“That’s my father”…

My dad in his younger days
My dad in his younger days

When we were little children, my dad worked as a salesman. Sometimes he had to leave his young family to go on short business trips. On several occasions and if we were on summer vacation, he would take us along, and he would make a working holiday out of it. We loved to stay in whatever motel or hotel he booked for us. It was on one of these little motel stays that I saw my first TV program in colour (I’m telling my age here, for sure). And of course we enjoyed the novelty of eating in different restaurants each night.

Most of the time though, Dad’s job only required him to be away from home from nine to five, Monday through Friday. One particular day, as he was getting home just before supper, he got out of his car and noticed my little sister playing outside with her friend. He heard her as she turned to her playmate and said in a proud but quiet tone, “That’s my father.”

That little memory always made my father smile when he shared it with someone. Seemingly an innocent and offhand remark made by his youngest of three children, those three little words meant much more to him. I knew it made him feel proud and happy to be that father, that figure of authority and loving protector of his family. It was a role that he took seriously, but a role that only he could execute with his unique brand of friendship, understanding and humour.

We had our dad with us through all the joy and the turmoil of growing up, and for many years after. He stood by me twice as I married, giving me away to another man who professed his love. But when we lost him almost ten years ago to the devastating illness known as ALS, none of us were ready to say goodbye.

Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad. He would have been seventy-nine. It was my wish to let everyone who reads this blog today to know a little bit about him. He was a man I was proud of, and still am. Why?

Because “that’s my father”.

My daughter, my dad, and me
My daughter, my dad, and me

Further reading:
Daddy’s Guitar
You Never Left

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44 thoughts on ““That’s my father”…

  1. Beautifully done, and very touching. He is the same age that my Mom would have been. My Dad was also a salesman. He never had to go out of town, but I remember things like, if it was a hot summer day, Dad would come home early, pack us all in the station wagon, Dad, Mom, my 3 brothers, myself and our German Sheppard, & head to the pond. When all of us & the German Sheppard got in the water, other people seemed to want to get out. I am not sure why, because if they stayed, they would have seen that she was a very friendly dog, & tame as a kitten.
    Thanks for sharing your story about your Dad. It has inspired me to start a personal journal of great memories we had growing up in a loving, happy family.
    Hugs to you Jennifer. The special days are still hard, I think no matter how much time has passed
    Bonnie

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments.
      Bonnie, it is so nice to hear you’ve been inspired to start a journal; it truly means a lot to me.
      We have many dear memories, and it is on special days like these it feels good to share them with our friends and family. Hugs!

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  2. Your dad was the first of our nan and pop Hodder’s grandchildren. My mom , being his Aunt , was very proud of him. Your mom and dad would always bring some samples of what your Dad was selling at the time.Being from a big family (a lot of mouths to feed)that was greatly appreciated a lot . lots of nice memories Jennifer .Hugs to all

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    1. Hi, Sandra. Thank you for sharing that memory with me! When I think how Dad might have kept all those samples for his own family, but instead chose to share with those in greater need, it confirms what I believe about his kind and generous heart.
      And if I’m not mistaken, I believe your father was the same age as mine when he passed. Big hugs to you too. x

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  3. Jennifer, beautiful tribute to a proud Dad, I bet he is still there looking over your shoulder. I lost my Father seven years ago to cancer I remember most, being able to say goodbye and I whispered in his ear that I was blessed to be loved by someone as wonderful as he. Its the little moments we cherish like your Father’s joy listening to his daughter’s proud statement “Thats my Father” simply beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Kath. So difficult to lose the ones we love, as you know. I’m sorry for your loss; thank you for sharing.
      Btw, did your blog name change? I didn’t have to ‘approve’ your comment lately, but I did just now.

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  4. He was such a wonderful grandfather too of course! Such a gentle and kind man. I was proud to have him as my Pop. So many fond memories of him: quietly picking away at his guitar in his lazy boy, his words of wisdom, having his “lunch” before bed, walks with him in the woods behind his house… He was always there for us during those “rough times” and welcomed myself and Mom to live with him and Nan when we needed it…I couldn’t have asked for a better grandfather. I miss him so much too. Happy Birthday Pop, I know you are up in heaven looking down on us all and watching out for us. I love you.

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  5. Jen I am moved to tears. Being the one who said those words I clearly remember how proud I was to state that he was my father. I was proud of that the rest of my life and will be forevermore.

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  6. Jennifer– Tender and genuine. What a lovely read. And thank you for visiting my blog, too. I know it takes valuable time. (And I see you and I have the same theme/format. It’s so fresh and legible, don’t you think? Thanks for your kindness.–M

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes I do a lot of reading, which includes what others are blogging about. Your blog is heartfelt and beautiful.
      This is the third (or fourth?) theme I’ve tried, and so far my favourite. It seems cleaner, wider and easier to read than many of them.
      All the best, Jennifer x

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  7. Jennifer, as you know, I lost my Dad almost three years ago (dementia), and the ache never goes away, but then again neither does my feelings for that man I called Dad. I am bawling here, reading and remembering your Dad. There are so many similiar memories that we shared with my Dad, and your memories brought these to the forefront again. I treasure every moment we shared as a family, and I proudly say “That’s my Dad” Forever and a day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your touching words. When girls loves her fathers the way we did/do, it leaves an especially deep and profound heartache when we lose them. But yes, it only makes us treasure those poignant memories all the more. ❤

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