PRATIE PLACE

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

My dad was not much of a talker, and he didn't care for emotion very much, any kind of emotion. The only way I knew he cared about me was that he made me things sometimes. When I was young he helped me build a mutascope; later, when the Pratie Heads were new, he built me a stand to put my violin, dulcimer, and concertina on; and later still, he built me a bathouse and sent me the plans.

When my daughter Melina was in high school, my dad, an engineer who graduated from MIT after coming from a Pennsylvania Dutch farming family, brainstormed with her about the building of a "mousetrap car" for physics class, and later sent her a box with his own mousetrap car design, all in pieces, for her to construct for fun. She never did, though. The box of parts is still in the attic and my throat catches whenever I see it.

Almost the last time I saw my dad, in 1999, when he was soon to die of leukemia, he said in a rare moment: "I'm not afraid to die, I'm just sorry I'm not going to see what happens next." As my kids and I were getting into the car to drive home from his place in Alabama, he gave me a little slip of a tree in a pot. It was a cutting he had started from his beloved Japanese maple. It was the last thing he made for me. It's planted outside my front door, where I see it every day. Isn't it lovely?

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2 Comments:

At 5:00 PM, Blogger melina said...

Actually I did build the mouse trap car design that he suggested, using those pieces that he sent. It didn't work that great, quite honestly, but I'm sure if he'd been there he'd have made it work better than it did.

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My nearly 2-year-old daughter is the best Father's Day gift I could possibly wish for.

I wrote this song as a heart-felt expression towards my nearly-two-year-old daughter, but, as a community-oriented clinical psychologist, I am using the song to wake father's up to the intrinsic reward that comes with not only accepting, but embracing the responsibilities, and joys of fatherhood.

The song is available as a free download via this link:

My Very Own Daddy's Girl
Dr BLT
Words and music by Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT © 2007
http://www.drblt.net/music/DaddysGirl.mp3

 

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