Saturday, May 1, 2010

Flashback Fridays

Flashback Fridays is back, albeit on Saturday. This week is going to be a bit different. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my Grandmas. This week and next will be about my Grandpas. My Mom's Dad very sadly passed away before I was born, before my Mom even got married, so I, unfortunately, never got to know him.

Today's post is brought to you from my Mom, in her own words. Thanks Mom for sharing your Dad with us.

One thing I remember most about my Dad was his complete devotion to my Mom. I always knew that they were the loves of each others' lives.

Another thing was his wonderful sense of humor. He loved a good joke or a funny situation. I can still hear his wonderful laugh.

He was a lifelong resident of a small farm in NW Iowa. I don't think he went more than 75 miles from there his whole life but he had a very broad view of the world.

He became very sick one fall with sleeping sickness and was unable to complete his farm work. One of my most vivid memories of childhood was standing in the yard with my hand in his and all the neighbors pulling into the yard to harvest the crops. I looked up at him and tears were running down his face. He and my Mom had three sons die very early in life including Johnny who died when I was about nine. I remember my Dad crying then too.

I still find myself quoting something he "always said." One of my favorites is "He would complain if he was hung with a new rope". My Dad never met a stranger. We would go to a town with him and plan to meet up after shopping. We would arrive at the meeting place to find him visiting with some guy. They would say warm good-byes and we would leave. We would ask him who it was and he would say, "Oh, I don't know. Never saw him before". His funeral included lots of people we didn't know.

Dad was very strong physically although he wasn't very tall. I severely sprained my ankle in the 8th grade and Dad came to get me to take me to the doctor. He strode onto the playground, bent over and picked me up to carry me to the car. One of the teachers objected saying I was too heavy but Dad proceeded without seeming to strain. He and Bud, our neighbor, used to come to school to get us if a winter storm threatened. I always felt very safe with him.

He smoked a pipe (which probably contributed to his heart attack) but the smell of pipe smoke still brings him vividly to me. Another thing about Dad was that he didn't suffer fools gladly. There were neighbors and members of the parish whom he loved to mimic. He was hilarious.

I wish you and your siblings, as well as your Dad, could have known him.

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