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In which i discuss my dad

dadkeely

I never write about my dad.  I write about my mom on her birthday and the day she died but I have never written about my dad on either of those dates (well the day he was born and the day he died). It’s not because I don’t love him, I certainly do; it’s because he’s a very complicated man to write about and I could never figure out how to describe him properly.

 

Now, 15 years after his death, I realize that I will never truly encapsulate such an awesome person so I should just do the best I can.  You see, my dad was a conundrum.  People thought he was serious and stern but in fact, he was just shy.  Friends who knew him knew that he was the silliest guy on earth and in fact, my personality is very much like his … just way more out there.

 

He loved jokes and making fun of stuff.  I was a daddy’s girl and there was nothing I wouldn’t have done for him.  He loved tools and woodworking was his hobby. He was a history buff who took his kids all over the south to both Revolutionary and Civil War Battlefields.  We were weaned on war movies like The Bridge at Remagen, The Dirty Dozen and The Guns of Navarone.

 

He was a huge archeology and science buff and spent his spare time reading Smithsonian and Scientific American.  Back in the day, Scientific American is what kids used to research their term papers and my dad read it for fun!  Just the other day Kevin told me a very funny story about my dad.

 

Apparently, they were discussing gears (yeah, you heard me right) and my dad asked Kevin “what the most efficient gear was?” Kevin, who had just finished studying to be a Professional Engineer, knew the answer.  My dad was incredibly surprised that Kevin knew and of course, Kevin was incredibly surprised that my dad knew.  He asked my dad where he had learned it and my dad replied, “Scientific American.” This was an apt introduction to a very interesting man.

 

It’s unfortunate that he died so young because he has a grandson, Alex, who is studying Paleontology and my dad would have loved to have had discussions on the subject as he had made journeys to the Aztec, Mayan and Inca ruins.

 

And yet, he was a very silly guy. He had a huge workshop downstairs and we had a kid’s workbench with our own tools. This was to prevent us from EVER TOUCHING HIS TOOLS.  This worked out pretty well except for my brother Bruce who was forever getting in trouble for borrowing (and losing) my dad’s tools.

 

My dad would say, “Lynn, lets go to Sears and look at tools” and off we’d go to shop and just generally peruse the tools section. I credit him with my being able to use a drill, table saw, band saw and a myriad of other tools.  When I went off to college my dad bought me my own toolkit and stocked it with the necessary tools to get by.

 

To this day, that tool kit is upstairs in my “art room.”  It’s now stocked with art supplies as we have our own tool bench but each and every time I look at it I smile.  It is of course, avocado green, the color of the 70’s.

 

My dad was a very loyal guy and he would stand by you in thick or thin and yet, he didn’t tolerate traits he didn’t approve of.  When I was in college, I received a letter from my dad that started with “Dear Lynn: I am very disappointed in you …”

 

It was the most devastating thing of my life and yet, he had some very valid points.  I was a selfish 19-year-old and that letter made me reevaluate the way I was behaving.  He just wanted me to be a better person (he failed.)

 

My dad believed in justice, honor and hard work and he believed in family, boy did he believe in family.  I never knew his parents but he drilled into us about family loyalty.  He was a faithful companion and tended my mom for many years before her death. He was a great athlete, intellectual, philanthropist and father and I’m proud to call him my dad.

 

I think of him (and my mom) all the time and we laugh and tell funny stories about the both of them.  I regret that my kids didn’t know them but I’m so fortunate to have had such great parents and even though they’re no longer with me, they’ll always be in my thoughts.

 

I miss you dad.  I can’t believe it’s been 15 years but I feel your presence each and every day.

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9 Comments

  1. Julie
    November 25, 2013

    Beautiful.

  2. Sheryl Perez
    November 25, 2013

    This was absolutely beautiful! To know that your father “lives” on in your memories and children, nieces, nephews and brothers is a blessing.
    Thank you so very much for truly making my day.
    This post is a keeper!

    • Lynn
      November 26, 2013

      thanks Sheryl…I appreciate that. Hope you’re doing well

  3. sisters from another mister
    November 25, 2013

    I can only imagine the letter he would write to you today … he would be so very proud of the family you have built, the mom you are and the great relationship you and Kevin have.
    He taught you well, and your kids are blessed. You know that right?
    sisters from another mister recently posted..Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring The RockettesMy Profile

    • Lynn
      November 26, 2013

      awww…thanks Nicole. That was sweet

  4. Patty
    November 26, 2013

    So, what’s the gear?

    My Daddy died five years ago and I miss him every single day.

    • Lynn
      November 27, 2013

      hahaha, I’ll have to go check with my husband because I certainly don’t know. I think it was a worm gear or something like that.

  5. Millie Noe
    November 27, 2013

    It is almost five years since I lost my Dad and I gotta say I don’t think I’ll ever forget him or ever stop missing him….but I have at least stopped the crying and I do smile now when he comes to mind.
    Millie Noe recently posted..BS Club Minutes November 20, 2013My Profile

    • Lynn
      November 28, 2013

      yeah…I always smile now

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