Happy Father’s Day, Dads!

Although this is a grainy photo, sent to me from a cousin in California, it’s a touching one. It’s my dad, with his dad. And I’m not sure of the story about the puppy. I wish I could learn the story behind the whole photo.

Thomas M. Jewell, Jr and
Thomas M. Jewell, Sr

Life is full of stories. They are carried through generations and shared, each adding their special enhancements to it. Unless it’s written down. Families of old have many nooks and crannies in them. Around the Depression era, many men left families to find work elsewhere. I have heard Grandpa was in an orphanage, the oldest of ten children.

With no father of his own, he took on the role of provider for his mother and siblings. As a child aged out of the orphanage, they returned home or struck out on their own. Back in those days, Father’s were the bread-winners, and they may be the disciplinarian. The “heart” of the family was the Mother, who took care of the family and home on her own. She worked 24/7.

My dad would change diapers, at the same time, he left most of it to Mom. He was a day sleeper and night worker, so we didn’t get a lot of interaction with him, really. I was always sure he loved me, though. He always took me to the doctor, always after school, and Mom made dinner so Dad could eat after the appointment, and go to work.

Dad knew I was scared of the doctor. He was a huge, tall man, with big hands, who didn’t enter the room, he burst into the room. I had a very badly infected ingrown toenail once, and it involved deadening the toe, and removing the infected flesh. It was so painful. I cried, Dad comforted me. At each follow up visit, he talked to me about the Army, and explained what all the items were in the room; what the gauze was for, the purpose of the swabs, and on and on. He distracted me from my fear and taught me a lot of things. That was my dad.

He was always there for me as I grew older. He suggested I re-do a science project once. I didn’t want to, but he said I’d be happier with it. He was right. He was always right. I loved watching him with my kids. He was such a good male figure for them. He had a bond with my Frankie that is still appreciated by my son. He loved my kids. And me. And he told me they were good kids, I was doing a good job. He always encouraged me. I miss him after all this time. I wish he could have met the Babe. They would have been fast friends. They will be, someday.

If you still have your dad, you are lucky. Even bad dads teach you something. Maybe it’s what NOT to be. Anyone who looks over you, keeping a protective watch can be a father figure. Many, many people who do not have Fathers in their home can turn out well. Sure, it helps to have two parents, sometimes that is not possible. Tell your Dad thanks today. Keep your memories fresh. They will be all you have someday.

Have a beautiful, sunny day today. It’s sort of breezy out, full sun. I plan to spend the day doing something fun. See you tomorrow!

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