Part of a parent’s job is to make us feel safe. Comforted. Accepted. Loved. Hopefully, this gives us the ability to venture out into the big bad world with little fear.
You did that for me. Thank you.
When I try to visualize your face, I see your smile and your twinkling blue eyes — like we’re sharing a secret joke no one else would understand. “See? Life is funny!” you chuckle. “Isn’t it ridiculous? Let’s laugh about it. It’s gonna be all right, Punky.”
You helped me to always find the humor in life. Thank you.
When I think of the person you were, I remember a quiet, intelligent, loving man who stood up to do the right thing. You always wanted to help others. No matter where their life’s path had taken them or their circumstances. You weren’t scared, you just did it. Actions speak louder than words. You weren’t looking for praise or attention. You did it because it was the right thing to do. You once told me, “Who knows, one day they might turn around and help you when you need it most.” What you put out there will come back to you times a hundred.
You taught me to reach out and help others. Thank you.
You gave me the power of having an open mind, to see all sides to things. You allowed me to discover my beliefs on my own, to keep questioning and learning while always practicing respect for another point of view. You taught me that being gentle to myself and others takes strength. Kindness is more important than being right.
You gave me the gift of compassion, trust and faith. Thank you.
Compassion for others starts within. If you’re not kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others. You will never resolve negativity you feel with others in your life — anger, resentment, jealousy — until you resolve those issues within your own mind, your own soul. The ability to love myself is crucial if I want to fully love and be open to others in my life.
You showed me to trust in myself. To love myself. Thank you.
Today would have been your 75th birthday. And I know that wherever you are, in my mind you’re still chuckling, calling me Punky, and telling me it will be all right. And I know it will.
Thank you for everything you taught me.
I am the person I am today, I am the mom I am today, because of you.
Happy birthday, Dad.
81 thoughts on “Dear Dad”
Your posts about your Father always get to me, and not much does (well except when I welled up over a gardening show last week where they did up a family’s garden who had two kids who were partially blind)
Oh no! Sorry, Joe. I have to admit, I cried the entire time I wrote this and each time I edited it, the tears welled up again. Dammit! My dad was such a good man, I can’t help it.
Thank you. My dad was a beautiful person.
You’re a versatile writer, and I am a sucker for nostalgia. When you write straight from your innards, you shake the living daylights out of me. And this last sentence will be sold to Hallmark and I will be rich. Beautiful.
Maybe I should get a job with Hallmark…hmm…not a bad idea…. Thanks for the comments, Le Clown, much appreciated.
How beautiful. Kindness, compassion, humor…these things and more that your father gave to you shine through. What a lovely tribute you are to your father.
It’s the simple things that we can do for one another–like treating each other with respect. These were things my dad did and how he lived his life. Powerful lessons.
so from the heart–so beautiful–you are one lovely writer Darla. I hope I can be at least some of the things your dad was to you, to my kids.
I have no doubt you will for sure!
Those of us who have had loving, caring fathers in our lives are indeed blessed. This is a wonderful tribute to your dad. Thanks for sharing.
I really was incredibly blessed with a dad like him, I realize how lucky I was to have had him in my life for a short time.
Really nice post about your dad, makes me sentimental as I lost my dad 2 years ago….and he sounds similar to yours. By the way, I like your new formal…looks nice.
I am so sorry you lost your dad as well. It’s been 22 years since my dad died and I still think about him all the time. But now, it’s more with a happiness and warmth in my heart than sadness. I know he’s still with me and I know I’ll see him again someday.
Oh and thanks about the format, I think it’s much easier on my eyes, very simple.
Thank you, happy you liked it.
A good dad can make all the difference. Yours did a great job for sure. I hope some day my own daughter thinks back fondly on my life’s rom time to time, and that when she does she’s proud to have called me her daddy.
Don, you are a great dad, amazing police officer and kickass blogger. I’m certain your daughter is proud of you now and always will be. (dang…I’m getting all teary-eyed again…must write something funny for my next post)
Lol. Write something about vaginas. They’re funny!! Thank you by the way. You’re sweet.
Oh, they are totally a hoot, Don. I will do that straight away.
by the way…I saw you were FP, congrats! so well deserved. Your post was powerful. And not one mention of the word ‘vagina’! was this your first FP?
Thank you, Darla. It was my first, yes!
Get out. I thought it was your second. Are you recovering yet? Have your replied to the hundreds of comments? Did you eat, drink or use a toilet in the last 48 hours?? Get a beer can hat, they work great.
I think I did catch up finally, yes! I’ve been waiting for negative comments to flood in at some point, but everyone was pretty decent for the most part!
“Kindness is more important than being right.” If only more people thought this way. Lovely tribute to your dad.
Heavy sigh. I know, if ONLY people would be kinder to each other in all aspects of life. Really sounds trite but it’s true. I wish everyone in the world could have a dad like mine.
you’re very lucky
I know. I am so blessed to have had him in my life. He was a good man.
Daddy’s girls are awesome people. Fearless, hilarious, compassionate, confident. What a gift it is to have a man in our lives who shows us qualities worth emulating and who shows us its okay to fail. Exactly what parents should do. This is a true love tribute to your father, Darla.
Oh, how I love your comment, Honie. My compassion knows no bounds, but sometimes I think I feel things too much and too strongly, especially when I see someone is being treated unfairly or disrespectfully.
being a parent is the only job we have to get right – I am glad my parents did what they did for me, at the time I was ungrateful, much like my own kids are now, for what I had and what I was given – love, direction, advice, and discipline… sounds like you and I had the same dad. Nice post. Happy Birthday.
I am happy to know you had a similar dad. And this is so true–our kids might not see just how much we have taught them in life until they are much older and can look back and appreciate all those lessons we’ve tirelessly tried to teach them. Unfortunately, I knew earlier just how blessed I was when he died suddenly. That alone was a big lesson for me–always love and appreciate your parents while they’re still here.
I think I wold have liked your Dad.
The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Thank you. If there’s anything I want to do in life, it’s make my dad proud and I hope I’ve done that by being a good mom to my own kids.
Beautiful, and so elegantly and gently expressed.
Happy Birthday, Darla’s Dad; you did a good job raising a smart, thoughtful, generous girl.
Thank you. I am still working on a few things, but I think I’ve got the thoughtful part down pat.
I have a feeling you possess the same secret-joke-conspiring-twinkling eyes, D. This was beautiful.
Y’know, I DO have his eyes, RP. Pale blue just like his were. And okay, they do twinkle from time to time…
This is such a sweet tribute. Your father would be proud of everything you accomplished!
It’s the most I can hope for, Susie!
So touching and heartfelt, Darla. We who had wonderful Dad’s are very lucky indeed.
The older I get, the more I see how lucky I was to have him for a parent.
What a sweet and lovely tribute to your dad. He would be enormously proud of you, Darla. Everything he tried to teach you comes shining through in your life and your writing. Well done.
I certainly hope I can keep trying to be more like he was. Thanks so much, Misty.
Awwww…. Nicely done.
Expertly written – a nice blend of sincerity and honesty without getting treacly.
I often envision what my daughter will say about me when she’s older.
I think about that too, what will my kids say about me. Especially after they get through the dreaded teens years. My guess is when they’re in their 20s they’ll start to appreciate me.
Good lessons, well worth repeating and remembering 🙂
I’m glad to see you have the proper depth of appreciation for having a dad like him. It’s not something you’re owed in life. It doesn’t work out that way for everyone. Nice work.
So true. Not everyone can say they’ve been blessed with a good parent. I am very lucky. Now my job is to be as good a mom to my kids.
My entire body is filled with goose bumps. Happy Birthday to that wonderful man who made you who you are, today! xo
Beautiful tribute to your dad, Darla!
Straight from the heart! Beautifully written and it sounds like your dad was a great guy!
So beautiful! Your dad sounds like he was absolutely amazing!!
Happy Birthday, Darla’s Dad! 😀
Darla, your father’s gifts were clearly passed onto you. Especially the gift of compassion. Your ability to empathize and really ‘hear’ what people are saying sets you apart. What a rich legacy he’s given you.
He certainly gave me the gift of kindness and respect. These things have helped shape who I am today for sure. I fully blame my dad for all my good qualities. Thanks, Anka.
Beautiful Darla…just beautiful. Clearly your dad did an amazing job with his little “Punky” (I love that name).
Thanks, Life. I know, Punky fit me perfectly. (and this was before Punky Brewster…) He was the only one who ever called me that so it’s extra-special.
Lovely, Darla. Your dad would be so proud of you for all you’ve accomplished and for the beautiful family you’re helping to raise.
I’ve no doubt your father was every bit as wonderful as this post [beautifully] describes, DP – you’re living proof of his kindness and generosity!
Beautiful! You’re a lucky girl to have had such a wonderful father.
Aw, sweetie, this is so lovely, tender and poignant. Happy Birthday, indeed to your Dad.
A beautiful tribute to your Dad. Happy Birthday.
Dear Darla, thank you for this, it is beautiful and compassionate. Thank you and Happy Birthday to your father because without him we wouldn’t have you and that would leave us with a terrible empty space.
Thanks, Val, I owe most of my good qualities to my dad.
Beautiful, Darla. Happy birthday to your dad!! Whenever you write about your father, your words touch our hearts and this time it was no different.
“Kindness is more important than being right.” -This piece of advice from your dad shows his character. I will remember this line forever.
That is something I tell myself all the time to remember to treat others with respect. Sure, I might have a different opinion than them, but that’s okay.
Thank you for the lovely words! I needed them today. My father died 35 years ago 8/19 and I still miss him greatly. And it sounds like he was very like your father in what he taught and instilled in his daughter. Although I have spent almost 2/3 of my life without my dad, he does live in me and your words helped me remember that.
Big hugs to you.
I’ve no doubt you do miss your dad as much today as you did when he died so long ago. This will never change for me either, and it’s been 22 years since my dad died. So sorry you know this grief and loss.
It’s funny, sometimes I think of him and try to remember how he sounded or looked and lately it hits me pretty hard when I see my own kids growing up without ever knowing him as their grandfather This is what usually sets me off to crying and just wishing he was here. But what helps is I know he really is around in spirit and I have faith I will see him again someday.
That’s exactly how I feel. I come across special events and wish he’d lived to see them. When he was growing up, he wanted to go to college, but his father was a farmer who only made it to 6th grade. He didn’t see the importance of a college education. So, my father was determined his children would go to college. Unfortunately, my father died at the beginning of my sophomore year. But I did graduate and felt him with me when I crossed the stage. I just wish I could have seen his face. He would have been overjoyed. And he also didn’t live to see his grandchildren. My nephews never knew how truly wonderful he was. He would have been a fantastic grandfather.
We are both very lucky to have had fathers who had such an impact on us.
What a precious post, Darla. SO glad I didn’t miss it. Happy birthday to your dear dad!
Hugs from Ecuador,
Happy Birthday up there, Darla’s Dad. We love your punky. What a great post.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
I think I have something in my eye…damn allergies….
Ha! My older brother just told me he read this on his smartphone and had to go to work and he was all weepy. Allergies will get ya every time…
Darla… No more making me cry! Your posts about your dad always do that to me. I am so impressed with the relationship you had, and I really enjoy hearing your stories about him. You describe him in such a loving way. This line, “Kindness is more important than being right” speaks volumes as to how he lived his life. I know he is feeling your birthday wishes today, and your love always.
Every time you write about your father, the feelings seem to grow deeper and more intense. I’m sure he was very proud of you, and still is.