Today is the Friday before Father's Day (again). On this day I see the fb posts of smiling dads’ faces. I hear the TV commercials for men's clothes and tools. I smell men's cologne testers at the mall before I go to sit on a bench in the park and taste a vanilla ice cream cone. Finally, I am back home touching a very old pocket watch in my jewelry box. As I place my finger where there was once a winding stem, I remember the man from long ago who I called Daddy. I try with all my might to stir up some sort of memory of what his voice sounded like, what his laugh sounded like. Did I ever hear him laugh? Did I ever him hear him sing? Sadly the same few memories that ran through my mind the last Father’s Day, and the last flash by as quickly as they always do when I see and hear others remembering their dads.
I remember he worked as a maintenance man in my early childhood. He wore navy blue work uniforms with a white name tag sewn on the shirt pocket with the red letters, “Charlie” inside.
I remember he always smelled good even after working all day. Old Spice is what my mother told me he wore.
I remember “helping” him work on something on the back porch when I was five years old. I stepped on the spout of an oil can, stuck it through my foot from bottom to top. He picked me up and took me into the house and put me on the couch. A trip to the doctor? I don’t remember. Fifty years later I still have a scar to help me remember that day I helped my daddy work on something.
THE ICE CREAM
The only place I ever remember him taking me was to get an ice cream cone and then going to eat it at Elvis Presley Park.
I remember a time when this old broken piece of a watch in my jewelry box once functioned as a timepiece. I remember seeing my daddy wind it up, hold it to his ear hearing the tick-tock I guess, and putting it in his pocket.
Try as I may there are so few memories I have of him before he had a stroke that left him bedridden, and with little mind function when I was nine years old. He died three years later of a cerebral hemorrhage at the young age of 56.
On this Father’s Day, I am so thankful my children have had a dad with whom they have made many memories. He has been a granddad to their children. He is now even a great granddad to the children’s children. He has worked hard to support us all. He has tried to keep peace when sometimes peace seemed totally impossible. He has disciplined them, cried with them, laughed with them, and loved them unconditionally. My husband is what a dad is supposed to be.
So in your life, if you feel you have lost out on any type of relationship, trust God. He is a RESTORER in all things. God has a way of giving us things we lost that we thought we would never regain. Though my relationship with the man I called daddy was very short and very unfulfilling God gave me a husband to father my children and be there for them the way I wish my dad could have been for me.
Happy Father’s Day Wayne Parker. I love you and am very thankful that on this day our children can make very real memories with you that they can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste for years to come.