seems the older I get the more I miss them & appreciate the wonderful christian home I was born into. Almost every time I'm enjoying my 2 grandchildren I think about how much they would have loved getting to know them.

Kimberley said...

i think anyone who reads this will have tears! probably one of the sweetest posts i've ever read! you have a great way with words! and i love all the pictures, naturally!!! :)

emily said...

I have tears in my eyes too! Thanks for sharing! :)

Kelley said...

I am crying as I read this. This is beautiful! Your pictures are wonderful! How precious are these memories!

Melanie Keffer said...

Yes, yes, yes. We lost my dad 7 years ago and there was just nobody like him either. He had two girls, my sister and myself and loved every minute of his girls all his life . . . and then God blessed him with two granddaughters and three grandsons he would not have traded for a million dollars. The three boys all were born within a 13 month span of time. My dad never had boys and suddenly, before he knew what hit him, there were three grandsons! We laughed and laughed at him. You know, I don't think even having boys at last ever made him regret just having girls. At least, he didn't act like it.

Loved this post.

Melanie Keffer
Olive Branch, MS

Jo Elyn said...

I enjoyed this post so much. When you showed the picture of you with your walking doll, Suzy, I gasped. I had a walking Suzy doll also. My sister (who was also 15 months younger than I was) almost wore her out. Then when my girls were small, my dad got her out and they enjoyed playing with her. They were forever dressing her in their out grown clothes. One time she even went for a ride in the car. We sure got the looks about leaving a child in the seatbelt when we went in the store.
I enjoy reading your blog. I live in Amarillo, TX. I am a retired elementary school teacher. Now I am the educational secretary at First Baptist Church.
Jo Elyn Landers

Kelly said...

I miss Pap-Pa so much.
And I love that mam-ma dressed y'all alike so much like I dress mine! Only I can't sew. Or cook a chocolate pie. :-)
Happy birthday Pap-pa!

Pastor Steve said...

I loved J. W. like he was my own father. It's funny how much I see of Harper in the pictures of you and Kelly.

Maryellen said...

Judy how wonderful. What a blessing to have a wonderful Father. I love your little saddle shoes in the last photo.

The Mommy said...

Such a precious post! Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories.

The Petty's said...

I totally agree with your hubby. I see Harper in your face as a child's, Kelly's and even Linda's. Thank you for sharing.


Island Baby said...

Such a sweet post for your beloved Daddy. He certainly would be so proud of all of you today. I think Holllis looks JUST like her Uncle Chris!!

Chelsa said...

I was going to say the same thing as your hubs did- those little pictures of you and kelly look a lot like harper now!

Candis Berge said...

I love this post. I, too, was blessed with a loving father. Sadly, he died 2 months before our wedding and one of my life long regrets is that he never knew my sons. Or they him. But life goes on, and we pass along the memories and pictures for our families to "know" our loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others, you had me in tears, this was such a sweet post and so genuine! Also wanted to say how much I see Kelly and Harper in the pics of you and your sister! There's no doubt who they took after!

Elizabeth said...

Such a SWEET post..and I think it's safe to say that HOLLIS looks just like YOUR family. Not only have I said before that she looked like a baby picture of your husband..but today I see that she also favors your son's baby picture..ALOT! I enjoy keeping up with Kelly..AND with you! You two make me want to drive from Ft. Campbell, KY to come have lunch with you! I can just see my little Emmi-Reece & Harper together now! They are only one month apart in age. Enjoy your day..and keep posting!!!!! =)

Nancy said...

What a precious post. I have a Dad like that and you are right, we are so blessed.
I was so scared to move from Michigan to Alabama in the 6th grade & my Dad loved me enough to stay in the office for over 5 hours on my first day & told me if I needed him, to come get him. I went to the office @ lunch & told him I was ok and he could go to work now. Makes me cry thinking about it!!
Great post!!

Sugar said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I loved reading about your sweet Daddy and your beautiful pictures. What a loved, blessed little girl you were. It's no surprise that you have a loving family of your own; clearly you had great examples!

Erin said...

I just loved this heart warming walk down memory lane. Thanks for sharing with us your memories of your Mom and Dad when you were little. I just so enjoyed reading this and loved looking at the pictures.

jenn said...

Judy, this is a beautiful tribute to your father! I love the pictures through the years! Happy Birthday to your daddy!!

Tanya said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Dad! How special and thoughtful! He sounded like a lovely gentleman who dearly loved his family. Your memories are your treasures!
I lost my Dad in July of 2010 and it was and still is extremely hard. I appreciated very much how you can fondly remember. I still feel to much sadness and pain but want to get to a "happy" point.

Also wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about your sweet hubby and his unfortunate day on New Years Eve. My goodness...what a day! Bless you! So happy to hear he is back out in that fabulous shop working away. God is good. I will say a prayer for him (and you Judy) that he continues to feel great.
Have just been loving reading sweet Kelly's blog. She's a doll! I see why....her Momma!
Have a wonderful day....

Sara said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad! I loved looking through all the pictures! You look thrilled in that last one! Ha!

Island Baby said...

Please pray for Tripp and his sweet mama as she prepares to say goodbye to her beautiful brave boy. Pray for peace and no more pain. Xo


Robin said...

What a precious post to show the love you have for your father, and what an amazing gift your father was to you. Sounds like your father was the type of father we all long for, yet sadly few actually get. I think it's so wonderful that you realize what a gift you were given. I can't help but have tears running down my face as read your precious words honoring him.

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures and memories. Loved reading it!

The Garners said...

This is wonderful. It made me cry, too! Your Daddy was so very sweet!

Karen said...

such wonderful memories to treasure - yes, it is overwhelming how much more our Heavenly Father loves us than the one He gave us here on earth. Enjoyed playing catch-up today on your past posts.
Sorry to hear of your husband's episode, glad he is better.

Paula Aspacher said...

Harper looks just like your sister when she was a little girl!