Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Love You, Daddy

I don't post much about my Daddy. He died on October 31, 1995. The pain and sadness are as tough to handle now as they were 15 years ago. So it is tough to write about him because it forces me to remember and when I remember the tears tend to flow. I can't help think about my Daddy though, so I thought I would write a post to tell you all about him. The thing that I miss the most are those great big bearhugs of his that always told me me he was so happy to see me and have me around. Those hugs always said I love you no matter what. Even those days when I was an awful teenager (and yes I was awful!). Daddy was never one of those men that regretted not having sons. He loved having daughters and taught us both to be as tough as we needed to be while we relished the fact that we could be girls. My Daddy was the generation that moved off the farm, looking for better pay and not so many early hours. In a way Daddy got that and in a way he lost a lot, and I think he knew that to some extent. You see my Daddy was a chemist and for most of his adult working life his only outdoor time was either taking care of the yard work that had to be done or the times during the year when he went back home to the farm. Daddy didn't like farming and he hated chickens. My grandparents had over 2000 chickens and it was his job to feed the chickens before school. He only had one pair of shoes and wasn't allowed to wear them in the chicken houses. So the chickens pecked his toes while he fed them. Even as a little girl I would ask him if we could get chickens ( I always wanted to farm). He would say the only chicken that we would have was the dead one on our plate. He also had to milk 8 jerseys after feeding the chickens. This was all before breakfast and before school. Daddy grew up working hard on the farm and seeing his Daddy working hard on the farm and struggling to make ends meet. So Daddy left the farm in a way that allowed him to earn more money, but he lost so much. As my grandparents aged it was up to Daddy to pay the taxes each year and it often required him to work two jobs to do that and maintain his family. Daddy never complained, but I think at times he realized what he lost. One thing that I learned from Daddy was his love of nature just for its existence and its beauty. Grandaddy loved the land because he could live off it and if he took care of it, then it would take care of him. Daddy loved the land just because it was there. I often remember when we were at the farm, Daddy and I would get up before daylight and head across the pastures and into the woods. Often our first goal was the old cemetary to watch the deer come out of the woods. Then we would make the trek up the hill to the old homestead, long gone. He knew right where it was though and remnants of the foundation were still there if you knew what you were looking for. We would be gone for a good couple of hours, walking and sitting. Watching and listening. Often there was a sparkle in Daddy's eyes that only existed when he was home on the farm. He would often talk about how he wanted to retire to the farm and have a herd of Hereford cows just so he could watch them in the pastures as he drank his morning coffee. He never got that chance, and sometimes that is what saddens me so much to think about. He worked so hard so that one day he could enjoy the farm like he wanted, without the milking and chickens pecking his toes and without the struggle of wondering how you were gonna keep it. I think that is one thing that I learned from Daddy's life. Enjoy what you have now, even if it is a struggle to do that because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Each morning as I sit on my milk crate, listening to the chickens running around the barn and the goats eating breakfast I think about Daddy. As the warm milk flows and I snuggle into the warm side of my goat, smelling the hay and fresh air I think about my Daddy. My husband and I struggle like my grandparents did, but I can't ever say that I will feel as if I missed out on something. I haven't lost anything by living this life and living the struggle that comes with it. Instead I have gained everything and for that I am so grateful to my Daddy. Daddy taught me a lot of things, more than I can mention in this one post. He was such an awesome father. I will never forget this one thing that he taught me without even meaning to do so. Maybe the struggle is worth it and the easy way out isn't always so easy. So, my husband and I struggle to make ends meet like so many generations of farmers before us. But, we abound in riches that money could never possibly buy. Thank you Daddy and I love you so much. Blessings from the farm, Kat


Kelle said...

"So, my husband and I struggle to make ends meet like so many generations of farmers before us. But, we abound in riches that money could never possibly buy."

No truer words have been written or spoken. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad, he sounded like a wonderful man. What a blessing you had him for the time you did, I envy you for that. My Dad is totally opposite, not loving, very commercialized and government controlled. He thinks Mike and I are radical nutjobs(his own word's by the way*sigh*) I long for a Dad( actually parents) that are loving and supportive, instead of negative and always tearing us down.

Thank you for sharing a bit of your Dad with me :o)

Kim Bowen said...

I just found you blog. I have enjoyed it greatly. What you wrote about your father was so sweet. I know he is proud of you. God bless