Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dads To Be Celebrated

Father's Day is coming up on Sunday and we will be on our Anniversary trip, so I wanted to do a post about my Father today. My Dad died when I was 30, I really miss him. It is hard to imagine that I have spent half my life with him gone. It funny though that when someone impacts you like a parent does...they are never far away.

My Dad grew up in North Dakota and he was a great guy. His Dad passed away before Dad became a teenager and that placed some huge hardships upon my Grandmother to raise her two children. Consequently, my Dad spent a lot of time away from his Mom and sister while growing up. Another family took him in so that he could continue his schooling while my Grandmother sold all the farm equipment and moved from Ashley to Bismarck to go to school. She eventually became a court reporter and then was able to survive. My Dad had a college degree which was rare in those days, from the University of North Dakota in accounting. He worked endless hours to make it happen with no financial support from his Mom, as she was barely making it herself. He was very athletic and handsome and would get the most gorgeous golden tans in the summers. He was super smart and had a great sense of humor. Here is a photo of Dad at 19. Isn't he a cutie? Had he been LDS he would have been ready to go on a mission about this time.

My Dad was a gentle and quiet man. He didn't talk your ear off, but when he spoke he had something important to say and people listened. He got a position with the Firestone Tire Company in Minnesota after he graduated from college. My Mom had just moved there from South Dakota to go to beauty school and that is how they happened to meet in 1939 or 40. I think they were the cutest couple. Here they are on one of their dates before they got married.

The Original Rossie and Jo-Jo Bean
I just love the clothes and shoes from this era, do you?
My parents were so good together.

Dad served for nearly six years in the Army during WWII. After the War he accepted a position in California with Standard Oil and one month after he started working there I was born. I was thinking about how our decisions truly do affect the generations to come. Had we not moved to California when I was a baby, I would not have married Jim, joined the church, had the kids and grandkids we do, etc. etc. It is amazing how important each big decision really is. Everything would have been different in Minnesota.

My Dad was a great father. Sometimes I wish he would have offered more direction but his parenting style was more like ~ train up a child and then let them try their wings. He always trusted me and supported my decisions. My Dad was just such a kind person. People that worked for him would always tell me what a gentleman he was and that he was the best and kindest boss they had ever had. He was always so even tempered and kind at home too. I think I can only remember him ever being really mad at me two times in my whole life and both times I deserved it! When he got annoyed about things he would grind the gear shift in the car and that was about it.

Dad's Retirement Picture

Some of my favorite times with my Dad where when I was a young adult and I worked in San Francisco at Standard Oil with him. We commuted together for a few years and that was a great one on one time for us. I was always very proud to be his daughter when I would meet his colleagues from work or anywhere for that matter. Dad worked endless hours in their church, he was a great servant for the Lord. I really miss my Dad! I know that families are forever though and that helps!

The best part of our relationship was when he became a Grandpa and that is when I really saw him open up and adore our kids! He had a great smile and laugh and I can remember seeing more of both during those times. He was the first Grandfather in our town to work in a classroom as a volunteer when Jen was in kindergarten. He called Christopher his Little Buddy and spent lots of hours over here playing with the kids. Sadly he had only a few months with Laura before he was taken home.

Of course there have been some other fabulous fathers in my life as well. Jim is the best. I could not have picked a better father for our kids. He is definitely a hands on Dad. Jim had a great Dad too. Fred was a wonderful 2nd Dad to me. And our son, Chris along with Lowell and Robert never cease to amaze us. They are fantastic Dads. As are our brothers, Steve and the Garys. Happy Father's Day to you all. We love you guys and appreciate all you do to make life super! I have a feeling our five grandsons will be great fathers too with a legacy of wonderful guys to lead them in that direction~ through their great examples. And the girls' husbands will have some mighty men to live up to as well.

I found this picture for Jim for Father's Day
It looks so awesome in a black frame in his office.
I'd have bought one for my Dad too if he were here!
The sentiment is just perfect I think!


Laura said...

I love all the pictures and memories. Although your Dad may not have met Laura, she recieved his likeness in appearance. Sounds like your Dad was an amazing example to many. The picture of your Mom and him is so cute. Love those old romantic pictures.

Bonnie said...

He did meet her but she was just a few months old when he died. I never thought about them looking alike but they do in many ways.

Laura said...

I don't think I have seen Laura in person, but from pictures, I sure do see a lot of similarities. Love the framed picture! Where did you get it? Not that I am wanting to copy your idea---or maybe I am!

Julie said...

I have always been a Daddy's girl. My Dad makes me feel safe and always knows how to make me smile. I remember when I was little thinking how I loved to hold his hand because it was big and strong. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet tribute about your Daddy.

Bonnie said...

Laura~Quilted Bear...Go for it. What I love about it is the way they did it, it looks very masculine and perfect for a Dad's office.

Julie, it is funny that you mention feeling safe with your Dad and his hands...both things that I so remember about my Dad too.

Jim said...

I am blessed to be a father and to have had a great father of my own. When I think of what that really means and how our lives are so inner twined and interdependent it boggles the mind. I mean, my Dad was our children's grandpa and now I am the grandpa to our children's many 'Dads' to keep track of...but what a great system of love and support this gives everyone!

I love and honor my Dad and I miss him daily...most often when I up against a problem at work or need some advise I think, "...I'll just ask Dad..." and then I realize he is gone for now.

One of the things I have learned from all the "Dads" in my life is that the role can be life long. While we are all alive we can nurture our relationship with time and attention and support...and once one of us is gone we can remember these things with comfort and love and peace.

Like Mom, I wish for all of our children, and Grandchildren, the first hand knowledge that they would know how much they are loved by us and that this knowledge would comfort them in time of need and bring happiness to their hearts in time of Joy.

As I get older I am beginning to better understand our relationship with Heavenly Father and His relationship with us. I am very great full for our family's shared vision of the Gospel. What peace and comfort this brings to Mom and I. And no greater gift from our children could we get.

I love you all,
Love Dad...Grandpa