Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dad's Day ... the other two men in my life

My dad passed away in 1975, leaving a huge void in our lives. When Mom remarried a few years later we grew to love another man. My step-dad's personality and demeanor is very similar to my real father's ... and we immediately embraced him. That was over 25 years ago.

Cal was different from Dad in that he was an engineer who had a college degree. He had also been in the Navy (just as my dad had) right at the end of World War II so he never saw combat. He had grown up in Richmond, riding his bicycle to the corner market, working as a soda jerk in the nearby pharmacy, editing his high school newspaper, and experiencing an entirely different Depression-era childhood than my dad who lived in rural Virginia.

Cal's dad was one of those who began WRVA 1140-radio. The history of all that can be found in my parents' house in Richmond and it is fascinating. His dad also was one of the original group that pulled together the PBS station that is located in Chesterfield County off Robious Road. Much of the archived memorabilia for that and WRVA radio was given to the Valentine Museum in Richmond.

My first memory of Cal was when he showed up at Mom's house one evening. Even though I was married and living away from home, I was at the house to mow the grass (I took care of much of that after my father passed away). I answered the front door in grass-stained shoes and met a friendly man who was there to pick up my mom to go out to dinner. The rest, as they say, is history.... They clicked and married ... and my sisters and I gained four new siblings ... two boys and two girls including a Korean step-brother adopted as a baby by Cal and his first wife. Cal is still a significant part of our lives, and he and Mom are still perking along at the age of 80.

My husband ... is my best friend. We have been married 25 years, have two children, and we still can sit and talk for hours.

I want to remember him today because he has been such a good dad to our two children who are now 23 and 19. It was because of him that I was able to stay home and raise our kids in a way that is not often seen anymore. We educated them at home and sent them to college where our son graduated from JMU this year and our daughter is at BRCC.

Over the years he played baseball in the front yard with the kids and swam with them and hiked with them. He passed along to them his love of working in the yard and gardening but, most of all, he passed along the need to be responsible citizens in this world and to work hard at whatever you choose to do.

Happy Father's Day!

Originally posted on Father's Day 2007.

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