Father's Day 2011
When I think of my dad (who has been gone since 1978) I see him on a tractor. He could drive a John Deere like a guy rode a bucking bronco. He would stand up as he drove past the house down the hill and wave as he drove. He drove a Ford tractor, too, but for some reason I remember him mostly on that big green John Deere.
My dad was a hard working man. He had an 8th grade education and did anything and everything to support his wife and family. When I was about 4 we moved to a farm where he spent most of the rest of his life working for another man to put food on our table. It was a good place to live and grow up. He and another man managed almost a thousand acres and several hundred head of Polled Herford cattle. He could scrub the dirty face of a white faced bull until it sparkled like snow to show it off in a big cattle show. And he would come in the house as dirty as anyone could get, covered with hay seed and sweat.
In my mind, Daddy could fix anything. He was a mechanic, a handyman, a tree trimmer--you name it--he could do it all. Yet, he was gentle enough to sit down with me and help me build an entire miniature town out of toothpicks once when we were flooded in behind the creek for a few days. He also made a wooden neck for one of my Barbie dolls once when my cousin ripped her head off.
We had a good relationship and I think I was pretty special to him (being the only girl between 2 boys--UNTIL my little sister came along! haha). I could wrap him around my little finger and he would let me do things that Mom probably would not have. I'm sure he knew my manipulation yet he went along with it.
Daddy loved music and made sure I loved it, too. He made sure I learned to play the piano so I could play in church. Church music was what he loved. He sang bass and even though I can no longer remember what he sounded like when he talked, I can occasionally hear him singing bass in my head. He and I would sing together and I would play for him and Mom when they sang in a quartet.
Our last Christmas together, Daddy took Tim and me coon hunting. We walked and ran all over the side of a small mountain in the dark chasing our dog as he chased a coon. It's one of my best memories. Another best memory is seeing him out in the field plowing. He'd see me in the yard and whistle for me to bring him a drink of water. I'd fill a Mason jar with ice and water and go running across the field to take it to him. He'd take a break and we'd sometimes sit under a shade tree and talk a minute or two.
On June 28, 1978 that tractor bucked him off. He was hit by a round bale of hay that knocked him to the ground and broke his neck. He died a week later in the hospital. 33 years later....I miss my dad on this Father's day. I love you, Daddy and look forward to seeing you again in heaven.