Sunday, November 11, 2007

DADS - November 2007

My father was born in 1931. He passed away in 1979 at 47 years old.

His father started out working for the railroad and went on to become a farmer. There was never much money around. Often my father told the story of his mother going to work cleaning a school at night in order to get money for him to go to school. I only remember seeing his mother once, while passing in a car.

My father went on to obtain a PhD in Chemical Engineering and he worked for a defense contractor. He grew to dislike the job a LOT, more for the politics than the actual work. (I can SO understand that right now).

He went to college at WVU, which is where he and my mother met. He apparently joined the German Club to be able to meet her and wound up helping her with algebra, which was not her best subject.

Two memories of my father from my childhood stand out:

1. He got us (my brother and me) up one night and made us go downstairs. To get to the downstairs we had to go down a wooden staircase (with no railing). The basement was unfinished cement and cinderblock. We could hear our mother screaming - she was apparently quite sick and taken to the hospital by ambluance. I remember driving by and looking up to a window and seeing her wave from there. She was supposed to have an emergency surgery, but credits her faith with making it not necessary.

2. My Dad taught me how to ride a bike. When the time came to take off the training wheels, he would hold onto the bike and walk/jog around the block with me. Once when we got back to our driveway, he told me that I had been riding a good part of the way by myself and he had been jogging to keep up! That made me feel really good about myself.

Christmas 1971 he came home and said that we were moving to Utah in two weeks. At the time, I had no idea where or what "Utah" was. :) His work transferred him.

Dad took alpine skiing lessons with my brother and me that first winter we lived in Salt Lake. Mom, of course, had been skiing her whole life.

*****

OK. I just had a cold shiver run down my back. My father worked 17 miles away from his job there. He grew to hate it toward the end. One day, when he was 47, he came home sick from work. A week later he passed away.

I work 17 miles away from my job. I grow to dislike the politics of that workplace more and more each day. This week I barely pulled myself back from "the edge". I am 46.

*****

What's a memory you have of YOUR father?

9 comments:

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

How sad for you to lose your dad when he was only 47. It's always nice to remember back the special times you had together! Thanks for sharing.

monkeysmama said...

I'm so sorry about this KG. I lost my father last year, loong story there.

(((hugs))) to you!

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wildcatsthree said...

My dad was also born in 1931, and thankfully he is still with us, although he has had 3 heart attacks and bypass surgery. One of my memories of childhood was dad tapping on our doors to get up at 7:00 am so that we could all eat the breakfast he made, accompanied by his marching band album blaring - we were teenagers and apparently he thought the music would help us wake up. We hated it at the time, but I look back on it as one of my fondest memories of him.
Chris

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