Thursday, January 12, 2012

The father that I remember

One hundred years ago today, my father was born. I would have missed the significance of this day if I hadn't received a blog from my sister Gail early this morning. And then my brother Bill called me this evening telling me I needed to blog on this memorable occasion. Both Gail's and Bill's blogs made me cry. I miss my dad.

I wish I had called more, visited more, asked more questions. Dad is my hero. He was always glad to hear my voice and see my face. I was the child mom and dad always had to call because I never called them. I had no idea everyone else called them once a week. I wish I had too.

One of my favorite memories of my dad was at the breakfast table on school days. He taught me how to correctly slice a banana for my cereal. Mom always slept in so it was his job to get us off to school. Funny how I remember the little things.

I can only remember one time that dad really got mad at me. Our mom had left town for a few days and he was in charge. I was probably 15. I asked him if I could go on a blind date but apparently didn't give him enough details. He almost didn't let me go when he found out what was really going on. I think he thought a parent was driving instead of the guy I had the date with. I still don't know if mom ever found out. It was a horrible date by the way. First and last.

One fleeting memory of my dad was when he came home from a business trip once. He got home really late and I guess maybe I was worried about him. Anyway, he came in to wake me up to tell me he was home. I remember clinging to him and giving him such a big huge. I felt so connected to him in that brief moment.

I so desperately wanted dad's approval. (I always felt his love, just not his approval). I finally got it when I went to work for the bishop of Oklahoma or at least the bishop's right hand man. He was so proud of me. I think he finally thought I was going to be ok.

I have often wondered what he would have thought about my work with children affected by incarceration. There have been so many times I wanted to ask his advise. I so wished he was around to do the financials for me and help me with the business end of things. Unfortunately I didn't inherit his business sense.

Now that I am retiring at 61 I wonder if I'll start another job as he did after he retired for the first time.

I marvel at the fact that the Walsman line almost died out. The only son who didn't marry until he was 30 but then went on to have seven children, three boys who have produced nine male grandchildren who thanks to Tom's kids have produced I don't know how many great-grandchildren. The Walsman name has no danger of dying out yet 100 years ago today, he was the only child of two young people, who I don't know much about except that they died way too young and I never got to meet my grandparents on my dad's side.

I loved my dad. I don't think he ever expected to have seven children but I don't think he ever regretted it. I think my father loved his children. The boys might feel differently but I know he loved all of us and I know he was proud of all of us. I know if there is a heaven he is bragging to all who will listen about his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.

Thanks dad, for loving our mom, for loving us, for giving us a life that was all I could have asked or hoped for. You were the best!


  1. Great blog. Every bit as good as the rest. Where did the self deprecating behavior come from. Not from Dad.

  2. Very touching remembrances of dad. I love hearing the stories: the slicing of bananas, the date and late night hug. All new to me. My experience was slightly different than yours. I felt approval early on and into my twenties because I idolized him so much and wanted to make him proud. It was later when I left the business world to be a landscaper at minimum wage that I hurt him somewhat and lost approval. He grew to accept my decision I think. Certainly Cathy and Cal would not be in the picture without that move and he loved them. So many stories and even more questions. Thanks Judy.

  3. It is wonderful hearing all the memories. I can't get my siblings to blog but Dad did. Thanks Dad.