Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 – according to Wikipedia Sonora Smart Dodd started this tradition all those years ago. Now we have a day every year to celebrate the man in our life who plays this important role.
Father’s Day is a day to honor all people who are father figures in our lives: moms, dads, grandfathers, grandmothers, step-dads, etc. Personally, I had my dad and my grandfather. This Father’s Day, I’d like to share a little about my dad.
My dad taught me much about life. The most important lesson he taught me was having kids doesn’t make you a father: raising them does. A girl’s father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential. My dad was the first man in my life that I remember and definitely one of the most influential. I met my dad when I was barely 2 years old. His name was Michael – aka Mike. I called him Mike or Daddy.
Dad loved the outdoors, and everything related to the outdoors. He taught me how to fish at a very young age. We also went canoeing, camping, hiking, and metal detecting. The memories I have of our time together are some of the best memories of my life.
He taught me lessons I needed to learn: never judge people (no matter what), always be kind, love is all that matters, love all living animals, and respect those that have passed. Dad was a quiet, even-keeled man. I don’t recall ever hearing him raise his voice. He was very tolerant: raising my brother and I, he had to be!
My dad was a very hard worker, sometimes working multiple jobs. He made sure birthdays and Christmas were always special for us, even though we grew up with very little. I admit it … I was a Daddy’s girl and very spoiled. A silly memory is Kit Kat bars. Every time we’d go to a store, he’d always buy me a Kit Kat bar. He would go to the ends of the earth to make sure I had what I wanted. He would even do things he feared to make sure I was happy: like visiting me in the hospital when I was very ill as a child (he did not like hospitals).
Our song was “Your Are My Sunshine.” He always told me that I was, and always would be, his special daughter. His sunshine. I’d always be his “Muffin” no matter how old I got. He started calling me Muffin when I was just a baby. We were buddies, buckaroos. He was my best friend for his entire life.
Dad was a craftsman and an artist. He loved the Native American culture and made many crafts depicting this. He made walking sticks, prayer sticks, medicine bags, and dream-catchers. He didn’t buy kits at the store – he made them all from what he found on the earth. He was also a very talented airbrush artist. He had the ability to airbrush small pieces with perfect detail. He made wood art as well. I’m not sure there was anything he couldn’t create.
As dad got older, he realized city life wasn’t for him. He relocated to Vermont and rented out a one room cabin in the mountains. He worked for the cable company to pay the bills, and spent the rest of his time doing what he loved most: arts and crafts, fishing, camping, hiking, and spending time with his Native American friends. He lived a simple life that wasn’t controlled by materialistic items that the world obsesses over.
On June 3, 2002, 15 years ago, my dad left this earth to be with our Lord. He is now fishing, camping, and hiking every day. I know he’s looking down on me and still keeping me safe after all these years.