Being a Good Father

Me and Daddy

He's holding his 8mm home movie camera in his right hand.
He's holding his 8mm home movie camera in his right hand. | Source

Love is patient and kind.

Love is not Jealous or conceited or proud.

Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable.

Love does not keep a record of wrongs.

Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.

Love never gives up, its faith hope and patience never fail."

1 Corinthians chap. 13

No one ever loved me like my father.

I never knew anyone who was more patient or more kind. I never knew anyone who was less jealous or conceited or proud. No one was less likely to be ill-mannered.

No one was more generous, both materially and in spirit. No one was less likely to remember wrongs.

If I were to tell his life story with dates and places and details of accomplishments-- it would tell mostly unimportant things. I could tell you where he was born, where he lived,what his work was, how his family grew, where he traveled, but none of that is so important.

What is important is the fact that in those times and places and relationships, in all of his personal and business details, I never knew anyone who came closer to a living example of St. Paul's definition of LOVE written to the Corinthians.

He was not religious in the traditional sense, never a church member, but somehow he understood.

How many miles did he drive through deserts, along winding mountain roads, over boulders, through sandstorms, rainstorms, hailstorms or heat waves, from one coast to the other, and past borders north and south?

How many hours did he wait for us while we explored museums, churches or mountain trails that were of little interest to him, except for the fact that WE wanted to see them?

Because Love is Patient.

His talents were quiet ones.

He took care of details, making sure things were safe-- checking the locks, entertaining the kids, picking someone up, dropping them off, filling the gas tank, running an odd errand, keeping the bills paid and up to date, making the checkbook balance, reminding us to use the seat belts and attending to all of the little necessary and time-consuming details that we sometimes forgot or ignored.

In between, he told us jokes and made us laugh.

He laughed at our jokes, too even if he had heard them before.

Because Love is Kind.

'55 Buick with intact bumper bullets.
'55 Buick with intact bumper bullets. | Source

In my second week as a new driver, I applied the brakes hard on a rain-slick road and skidded into the back fender of a new Edsel. (Think of it! The owner was silly enough to buy an Edsel, and then I messed it up.) I was driving Dad's '55 Buick and I busted one of the big chrome bullets on the front bumper. The Buick was only slightly less valuable to him than his family, but I was trusted to drive it again.

Because love does not keep a record of wrongs.

He had his special talents, too. He could add and subtract and divide and average a series of numbers in his head faster than most people can do it on a calculator. He could read a far off street sign without glasses before anyone else could see the sign.

He remembered details of time and place-- filling in the blanks for those of us who were not always as clear headed. He must have driven a hundred thousand miles pulling a travel trailer with a car full of kids, without ever an accident or a traffic ticket. St. Paul said that all special gifts and talents were useless without love. His gifts were useful, and they were all given in love.

Love is eternal.

"There are inspired messages, but they are temporary.

There are gifts of speaking but they will cease.

There is knowledge, but it will pass.

For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial, but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear . . . Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love."

from 1 Corinthians 13

My father was loved and admired by many people, but few would have ever thought of him as a religious man. He had some faults and failings. He was never very good at fixing things and though his brother and father and uncle were contractors and builders, he had a hard time driving a nail straight. Sometimes we laughed at his ineptness, which always came out of an eagerness to be helpful. He laughed with us.

Because love is not proud.

Bold and daring, macho and masterful were not adjectives that would spring to mind when describing Dad. He was always the perfect gentleman, the "prince" as my uncle called him. Because love is not ill-mannered, or selfish, or irritable. Nevertheless he was my number one hero. When I was a small girl, he chased away a creepy jerk who had touched my knee in a dark theater, and I knew I would always be safe and he would protect me.

Because love is not happy with evil.

Dad the printer
Dad the printer | Source

In his business dealings, he kept the books meticulously.

Many people might have seen him as being ordinary and unremarkable, but his barely noticed qualities of respectability made him a rare person.

Some people thought him to be foolish to be so honest. He was fair in even the smallest details, when it would have been easy to take advantage of someone's mistake or to cover up one of his own.

I'm sure there were some who even thought he was no too bright for preferring that others be happy at his expense. His work had integrity.

More than once I saw him throw away printing orders that had come out imperfectly, before the customer had even seen it.

He would re-do a complete job to make sure it was the way he believed the customer deserved and expected it.

Others might have tried to pass it off, but he was not satisfied with giving less than his best. As a young idealist, I was genuinely impressed by his honesty and integrity.

Because love is happy with the truth.

What was your Dad like?

  • He was a great Dad
  • He did the best he could
  • I wish he had been like yours
  • Decline to answer
See results without voting

Isn't it strange that Dad demonstrated St. Paul's definition of love so well? He was not a scholar of the Bible.

He may not have known these particular verses, which are familiar to me. I can quote them from memory and tell you what they mean, but Daddy had them written in his heart in a wordless way that showed his understanding was perhaps better than all of the scholars and theologians who have ever made commentary on the subject.

He was not a saint . . . not holy . . . certainly not perfect . . . Merely a respectable man, which may be even more rare.

I am thankful for having a Dad who showed me with his whole life what the words mean: the meaning of patience, kindness, courtesy, generosity acceptance, honesty, integrity, humility, and forgiveness.

In his everyday life he showed things that the world deems foolish and values so little . . . and he made me smile.

No one ever loved me like my father.

Cecil Barton = Jan. 31, 1912 - Jan. 11, 1994

(See also, my story about "Me , Dad and the Merry -Go-Round".)

More by this Author

Comments 53 comments

Eddie Perkins 7 years ago

This is a very touching story of your dad. Thank you for sharing. I too have known some wonderful dads, moms, men and women who were not religious. Many who I thought were much better than some of the religious I've known.

I guess it just goes to prove that it is not so much what we know as what truths we apply. After many years studying the Word of God, I learned that application is where the rubber meets the road. 

Thank you for sharing a precious story. ~ eddie

ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

Thank you Rochelle - you were a really lucky little girl to have had such an inspiring and loving father in your life. cheers

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

Thumbs up from me. Beautiful tribute.

Glenn Frank profile image

Glenn Frank 7 years ago from Southern California

I knew this same man as "Grandpa". The tribute to his character is true. He was quiet and behind the scenes, I think maybe because he liked to just be surrounded by the people he loved, sit back and take in the scene. Though he was never the focus of the show, and never wanted to be, everyone knew they could trust him and that he loved them. I knew him as my Grandpa.

Great Caruso profile image

Great Caruso 7 years ago from USA

Rochelle, what a great story, and what wonderful memories you have of your father. I hope with all my might that I am able to leave an imprint like this on my son (and future children).

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

We were discussing in this week's Bible study class the difference between faith and religion. Your essay answers that question perfectly. I think your Dad and my Dad had the same values. We are so fortunate!

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Rochelle - this is beautiful.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Rochelle, you have been indeed fortunate to have been blessed in having such a good father. (I am not sure if fortunate is the correct word, luck would have had nothing to do with it!). From what I have read on your Hubs you seem to be endowed with the same qualities.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you all for your comments. I had such good parents that I should have turned out to be a better person. I miss both of them very much.

They taveled a lot during their life together. The other night I dreamed thay came back for a visit, both were lookiing fit, well and happy. They told me that they had been on a long trip and had see a lot of wonderful things.

bkoadmin profile image

bkoadmin 7 years ago from California

I admire your dad and the relationship between you two. My dad was very different, but shared the common thing - love in this well written story.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

This is such an inspirational hub! I love this. Can I post a link to my ripplemakers blog? You have touched me tremedously today. Your dad was a wonderful person. :) He knew how to love. And you knew you were loved. Isn't that just beautiful?!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I'd be honored to have a link. thank you.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks also, bkoadmin. Dads are very important

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

What a sweet, wonderful story of an amazing human being. You were blessed with great dad and it sure seems like he made a pretty decent kid too. I'm glad you wrote this. Thank you.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Shadesbreath. I got really lucky. Had a wonderful mom, too.

Writer Rider 7 years ago

From your description, I love your dad to. What a poetic person to have lived a noble life under the radar.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

Rochelle wonderful hub about a truly wonderful man. Funny how my Dad could also do that human calculator thing, on rows of figures perfectly accurately with Pounds, Shillings and Pence. 12 pence added up to a shilling and 20 shillings added up to a pound. Try adding a few rows of those and then work out a markup or a discount in your head! This illustrates just how talented our Dads really were. BTW my Dad eschewed the use of a calculator to his dying day!

funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

You remain my mentor. Fantastic memoir

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

He sounds like a wonderful man.

I really enjoyed reading this - so well-written, you brought him to life on the page.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I hit the jackpot. Two wonderful parents in the same lifetime.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I've been very lucky too - mine are wonderful as well, and if I'm half as good a mother as my Mama, my son will be a lucky boy.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I'm sure you do a great job, LG. Things learned by example tend to be best learned.

nick  7 years ago

I am trying to be the best daddy I can be to my girls! I came across this while reserching how to be a good dad to make sure I wasn't screwing anyone up. My dad didn't really care. This has helped me greatley in my thinking and how im raising my girls thankyou.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Nick. This is my favorite comment of all time.

The fact that you are searching proves you are on the right track. I'm sure your girls love you very much. You have a great responsibility and a great blessing.

James Ginn profile image

James Ginn 7 years ago from Ohio

I have three boys, all under the age of 4. Should they grow to say things about me such as you've written about your father, Mission Accomplished! Thank you.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, James -- somehow he knew how to do it right.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

OMG! You have pulled at my heart strings on this one. What a beautiful and heartfelt story.

I am not a religious person but am very spiritual and your dad was a shining example of a true saint and a wonderful father.

I absolutely loved your story, it held me captive to the very last word. You are so blessed, to have had such a wonderful dad. He has instilled all of the best in you as it certainly comes through in your writing.

Thanks so much for sharing this touching and heartfelt story.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

He was a very special man. Thank you for your special comment

With Father's Day approaching again, I think of him often.

kostas  5 years ago

I have never met your dad....So only you know him well. If what you are saying is true....Which I don't have reasons to doubt. Allow me to go a bit further and say that, your father was the closest being to an angel. The most benevolent entity that this planet could have in it.

I am Happy for you. How many are like him?

1 out of a million maybe.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

You are right, he was very special and there are too few like him.

Johanna Baker profile image

Johanna Baker 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

What a lovely hub and what a lovely Dad! Thank you for sharing yours and his story.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

He was a very special man. Thank you for reading about him.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Father's Day is almost here, and of course, I think of him-- but I remember him on most other days, too.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 4 years ago from Philippines

This is an inspirational model story for all children to ponder on- how is or was our own fathers to us? As I read along, I was trying to fit my own father into your story, but of course that's flat stealing, hahaha! Fact is, I really enjoyed your story that way and appreciate so much your dad.

At a certain point when I read your return comment, I was tempted to say, my father belongs to the "few" you mentioned. Your dad was so wonderful, he makes me long for my father who died 13 years ago of sudden heart failure in June 16. I'm going home to visit my father! And pray for yours and mine and all fathers on Fathers' Day! Voted up and beautiful!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Lita. We were specially blessed. I grew up thinking that all kids had a happy home.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Rochelle, this is very nice. Your father sounds a lot like my father was. (My father even had a '55 Buick too :) - a Roadmaster). Those of us who have had that kind of father are fortunate in ways that can keep on unfolding, no matter how old we get or how long it's been since they've been here.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes, I think it is important to hold onto that feeling of appreciation, even when parents have been gone for many years. It has an affect on your mind and your life.

Thanks for commenting, Lisa HW.

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Beautiful! I love how you laid this out. Awesome family photos. Love that car! My Dad was just the same. I too had a wreck as a beginning driver!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

My dad was like yours...honest as the day is long. His word was his bond and he was hard working. He could also tell a string of jokes that had everyone laughing. He was a wonderful dad and I carry memories of him in my heart as you obviously do with yours. Beautiful hub on this Father's Day.

mbuggieh 2 years ago

My father was, and remains, my hero. He's been dead for over 20 years and I still think about him and miss him every day.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you for your replies. Every day you remember your wonderful Dad is Father's Day.

Sed-me profile image

Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

I love all your hubs, but I am voting for this one for best hub award. I am going to share it in hopes that other ppl will read it too.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Sed-me.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America

Up and Awesome! - and that includes you and your Dad as well as this Hub.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 22 months ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Patty. I admire you so much from reading so many of your wonderful, engaging and insightful aritcles. Your comments are deeply appreciated.

My Dad's and Mom's birth and death anniversaries are coming up, so the holidays bring both sad and happy memories. I was blessed with wonderful parents.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Your Dad was a good person. You certainly don't need to be religious to be good. Goodness comes from the heart. Voted up and sharing. Thanks!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 22 months ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks so much, vocalcoach. I think one reason he felt out of place in church was that he was a totally inept or untalented singer. Mom and I loved to sing our way through long road trips-- and he endured that too.

MelRootsNWrites profile image

MelRootsNWrites 22 months ago from California

You brought a tear to my eye with your reminiscence of your Dad. My Dad passed away in 2010. It was only in his later years that I truly was able to appreciate who he was. He worked a lot when we were kids, so I feel blessed to have seen him as a grandfather and how much he enjoyed his grandkids. Thanks for sharing!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 22 months ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, MelRoots. When I was young, I had no idea that other kids might have had a very different experience.

Grace Frank 4 months ago

I see those characteristics demonstrated in Carl everyday and thank God he had a mom like you. Now I see where you got those gifts, the attributes of Love, from. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your dad with us.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 months ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes, Carl is like him in many ways, though very much an individual. I am glad he found you.

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 6 days ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

A beautiful story about your father.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 days ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, gmwilliams.

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