My dad was a disciplinarian but he was fair, he was always there for the entire family, not just our immediate family, but for his siblings, his parents, my mom’s parents and her siblings.

He would do anything for us, he taught us how to be responsible for our actions, he taught us how to be frugal with our money, and above all, he and my mother taught us how a loving relationship can last forever. As a result, my wife and I have been married for 35 years.  We have passed on his work ethic and respect for people to our 3 children.

My dad worked 2 jobs for many years in order to make ends meet so my mom could stay at home with me and my two sisters. My wife quit working the day our oldest son was born and did not work outside the home again for 23 years.

My dad would put you over his knee and give you a good wallop when you deserved it, but he never hit me, and there were quite a few times when I was a teen that I deserved a good ass-kickin’.

Later in life he developed manic-depression, and it was difficult on all of us, including him as he was reduced to depending on others. I remember one period when he was in a manic state for weeks and was being very nasty to my mom. She called me late at night crying and asked me to hurry over.  She was afraid he was going to hurt her. I was there in about 5 minutes.  When I drove up he was in the backyard.  I rushed back there yelling and asking what he was doing to mom.  He stood his ground and did not flinch at his 210 lbs son rushing him.  We both just collapsed into each other crying because we both knew how much he was hurting. He told me he thought I was going to hit him. I told him I never could do that because he never hit me.

He passed in 1994 and sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday and we were talking, other times it feels like 100 years since I have seen him. I miss him very much, but I have always tried to treat my wife and kids with the respect they deserve as people, that is something I learned from him.

Tom


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