September 4, 2013
Happy Birthday, Dad! I miss you.
75 years ago today my dad was born into this world. 2 years and 26 days ago he left this world. Nasty cancer invaded his body and did not relent. I miss him, and I loved him very much. He taught me so much about life. He taught me to honor my word, and to respect people. I remember him saying “You can’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” And of course none of us have walked a mile in each others shoes. We didn’t have a lot, but he was a generous man to so many people. He and my sweet Mother owned and operated (Mom still operates making the best Salt-Rising bread in the country!) a bakery in Angelica, New York since 1969. Through that business, he taught me and my siblings’ good work ethics, as well as working together as a family to get things done. He shared his gifts of baking with us his family, and when there were needs for baked goods at a function, he would gladly provide them. He taught me my love for music. He shared his talent of playing the piano, and organ at our church every Sunday. And at home, I have so many precious memories of him playing his way through the Readers Digest music books while my Mom and I, and sometimes my sister, would stand behind him singing the tunes. Every year we would pile the seven D’s (Duane, Dottie, Dan, Darcy, Darryl, Debbie, and Doug) in our van and drive to Florida for a vacation. Looking back, I see the great sacrifice that was made for us to be able to take those trips. He gave me my love for ice cream Sundays! My dad truly loved his ice cream. I remember having vanilla ice cream, Spanish peanuts, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, whip topping… yum! Oh, and there is also the pure maple syrup! He taught each of us five kids how to make maple sugar candy. He would heat up a big pan of it and then put some in bowls for us to stir and stir… and stir. :-) Oh how I love that stuff. Every year he would take us to the fair that came to our little town. That was one his favorite things. It was a joy to see him take my kids to the fair when we went up to visit.
So many years, so many memories I am thankful for the 42 years and 60 days that I got to be his daughter. I am thankful that in his last days, he professed Christ as his savior. I am thankful that one day, I will see him again. I am thankful for the valuable life lessons he gave to me. I am thankful for the memories. Thanks, Dad! <3