Daddy died of stomach cancer just slightly over thirty years ago. He was entirely too young to go, but medical science didn't know back then all they do today. He was only 58 at the time, and I was 36 that same year. His death is the hardest loss I've had to experience thus far, and although the pain of it is long since gone, the memories of him are very dear.
|the coin-in-the-shoe tradition on my wedding day|
It is my desire to portray people on my blog in their best light, so what better way to do that for Daddy than to give you pictures from my wedding day, although he was always handsome at any time of day or night (a flat top hair cut will do that for a guy!).
The flat top. He was a pilot and preferred to have short, neat hair at all times. He told Sister and me that he didn't want his hair flying all over when he was outside at the airport in the wind. Both he and my mother have always been practical people.
|My father-in-law, Beloved, me, The Cook on Fifth Street, and Daddy|
You get it, I hope, that "The Cook on Fifth Street" is my mother. A few years ago when I asked her to choose a blog pseudonym for herself, that's what she came up with and I love it.
But Fifth Street is a place she moved to many years after Daddy died. Before that, his career as mechanic, then a pilot with American Airlines, and later as a corporate aviation pilot flying Lear Jets gave us many addresses from coast to coast. For a time my father had the distinction of being the highest-rated Lear Jet pilot in the country, so companies sought him out and it was exciting for us all.
One of his assignments took him to Chicago to fly for the Butterball Turkey people. We, as his family, got a personalized tour of the Swift corporation test kitchens, which was a lot of fun.
We even spent some time as official (i.e. legal) immigrants to Canada where he flew for the government of British Columbia.
Other assignments during his career took us to live in New York City, then a smaller town outside of Buffalo, New York, New Jersey, Tulsa, and Southern California.
In addition to his love of flying, Daddy served faithfully in our church wherever we lived, teaching classes, leading organizations, and even filled in for the pastor a time or two with a sermon. He was the one who taught me, as a third grader, that it was time for me to begin reading my Bible every single day and spending time in prayer.
One funny story that comes to mind about Daddy took place when he was just a very little guy. My grandmother told us he packed his little bag and ran away from home. When it was discovered he was missing, his parents contacted the neighbors. It turned out he had run away to one of their homes because he was dissatisfied with the milk at his house. His family lived on a farm and drank milk from their own cows. As I remember the story, he preferred the homogenized milk at his friend's house and wanted to live with them!
Of course, we never got to see him as much as we would have liked due to the nature of his work, but he loved us dearly and took the best of care seeing we girls and our mother were provided for. The last two big expenditures he made on me were my education at a secretarial school and my wedding -- leaving him with empty pockets (though he did the same for my sister a few years later).