Sunday, June 21, 2009

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.

My step-dad 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.

My step-dad's father was one of those who began WRVA 1140-radio in Richmond. The history of all that can be found in my parents' house 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 and, 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 married ... and my sisters and I gained four new siblings ... two brothers and two sisters including a Korean step-brother. My step-dad is still a significant part of our lives, and he and Mom are still perking along in their 80s.

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

He has been a great dad to our two children who are now 25 and 21. It was because of him that I was able to stay home and raise our kids ... we educated them at home and sent them to college where our son graduated from James Madison University and our daughter currently attends 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 yard work and gardening but, most of all, he passed along the need to be responsible citizens in this world and to work hard at whatever they choose to do.

Happy Father's Day!

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