Father’s Day Tales

 

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My dad

It is about 3 weeks ago when I meet Brian, an electrician and father of 4. I am babysitting Annabelle and he is doing some repairs to my daughter’s and son in law’s house. My best guess is that Brian is in his young 30’s. He’s quite professional and quickly explains the electrical issues with the house and how to repair them. He goes about the work to be done.

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Happy Father’s Day, Sam

As he emerges from the basement, work completed, he meets Annabelle who is now awake from a long nap. He instantly greets her with the most endearing tone and smile. It is at this time I ask, “Do you have kids?” His shoulders slump and there is a sudden change in his demeanor, “My son died a year ago.” I instantly recognize the pain in his voice and that grief in his eyes. I understand and I let him know.

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Happy Father’s Day, Bill

 

I take a deep breath and simply ask, “What is your son’s name? “ He brightens for a moment and chats for several minutes about his son before ever revealing he has three more children at home. It’s quite remarkable, this grief thing. It swallows one whole. The most reassuring thing I can muster in the moment is to let this dad know he is not alone. I hope Brian is having a great day with his children.

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Happy Father’s Day to my brothers….you learned well from the greatest generation

It is around the same time, 3 weeks ago, while visiting my sister in-law, I discover an old diary written by my dad during WWll. My sister in law, Evelyn, thought I might like to have it. I never knew the diary existed. I did know, however, my dad was a bomber plane mechanic stationed in England. He never talked about his war experience except to mention that he danced with Miss America when she was on tour with the USO.

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I thought I knew my dad pretty well until I read his diary. It felt like an invasion of privacy, but I gained huge insight into this great man and father. His writings are not only an authentic historical account of the world war in the 1940’s, but quite a fascinating look into his life at age 25.

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In deplorable conditions and constantly under fire his only concern is to repair the planes that have been riddled with bullets to the best of his ability. He is in awe of the brave pilots that fly these “ships” and anguished when he buries one of them. His only fear is not getting back home to his family and fiancée, Edith. My dad was a good soldier who served his country well. No doubt he loved his family, friends and country. My William is his clone.

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Happy Father’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Father’s Day Tales

  1. My heart is breaking for your Bill and my Scot on this difficult day. Thinking of you. XOXO

    • These Hallmark card days take on a whole new meaning when one has lost a beloved child.I know you are strong and can hold Scott up today. ❤

  2. I didn’t know about that diary. I am strongly interested in reading it. This summer in August when we go to the Delaware shore you are invited to visit. Paul will be there with his kids, and I am sure he would want to read it, along with Christy and Cam.
    JJ
    .

    • Louis did not know about it either. I do not know when it fell into Charlie’s hands. I will bring it to Delaware. Its a great document.

  3. Beautiful post Lisa. Brian got the best Father’s Day gift from you…the opportunity to talk about his son openly. I think so many bereaved dads try to be strong for everyone else; a tiring task. A peace filled day to Bill, Brian, my Rob and all other bereaved fathers❤️

    • I think it is almost easier for the bereaved to talk more openly to a stranger, especially a dad as you so well point out. I was happy to help Brian celebrate his son that day. Yes to peace.

    • I think you will enjoy reading dad’s diary. He was a real true-blue kind of guy and loyal to a fault. He sure loved and missed our mom.

  4. Lisa, as always a touching and heartfelt post. I love how William is always woven into the tapestry of your words. Lucky, lucky Brian…like another commenter said, just to have an opportunity to mention his son, say his name, and share his profound loss – I think it is amazing how God will bring people along our path that can not only ask US and minister to US, but that we can do the same for others. The passage by which I facilitate my bereavement group is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, and you’ve exhibited this with Brian. I love seeing the pics of your family and your dad’s diary is a true treasure! Have a blessed summer!

    • You have no idea how soothing your words are. Your bereavement group is so lucky to have you be a voice.

  5. Lisa, Evelyn passed this to John and me. I can’t begin to tell you how touched we are. What an amazing story. You are one in a million.

    • Glad you can join me here, Carol (maker of the best rice balls I have ever eaten). I hope you will read the blog from the beginning and see other stories about not only my William, but your good friend and my brother, Charlie. Thanks for being a great support to Evelyn who has her own share of grief.

  6. What a powerful tribute to your Dad (you look just like him) and that diary is quite a treasure! I was thinking about Bill this past Father’s Day, how it must be so tough for him, for any father who has lost a child. You all continue to be in my heart.

    • Well he was a handsome but tough guy and if I am half the person he was I consider myself very lucky. William was a real warrior as you know. Every day is difficult but those holidays are especially difficult reminders of the loss

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