A Farmer’s Middle Son
He was a farmer’s middle son and grew into a man that stood 6’2” with wavy black hair and blue eyes. He had full lips and you could always tell when he was mad because his lower lip would stick out. He grew up picking cotton in the South and it was nothing for him to pick 100 lbs of cotton because he got a whole dollar for that sack as a boy. His daddy would push that cotton down in the sack so they could get more in it which he hated because it took him longer to fill it again. He thought noone could make better biscuits and gravy, pies, or cakes like his mama. He adored his mama and in fact he called her mama until the day she died.
I didn’t know it but this tall, dark handsome man was going to be my daddy one day. In fact, I was truly blessed because he had only one little girl, me and a boy, but to me my brother was no competition. Thank goodness, because Southern daddies usually have a special place in their hearts for their little girls, I know mine did. The first time I was really alone with my daddy for any length of time was when my mommy, The Lady in Red took my brother to the hospital in New York City when he had cancer.
I went to a neighbor’s after school until my daddy came home from work then his turn began. He had his own business, an auto body shop which also involved an auto wrecker, which meant night calls from the police in the middle of the night. I was always asleep when daddy got these calls and he would grab one of my Grandma’s quilts, wrap me up and take me with him. I remember being in my Daddy’s arms feeling so safe and in my Grandma’s quilts which were so soft. He was always so “big and scary to me before, but suddenly he wasn’t anymore. He was warm, tender and carried me so gentle to his huge wrecker. It was “us” against the world. My mother and brother may have been forming their own special bond in New York City but in Mesa, Arizona there was another bond forming, that of a daddy and his little girl one that would live on for the rest of our lives. I idolized my daddy and he felt the about me.
He could definitely do no wrong in my eyes, if the wash was behind, I didn’t care. We washed things by hand in the sink together at night for the next day. We didn’t know you were supposed to keep up with the laundry. He wasn’t much of a cook either, so we would eat something simple like breakfast foods for dinner because he knew how to make eggs.
My mommy sent me the most gorgeous Easter dress from New York City; it was white pique fabric with turquoise embroidery all over the hem and sleeves. This dress was something that you would never find in Arizona and I loved it. On Easter, daddy and I posed so proudly for pictures, me in red anklet socks and black patent leather shoes with a white pique dress! Shopping for matching accessories for Easter dresses was not on daddy’s and mine top priorities! We sent pictures to mommy in New York City, but I am sure she was less than pleased! I bet she was as mad as a hornet. She was all about her little girl being color coordinated and I could just hear her say, “You couldn’t go get some white patent leather shoes for her?” “No white lacy socks?” “You two, just wait until I get home.”
Today is April 15, my dad’s birthday and he has been gone over seven years now. Cancer took him from me. There is not another feeling like it in the world being a daddy's little girl. Looking back I don’t know how he managed, running a business which was more than a full-time job, being on-call at night for the wrecker, taking care of me and a house. This didn’t go on for a few weeks; it lasted for a long time. I do remember my mother and brother coming home for a short period and then going back to New York City again, and the cycle would start again. But you know he always managed because he was my daddy. Thank you for allowing me to share a very small piece of him with you. Happy Birthday, dad, if you were here I would make you your favorite coconut cream pie! You were the very best! Love, Marlene
Here’s a picture of him at the farm with his mother, father, brothers and nephew. My dad is the tall one with the dark hair on the right.
A very nice tribute. Thanks for sharing. He sounds like a wonderful father.
marlene, it sounds like you had a very special dad, thanks for sharing gini
gini in north idaho
Marlene, BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing. Your mom and dad were special and so are you! (((((hugs))))
Marlene, your writings are a memorial. I remember you writing before about the woman in the red dress. You bring life to the past, makes me feel like if I reached out and touched the page I could feel the warm skin of those you write about.
You could do this professionally. Very well.
In writing your memories, it helps me to bring back my recollections of those loved ones who have gone before me and turns them into a warm embrace.
Thank you for sharing.
Your story is so sweet. What a lovely tribute to a loving father. Thanks for sharing.
Marlene,what a wonderful memorial you have done for your father, I was very touched by this. April 15th was also my late husbands birthday , hard to believe he's truely gone ,I miss him everyday.Barbara
EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!
Marlene, that's just beautiful. I hope you are saving your writings some place for your family - they are so well & lovingly written & you bring the past to life. Thank you for sharing with us.
Wonderfully written Marlene. Your father is still proud of you today.
Wonderfully written Marlene. Your father is still proud of you today.
Kris, Jeanine, Gini, Leslie, Marie, Patti, Nana, Barbara, Eileen, Heather and everyone,
Thank you all so much for your very kind words about the tribute to my dad, the farmers middle son. I am so happy you all enjoyed the story.
I do try when writing my stories to make you "feel" like you are with me and to take you "back" in time. The times we live in today are so fast, there is never enough time and when I tell my DS that I am writing a story about his Grandma or Granddad he could care less. To me that is so sad. Plus, he thinks I can't even write my ABC's! LOL So, I don't share my stories with my family, only you all because you are "my family" and I feel comfortable sharing these with you. Writing these stories helps me deal with my own loss of my mom and dad and preserves their memories too. I am saving the stories for my family and DS -maybe he can appreciate them when he hits 40 years old LOL.
When something happens to one of you, or in your family, I feel your pain too. Like Barbara mentioned it was Don's birthday the same as my dad's! Now I will always remember, Barbara's husband's birthday is the same as dads, me and Barbara need to connect on April 15. It might be a sad day for her and I know it will be one for me. SO we can share a memory of Don and me of my Dad perhaps and cheer each other up. How about it Barbara?
Thank you for allowing me to share my dad with you all.
So once in a while--perhaps you will humor me and let me post another story but I won't do it too often! Maybe 1-2 times a year. if it is ok with everyone.
Thank you again, my friends. You are all such treasures, to me.
I loved your story too. I replied to it, or so I thought. But I never saw the post- please forgive me for you see my latest great granddaughter was born that morning, so I think that I was really acting properly. I really loved your story - and also the quilt about about your mother in her red dress. it brought back memories of my mother in her red dress too. But with an added twist. My Mom and Dad were getting ready toi go out for the night during the 2nd world war when you couldn't get stockings, so I remember her putting pancake makeup on her legs and drawing adark line up the back of her leg with colored pencil. i was very young then, but then I remember things from when I was 1 year old. Ginny
Marlene - I pray that you will keep sharing your stories with us. They are always so moving - such loving tributes from a daughter. Someday, I hope your son will pick up one of the stories you have written and it will touch him as deeply ( or moreso) as it touches all of us.
That was a beautifully written tribute to your father. Thanks for sharing it. It brought tears to my eyes, my own dad passed way almost three years ago and I miss him very much. I was a daddy's girl when I was little and Ihave great memories of my dad. When of the last great things my dad did for me before he died was to make sure my wedding was a very special day. You see he died eight months after I was married and moved to Florida. The most amazing thing to me was that when my brother called and told me I needed to get to Montana to see dad, my family told me that my dad was only still hanging on to make sure that his little girl was happy and doing well before he was ready to pass. I didn't want to believe them but less then 12 hours after I arrived in Montana to assure my dad that I was happy and doing well, he passed away in his sleep.