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Happy Father’s Day

21 Jun
Father's Day

Father's Day

I hope all you Fathers had a good day yesterday.  One ex-coworker received an iPAD for Father’s Day!  At least that is what he reported via Facebook. 😉  What a great gift!  There certainly is nothing wrong with buying someone a gift.  Recently, prior to Father’s Day I told my oldest daughter that I didn’t want her (or any of them) to buy me a gift.  I told her I didn’t like the marketing strategy that businesses used to generate more days that people felt they had to purchase items to be given as gifts.

There is Christmas, Mother’s day, Father’s day, birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving (no gifts, but lot-o-food), Valentine’s day, anniversaries.  To a lesser degree, St. Patrick’s day (beer, things that are green), etc…  They need to call it what it is.  “Buy Something day! – Anything Just Buy Something Please!”  Yeah you’re right that wouldn’t fit on the calendar very well.  Now there is NOTHING wrong with businesses making money.  And I don’t blame them for coming up with clever ways to get our money out of our pockets and into theirs.

So at this point you are thinking that I’m just upset because I didn’t get a gift!  Actually you are wrong.  All my children wished me a happy Father’s day, and all but one came to eat and visit yesterday.  The one that did not attend, my youngest son, is in Pennsylvania attending college.  My wife spent hours cooking for the dozen or so people that came to visit, and hours going to the store collecting the ingredients.  It wasn’t a Thanksgiving meal, but it was close!

I receive two physical gifts.  A charging station, made of wood.  Very pretty.  You place a power strip inside the box, and route the charger’s cables through holes.  It makes a very clean “wire free” place to charge phones, PDA, etc…  Since it has places for 4 devices I suggested we place it in a common location so we could all use it.  Seemed wrong to have it in use for one smart phone.  It was a very thoughtful and useful gift.  I also receive a HAND MADE card.  My wife enjoys scrapbooking and via this hobby she makes some amazing cards.  I keep telling her to sell them, and she keeps reminding me that no one would pay her enough for the time she spends on the card.  I can understand that, they are all very beautiful and detailed.  Then to my surprise my Mother in-law gave me a gift of a large sum of money!  I really didn’t want to accept it, but I didn’t want to insult her by refusing it.  In addition to this very nice gesture she cooked and brought from her house to ours my favorite meal.  Chili Rellenos with rice and beans.  When I was ready to eat she hopped up and started fixing me fresh flour tortillas to eat with my meal.

So in addition to all the food that my wife was cooking my Mother in-law fixed an additional meal for me.  (Technically one of the chillies was for my wife).  Perhaps this is common for most of you.  A bevy of people, relatives, surround you on your special days and do things for you.  Growing up as an only child to parents that were older, my Mom was almost forty when I was born, I was pretty much alone.  They did their things and I did mine.  Oh sure when I was younger my mom drug me from place to place trying to make sure that I learned and enjoyed myself.  She gave me lots of advice that I use to this day, and share with my family all the time.  My parents were good to me and provided me more than I needed.  What is different between my life growing up with my parents and my life with my wife is their family bond.  They are very close and by proxy I get to experience that love.

Each year Father’s day holds a special memory for me.  It reminds me of the passing of my own Father.  This year it was twenty six years ago, June 17th, 1984, Father’s Day.  My Dad started smoking at the age of 16.  He smoked up until 5 years prior to his death.  He had a mild heart attack and during a surgery to repair the blockage they found cancer in the tip of his lung.  He stopped smoking the day of his heart attack, which I was very proud of, but also upset that he had not done this years earlier.  I think many people believe that illness is something that other people have happen to them.  I know that other than a pretty nasty annual cold my Dad was never sick.  After surgery and a few weeks of chemo therapy he was cured.  Five years later the cancer returned and had spread to various parts of his body.  He took a two week vacation from work as the illness progressed to a point where he was unable to make the 45 minute one way trip from Baytown to Dresser in Houston.  During his vacation he got worse, he was taken to the hospital.  He laid in a hospital bed as my Mom and I sat around him.  His lungs filling with fluid, he struggled to breath.  Many hours went by and his body sweat profusely as he struggled to get enough air in his lungs to stay alive.

Eventually the body that he had for too short of time couldn’t maintain the blood oxygen levels necessary and it stopped working.  Prior to his passing, and while he was still able to pay attention to things said to him, I was able to tell my Mom that I would name my first born child after him.  I was unable to do this myself.  My Dad and I were not close.  I’m not sure why we weren’t.  Perhaps it was how it was raised by Grandma and Grandpa.  I think my greatest fear would be to lose him before I had a chance to really know the man, and when that fear was realized it was almost too much to bear.

I made it through, and when that first child was born he was named Danny Lamar Muckleroy.  It still bothers me that my Dad was never able to meet Danny, Shaun, Cassie or Mandy.  He would have been very impressed with Danny and Shaun, but Cassie and Mandy would have been very special.  I mean what Grand Dad doesn’t like Grand Daughters!?!?!  As I write this my eyes well up with tears.  I am still amazed that 26 years after my Dad’s traumatic death and as a middle aged man the memories still evoke such strong emotions.  I guess you never really get over losing a family member.  Maybe we are not supposed to.

I only spent 24 years of my life with my Dad.  During those years I remember him coaching my little league team, buying me a strawberry malt at a local drive in located in Highlands.  Taking me to Princess Hamburger and telling me how he loved going there as a kid.  He taught me to squint my eyes when using power tools (not to wear safety glasses mind you – lol).  He taught me that a Dad went to work, came home, and took care of things around the house.  Even though we were not close, I learned so many things from the man, directly and indirectly.  When my Dad was watching TV it really didn’t matter if I wanted to talk to him or not.  I might get one sylable answers, or none at all.  Because of this I learned that when my children need me I need to stop what I am doing and pay attention to them.  If they need a hug, advise, or to look at a scrap, bruise, etc..  I don’t always accomplish giving them the attention they need but I try.  Involvement with my children is important to me.  Talking to them and telling things hopefully so they don’t look back and wish they had a chance to get to know their Dad.  Personally I want them to be sick of me by the time I go. 😉

So Happy Father’s day.  If you’re a Father and your only gift is to have a child be happy.  No matter what the circumstances are no matter how dire or sad the situation may be consider yourself lucky.  Having a father or being a father doesn’t require any training or special skill.  Being a father is a gift from God as we are able to experience just a fraction of the fulfillment of what God must have after creating us.  If you are a child be happy that you have a Father.  Even if he isn’t around, or you never even knew him.  For whatever reason you were put here given a chance to live.  You also have the chance to treat your child better.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  I wish you were here.  I’d love to see your reaction to all these kids that you are related to.





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2 Comments

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  1. Whoobyu44

    June 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    My son didn’t even wish me a happy fathers day and he live with me. Idrove him to work and we heard two commercials on the radio about fathers day and he still didn’t say anything

     
  2. Tony Muckleroy

    June 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    That can be very frustrating.  Sometimes guys don’t like doing things that they know they are “supposed” to do.  At least that is the way I was when I was younger.  Hell even now come to think of it.