As Fathers’ Day 2021 has arrived, I think back to my own father and many father figures I’ve had in my life. My father passed away from lung cancer 26 years ago. It was a difficult day for me, but I soldiered through. I was now the eldest male in my family. My Dad was an only child so it was always impressed on me that I was the last to carry on the family name. I lot to put on a kid, but none the less, that’s not what we’re talking about today.
My Dad was a part of the post WWII migration from the rural to the urban setting in search of jobs. But he kept close ties to that rural upbringing and made sure we knew to respect it. He also taught me a strong work effort. That any job worth doing is worth doing right. For that I will always be grateful. Maybe the best lesson was about working to provide for your family. He worked long hours and, thru the years, two jobs to make sure my Mom, my sister, and I were fed and sheltered. For this I will always love him.
My Grandfathers were both farmers. We spent time with them as often as possible while growing up. They were still very different persons. My Grandpa Crouch, my mother’s dad, was a veteran of WWI and had fathered 7 children, 2 daughters and 5 sons. One son died at 1 year old, another from scarlet fever at 13, and a daughter as a young adult. So life had been tough for him. But he loved his grandchildren, all 8 of us.
My Grandpa Thomas was a little bit younger than than my other grandpa. He always said he was too young for WWI and too old for WWII. He was a God-fearing man who worked hard every day and would rest on Sunday. When we would visit he made sure my sister and I had a good time and learned what being a small farmer was all about. He would always find time to go fishing with us.
I’ve had several father figures throughout my life, my uncles Ray, Joe, and Francis. My great uncles Delmar and Dan, and two fathers-in-laws. These men were all a positive influence in my life, though some never knew it. They were all good men and are now all gone.
I have two sons and numerous nephews, my wife has a big family, that I include in this post. I wish them all a very Happy Fathers’ Day. And to all the rest of you, Happy Fathers Day.