Charlie's Blog

A Message To Dad

Jun-14-2012

Here is my Dad with his 5TH - 6TH grade classmates in 1940

I have been experiencing a few teary, sentimental moments lately when thoughts of my Dad suddenly enter my mind.  I couldn’t understand why this has been happening the last few days or figure out what was causing it.  After my episode this morning I tried to find the answer.  Today is June 14, 2012. He passed in October. His birthday is in November.  No significance there. It must be the heat! After considering this I concluded the heat was exactly the reason.  Now hold on.  I don’t mean the heat was making me dizzy or anything similar. It was the heat that triggered all these memories that made me realize how much I still miss him. My Father and I did not always agree on everything, but we came to have a very deep respect for each other. This is mostly because I have his same intolerance for bull. I also have the same gene as he did about expressing this in a simple and direct way, often to my detriment. He liked that about me, especially since most of my childhood I was short, scrawny and real skinny! Yeah, yeah hard to believe now, but I have photos as proof.
My best memories of him are wrapped in the warmth of summer. I did not realize this until today. It makes sense, because in summer we were out of school. My brothers, sister and I spent the majority of our time working with him on the dairy.  We did not get to sleep in just because we didn’t have to get up and catch the school bus.
It was in summertime we fed calves, sorted out the heifer pens, cleaned up the mangers, picked sweet corn and dozens of other chores he gave us. He would often surprise us with taking us fishing after he finished his work in the barn and we would watch the sunset over the fields from a dusty ditch bank.  Most of the cattle shows were in the summer or during some hot weather month. There are great memories of grand champion milking cow celebrations that are flooded with cold beer, crude chunks of cheese and colorful jokes. Now it makes total sense to me that Father’s day is a summer event.
There is not one memory of my dad that is connected to a toy or material thing.  My message to every Father’s out there is when it is all said and done what you leave behind is your time. Take it from a former little kid that was never afraid to speak his mind. It is the memories of simple times spent together that will remain with your children long after you’re gone.