Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Daddy

I am thinking of my father today on the day of his birth. Several life lessons I learned I attribute to my father or as I called him, Daddy. One important lesson was to be honest. He taught me honesty by example and also by not tolerating any lying in our family. I lied to him one time as a child when I said I had gathered the eggs, and I had not taken them from under the setting hen. I was afraid of her sharp beak, because she pecked at my hand. He scolded me, and I admitted the truth.

Here Daddy is getting something out of my eye. I am two years old. His beard is for the Atlanta Centennial celebration.
Those are big horses! He is at my Grandad Bane's farm.

Daddy taught me the satisfaction of a job well done. He served his country during World War I. He farmed, milked dairy cows, and also worked at a factory for years, while raising four children. My father had the reputation of being a hard worker.

He also valued education.  Daddy had an 8th grade education, but he was smart in common sense. I remember him multiplying, saying, “Ought times two is ought.” He explained that “ought” means zero. Later, however, when I was studying algebra, he said he just could not understand how a letter could stand for a number. He and my mother were so proud when I finally graduated from college and became a teacher.
A kiss from Daddy after I received my master's degree at Truman.

Another lesson I learned at my father’s side was the love for spouse and family. He fell in love with my mother when she was sixteen, and continued to love her the rest of their days. He also loved his children. As he grew older, and we tried to help out with his housework or cooking, he sometimes asked, “What would I do without my kids? "
A Christmas celebration at our parents' house in Macon. I love how we are all connected.
My family as we celebrate our parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary

My father and I remained close over the years. I talked to him on the phone almost every day, and saw him at least once a week.  I often relied on him for advice until the day he died at almost 92. When he passed on, I was there by his hospital bed, holding his hand. Honestly, I would not have had it any other way. 

Today, my wish for him is that he and Mom are young, happy and healthy in heaven.  My brother, Clayton, is there  at the birthday party as well, along with Daddy's sister and brothers.  Happy Birthday, Daddy.