Last week we celebrated my Uncle Bill’s 80th birthday. His only daughter shared some sentiments for him in a birthday card, which told of what a kind, humble and positive person he is.
The words were also true of my own father, who has been gone for 8 years at the end of this month. And when the roadside gullies fill with tiger lilies and bugle flowers, it reminds me, always, of our last few weeks together and how I great a world it would be if everyone were blessed a father like mine.
My Dad was born in 1933, the era of the Great Depression. He grew up in Nobob, Kentucky, exploring the creeks, woodlands, and fields of Barren and Metcalfe counties. He played the fiddle by the age of five, and a mandolin and without any higher education trained himself to be a master woodworker through his innate understanding of mathematics, science, and nature. He was no stranger to hard work.
All of that said, his greatest qualities were patience, positivity, and humility. He never rushed, but everything was always accomplished. He rarely worried. I never recall him complaining about anything, even when he got older and certainly had aches and pains, I never heard about them. They don’t make people more steady and stable than my Dad. In retrospective, what in the most thankful for is the way he and my mother were both always teaching me practical skills for everyday life: how to grow a garden, swing a hammer, use a socket wrench, snap beans, can tomatoes.
I thought it was common knowledge, but I find now it isn’t so common at all, and my Father and Mother were not ordinary parents, they were extraordinary.