It's Father's Day this weekend, and so I thought I'd share a little bit of what makes a father great, by talking a little about my Dad. 

Here's an example.

When I was about nine or ten, my family was out visiting my grandparents in their small plot of land outside of Smithton. We'd go up there just about every weekend. Mom and Dad would drop us off on Friday evenings, we'd go to to church on Sunday morning, and then everyone would come over for Sunday lunch. After that, we'd go home.


Anyway, on this occasion, we were all out at the house, and my Dad went out to drive a bit on the land. If I'm right, he was on an ATV. Something happened - again, I don't know, because I wasn't there - and there was a bad accident.

He walked into the kitchen, said, "I think I've been hurt", and my Mom WIGGED OUT. He had hurt his foot pretty badly in an accident. She was very firm when she told us NOT to look at his foot. I had never seen her like that, so I was definitely not going to look.


Mom piled us all in the truck and I knew something was very wrong because Dad wasn't driving. Mom was asking him if it was still attached, and he said he didn't know.

I remember him telling my Mom not to panic if he passed out, because he's probably in shock. It was very scary, because I'm sure like a lot of you - my Dad was INDESTRUCTIBLE in my eyes. And here he was, very hurt. I didn't know what to say or do, how could I help?


My foggy memory says we went to Bothwell. There wasn't much time that I saw him or Mom in that time. I remember a lot of days staying at my Aunt Cissy's house. I remember tapioca pudding and staying home from school. It seemed like forever, but it was probably a week. Eventually, they moved him to Columbia. I have memories of sitting in the back of a Jeep with the sun in my eyes, wondering when my Dad could come home. It was probably about a month of time at the hospital.


They did extensive surgery, and did a graft on his foot from his stomach. He came out of it pretty well, considering.  I will never forget being told by someone in authority to stand tall and "look eleven" because I wasn't old enough to visit him. We were waiting in a room with a lot of people. It looked like a normal waiting room. I seem to remember Donahue on the tv there. There was a Reader's Digest with all the pages torn out, just a binding and cover. Then, in the other side of the room, came a wheelchair. It was my Dad! I was so thrilled to see him, I had to check myself a little because I was afraid they'd find out I wasn't eleven.

Act like a big kid.  Act like a big kid.

So eventually, Dad got to come home. He couldn't work for a while, I think it was six months, because of the injury. I remember Mom crying at the front door, and people I didn't know brought bags into the house. Now I realize they were donating things to us to help us out.

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Why did I tell you this story? Because I want to point out how thankful I am for my father. He had this terrible thing happen to him, but he didn't give up. He didn't blame the world. He didn't stop trying to provide for us. He went above and beyond and persevered and he was determined that we were going to be okay. He did that all his life, not just in times of hardship. He's been the kindest, gentlest, most generous person I've ever met. In good times and in bad, he's there even if he isn't physically present. I can't tell you how amazing he is. He's funny, he's caring, and he's very clever. I think the story of his foot just shows you his courage and determination - one part of it, anyway.

I will always be thankful for my Dad, and I hope you have a great Father's Day.

Retrospectively yours,

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Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz

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