Each year, since January 2001, Father’s Day is bittersweet. I know my Dad is in heaven and able to breathe freely instead of fighting for each breath and able to walk and run without having to stop every minute or two to catch his breath. I’m sure he’s fishing somewhere on a bank with other brothers and sisters who have gone on to their eternal home. Or maybe he’s strumming his guitar and singing like he often did. I do have to wonder if he’s the only one catching fish which was usually the case every time I went with him.
Daddy was one of those fisherman who would sit there all day because eventually the fish were going to bite. Even if there were five other people and no one else was catching fish, Daddy always caught something. That has not been the case for me as I lose interest after a couple of hours if not getting any bites.
Perhaps for him it was just a time to unwind and relax. For me it’s relaxing up unto the point I haven’t gotten a bite in a while, then it becomes frustrating. Daddy had a unlimited supply of patience and while mine is long, nothing compared to his.
He was patient, even in the midst of negotiations and I never saw him lose his cool when everyone else around him was losing theirs. He was soft-spoken and when he spoke, people stopped to listen. I sat in on many a meeting he conducted. I was always in awe of how calm, cool and collected he remained through the whole process.
I can’t lay claim to always being that way because apparently, I have a limit to how far I can be pushed and once I’ve reached that limit, my mouth flies open and angry words may come out, depending on the situation. Being in leadership positions you have to keep all of that in check and thank goodness I have in those situations. There has been one time where I did ask someone to leave my office and come back when they could talk in a rational and reasonable manner. The outcome was still the same, but I did not allow him to yell at me or disrespect my position and no one should allow that type of behavior.
As humans and adults we can sit down and have rational discussions, or at least we should be able to do so. Some people will try and push you just to see how far they can go and it’s up to you how you react.
One thing my dad could not do was write legibly. His handwriting was like that of a doctor and most of the time, I was the only one who could decipher it and was asked to do so on numerous occasions. He penned a column for a base newspaper at one time and inevitably, they would ask me to type it because they couldn’t read it. To this day, I can usually read handwriting that others cannot decipher.
I miss my Daddy every day and it’s easy to become sad or melancholy but I try to remember all the wonderful memories and there are enough to last me a lifetime.
Sure, I wish he could have seen the grandbabies and met my husband, David, who happens to be a lot like him in many ways. There are some days when if I could only pick up the phone and talk to him, everything would be alright again.
Daddy, was my sounding board of reason and what was fair. In every situation he had to know all sides before giving you advice or an opinion. As a child, that frustrated me but as an adult I came to really appreciate it as it just made good sense.
I have found myself wondering what Daddy would think of this or that or what would he have done in certain situations. Sometimes I know immediately, other times it may take me a little while.
He was always proud of me and I never wanted to disappoint him and I don’t think I really ever did though I know there were a few times he was not happy with my choices. He would never voice that to me, however.
Daddy and I had many adventures over the years fishing, dancing, sightseeing and visiting. He never offered advice unless you asked him.
When I was nine, I almost drowned even though I could swim I panicked when I stepped in a hole over my head. Daddy went in shoes, pants, shirts, watch and all, to save me.
He could grow practically anything, just like my Granny.
Our political views were quite the opposite most of the time and we had lots of discussions, never letting them develop into arguments. In fact, I doubt if Daddy ever argued with anyone.
He could discuss the ins and outs of baseball and football and what was right or wrong with the team with anyone. I watched many a game with him.
After a couple years of taking piano lessons, he would get out his guitar and we would play together and sing, mainly the older gospel songs. On occasion if I’m having a sad day, I’ll sing “Wings of a Dove” or “There’s a Rainbow” which we always sang especially on long trips. It never fails to uplift me. No matter how old we get, we always need our Dads. Happy Father’s Day to all Dads and hugs to you if your Father is in Heaven. I know I’ll see mine again one day and that fact brings a smile to my face. ©2019
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org