On the drive back home to New Jersey from Florida…..I saw a gorgeous A-frame house peeking out of the woods in Virginia. It was set back from a pretty little lake. In an instant my memories went back to my Dad.
As I drove along, lost in my own thoughts….I remembered bits and pieces of what I know of Daddy. I lost my dad when I was 13 years old. Lost. Another one of life’s peculiar phrases. My dad isn’t lost. I know where he is. He’s in heaven. He died of esophageal cancer when I was 13. I miss him everyday.
My Dad didn’t finish high school. Something interrupted him. Something called the Great Depression. But Dad was an educated man. He believed in education. He loved National Geographic. Our home was filled with the magazines, maps, and books he would order from NG about far away places and people so foreign to my 10-year-old world. I think (in his heart) my Dad was an anthropologist He loved people and places. And he brought them home to us — through BOOKS.
One year, Dad ordered plans from National Geographic for building an A-frame house. I can remember those papers spread out across the kitchen table and us kids asking him “what is that?” And he told us all about an A-frame and where it would be in the woods. My Dad didn’t have the training for it — but he was an engineer. He could build a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. I think — had he lived to retire with my mom….he might have built that house. I think so.
As I drove today — alone in my head — while Peter and Erin slept, it dawned on me that my Dad — in his entire life — never owned a house. Not an A-frame, or any other kind. Dad was a working man. He was a Navy man, and when he got out, went to work for an aeronautic engineering company in Little Falls New Jersey called Singer Kearfott. He worked on government contracts and built things that went into space. But my Dad — he never owned a home.. My Mom bought her first home…..with Dad’s life insurance check after he died. Sometimes…..that is how it happens. Pain creates progress.
It hurt a little bit to see that A-frame today. Daddy, I wish you could have lived your dream. You left us way too young. But then — as I left that house in Virginia, and got closer and closer to home — i realized that my Dad (and Mom’s) dreams come true still — in the lives of us, all of us kids. My sisters and brothers and I — we all own homes. We’ve built on the shoulders of my Dad and my Moms hard work.
I will NEVER forget where I came from….nor how I got here. And….I’ll never be able to see an A-frame without thinking of my Dad. I love you so much. Oh and Daddy……I feel you every time I see a sea-horse. Thank you for teaching me about the world….from the warmth of our home. It did not matter to me at all….that it was rented. When a child is loved……they don’t know (or care) of such things. #ChooseHappiness365 (127/365)
Ciao for now….Diane