That “Didn’t Do” Dad Of Mine

June 13, 2019

Dear Editor:
It’s a “didn’t do” kinda Friday…I never realized how handsome my father was until I saw him in the mirror this week…I guess I never really looked that closely before…now admit it, we’ve all sworn that we’d never become our parents!!…in our early teens years, the flaws of our parents were magnified to the point where public appearances together were taboo…it was easy then to recite everything that was wrong with our parents and all the things they didn’t do right…looking in the mirror, I was forced to reflect on the man that was looking back at me…

My father didn’t teach me to throw a curveball; he never took me to a real live Tiger’s game (the passion of my childhood)…he didn’t ever go camping with me or even build a campfire that I can recall…he surely didn’t teach me to hunt or fish (I still can’t distingish a crappie from a carp)…my father didn’t put on an apron and do the backyard cookout thing (like Spanky the Polish Engineer, he abhorred eating outdoors with the bugs)…

He labored under the impression that his sons needed a father, not a pal or a playmate…let me tell you a couple more things that my father didn’t do…my father never put himself ahead of his family…I can’t recall a single time in my entire life, not as a child and not as an adult, where my father passed over our needs to meet his own…if he ate steak, we all ate steak!…he would skip lunch (if needed) to provide the funds for something his boys had to have…

He didn’t shirk his responsibilities; I can’t recall a single day he “called in” just because…he didn’t avoid working his ass off to take care of business (he worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day all through my junior high and high school years — something I didn’t appreciate until I hit my 30’s)…another thing he didn’t do — unlike his father (who was a pr*#!k to little Kenny), he didn’t make me feel unwanted or unwelcome…he didn’t give a lot of advice or preachy lectures — even when asked — but he didn’t stiff arm me when I needed help, either…another thing he didn’t do — he didn’t abuse, molest or diminish his sons…he didn’t have a need to berate us, belittle us or call us denigrating names…he didn’t embarrass us with public hugs or maudlin affection; neither did he seek to break our spirits like some of my friend’s fathers did…another thing he didn’t do — he didn’t beat our mother or debase her or tell her children what a loser she was…

I’m sure they had their issues and I recall many a meal eaten with family banter — but to assassinate his wife’s character just wasn’t his style (whatever he had to unload was not done in my presence)…there’s more that my dad didn’t do, but you get the idea…now when I look in the mirror, and recall my vow to never be like my parents, I have to take back that sentiment…it’s probably too late as there are many things I wish I “didn’t do”, but if I can finish out with the integrity and decency of my old man I’ll be pleased that it was a good run..

The ducks on the pond don’t push their young, they lead them…and Mother Parker says you’ll never regret the things you didn’t do as much as the things you did do!

Kelly Morley

P.S. — I lost my father and my oldest daughter in the same year; I’m thankful Dad went first — it would have broken his heart to bury the girl that made him a grandpa!!





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