Remembering the lessons from Daddy

With all that’s going on it’s easy to over look holidays and other things we need to remember. I have to admit, I have not been as good about sending cards this year. I always try to remember to send birthday cards, anniversary cards and even just because cards during the year, but this year, I’ve fallen down on that job. I will try to do better in the coming months. 

Though social media makes it easy to say happy birthday or anniversary, it’s not the same to me as a card that has been signed by the person. Especially if that person has picked out the card specifically for you. These days handwriting a note is something no one hardly ever does, but I still do occasionally. Taking the time to do that means you truly care about the person.

We need to go back to instilling manners and teaching proper etiquette to our young people. These days many of them cannot write the first word in cursive, don’t know proper telephone etiquette or how to address an envelope. The need is still there for them to learn these things. Don’t really know when all that stopped but I do know I passed it down to my children and at least one of them practices it to this day.

Don’t know about you but I learned a lot from my parents, especially my dad. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him or a week that goes by when I’d like to pick up the phone to call him. 

He taught me many valuable lessons and my gardening skills are from my Granny and Daddy. I learned to drive a tractor at the age of 11, so when it came time to drive a car, I was ahead of the curve. I then taught most of the neighborhood kids how to drive my car. In those days all the kids could drive a stick shift. These days many kids can’t. All of mine can because we thought it important to teach them.

I never told my dad that I had a fender bender in his truck. His Chevrolet truck was huge and to turn the wheel I had to place my whole body behind it. Someone turned sharp in on me. Dad’s truck didn’t show anything but a scratch and the other car had a slight dent. It was kids as well about the same age as I was and they didn’t want to call the police or for their parents to know either. So we all went home. It was the first time my dad had let me take my younger brother off with me in the truck. I knew my brother, who enjoyed tattling on me, would probably say something but as far as I know he never did. If he did, Daddy never said anything to me about it. 

Daddy was one of those who listened to all sides of a story and always said there was more than one side, usually more than two and you could usually find the truth somewhere in the middle of them all. 

He always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do with my life and that I did not need a man to take care of me. He taught me to be independent, perhaps to a fault when I was younger. He was right and I pushed myself to the very limit in making sure I got that college degree. Daddy said education was important not just for yourself but for your career as well.  The only way to get ahead, he always said was put our nose to the grindstone (hard work). He certainly set the example in that and it’s something I passed down to my children as they all work hard and take pride in the work they do every day. 

Even when he was sick, not able to feed himself because his hands shook too bad, he always let me know he was proud of me.

He challenged me to think for myself and engaged me in many vigorous discussions about politics and what was going on in the world at that time. He loved it when we disagreed as it gave both of us something to think about and to be more open minded.

Daddy was a quiet man really, but as an arbetrator and when in litigation, people listened when he talked. He spent a lot of time tamping on his pipe and never spoke hastily so everyone knew he had thought carefully about rulings and decisions. He always thought people said more than they should without thinking and didn’t listen as much as they should.

I  was one of the few, if not the only person who could decipher Daddy’s handwriting. It looked a lot like chicken scratching and he handwrote everything for it to be typed. Because of that I got to read the column he wrote once a week for a base paper and decisions for cases before they were released. 

Even though he did have a secretary, she had a hard time reading his writing and would always ask me to help her and so usually I just went ahead and typed it myself.

Don’t know what that says about me but it’s true. These days I sometimes have trouble reading my own handwritten notes.

When you lose your parents, there are a lot of things they miss, like new grandchildren and accomplishments, marriages and lots more. Daddy did not meet David and I wish that he had. They are actually a lot alike.

I’m just thankful we had him as long as we did and that we made many memories and learned lessons along the way.

So, to all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day. Spend time with your family. And if you like me are missing your Father, prayers and hugs for you.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Copy Editor, Copywriting, Event Planner, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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