To celebrate Father’s Day, here are quotes from Dad plus the best-loved memories from his six kids, thirteen grand-children and three great grand-children. I hope I counted correctly. We all know Dad does math in his head.
1) “It will build character!” Usually said when things didn’t go the way we planned.
2) “Everything turns out for the best.”
3) “There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” It’s true; I found the best fish. Tossed the others back.
4) “Always finish what you start.”
5) “Coffee tastes better with a cookie or two.”
6) “Camping vacations are the best vacations.“
7) “Always bring a sand-pail to the beach to wash your feet afterwards.”
8) “Ice cream is the best dessert, especially soft ice cream when camping.”
9) “Pack down your ice cream cone.”
10) Trust Dad to finish an ice cream cone that his child or grand-child couldn’t finish.
11) “Make sure you have needle nose pliers and a multi-head screwdriver.”
12) “Education is never a waste.” Told to me when I switched from engineering to nursing.
13) Dad was a trendsetter before it was cool for a Dad to actually care for his kids. He played with us, taught us how to ride a bike, throw a ball, drive a car & start a campfire. He let us use a hatchet even though we almost cut our toes off.
14) He took us for hikes on the railroad tracks and let us dive off the railroad bridge. We were never afraid with him at our side. He gave Mom a break but we didn’t realize it at the time.
15) He let a daughter drive from Chatham to Wallaceburg–27 km– after ONE driving lesson. He instilled faith in us.
16) Dad knows more about current events and pop culture than most of us. Even asks the grandchildren about Rave parties.
17) Treats all of us six kids equally. Although the youngest ate more ice cream than the rest of us while growing up.
18) When women’s lib started in the 60’s, Dad believed a person could do anything if he/she worked hard enough.
19) Instilled in us a strong sense of justice and taught us the importance of doing the right thing, instead of the easiest thing.
20) Misplaced a grandson at a state fair and a grand-daughter at Joe Louis arena. Both were found.
21) Visited his first grand-child on a Tuesday night, an hour and a half drive away, because he was worried she was growing up too fast.
22) When things didn’t work out at university, he told one of us don’t worry about paying him back but to pay back to his kids in the future. And those words came true.
23) Allowed grandchildren to climb snow mountains behind the arena.
24) Allowed grandchildren to jump on an old couch downstairs when Nonna told them to stop.
25) Took grandchildren to ride bikes down Suicide Hill.
26) Once while babysitting a hyper grand-daughter (yup, one of my daughters), he was exhausted. He rested on his bed and told her to grab his hand and lie down on the bed too. The hyper one pulled her arm out of the socket when she tried to get out of bed! Dad took her to a clinic and got her all fixed up before returning her to me. To this day, that grandchild thinks it’s the funniest thing since clowns.
27) Took in a grandchild when she was kicked out of the house. (Yup, another of mine). When she thanked him, he said, “What kind of Nonno would I be if I didn’t?” She thinks he’d always be the best even if he hadn’t taken her in. He always had wise words to help us get through troubled times. Still to this day. He never gives up on his family.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You’re the man by whom your children measure all others.
We love you dearly!