Un-Father's Day Tribute to Good Fathers

Note: Names and pictures are changed to protect privacy



In my humble opinion, a good father is more precious than any jewel on earth whether to a daughter or a son. It would be hard to say which benefits from good fathering more. But this will be about the father-son relationship.


Obviously there are great fathers whose situations have frustrated their ability to fully demonstrate their love and aptness in the role. There are those who demonstrate it daily and constantly, due to a set of fortuitous circumstances which allow them to express the goodness in themselves. But to either set of circumstances, I feel a desire to pay full tribute.


No one else can fully know the situations producing either of these scenarios. But a father’s heart can almost be FELT and observed when it it sincere and true. We know many men whose fatherhood has been interrupted by truly sad and undeserved situations and our hearts go out to them. No matter what a parent - either parent - may have done to each other - the children need to experience the genuine love of both and unless domestic offenses include mistreatment of the children, they should not be deprived of either parent.

But all that is not an issue I wish to address here or now. It is the goodness of fathers in any set of circumstances which I do want to praise and recognize, and their deserving this does not rely on any circumstances other than that it IS and will demonstrate itself plainly if allowed to do so. Even in situations in which a parent has been deprived of the opportunity and access to bestow his or her love - that love is no less admirable. At times the willingness to not tear at the children in an untenable situation may be the most loving act the exiled parent can demonstrate. Using children as pawns is too despicable for words. And we know there are cases of that among us. Again, that is not the subject here. But that even in such improbable circumstances, real love can and will be demonstrated, is part of this presentation.






What brought this subject, though - of the sweetness of a father-son relationship to my mind on this particular Sunday in November, 2010 was looking out my kitchen window across the alley at a tender scene which brought me to be reminded of the essential role a father plays in a child's life, and my attention was focused on the role-model part of that relationship, especially of a father and a young son.





But first, please let me elaborate a little on the background of the scene I observed and the characters of the people involved, as I have been able to observe over some time.




Good Neighbors


Nowadays, one often only gets to know neighbors slightly - but the good folks come through as good, nevertheless. I am blessed with several such neighbors on either side and across the alley. We don't cling to each other - but it is nice to know they are there and would "do for" me and each other with willing and gracious hearts. I could write a whole article about the kindness of some of these fine folks. Here, I merely want to set the scene for the sweet relationship I have been privy to simply by observation, witness. So I want to introduce you to the principle players in it.

Several years ago, when my beloved was still alive, two twins - Sue and Jane (not their real names) - moved into the house whose backyard is on the alley across from ours. We spoke only casually since they were young and had their own lives, work, friends, parties, etc., so we didn’t know much more about them than was readily observeable, and once in awhile we might share quick chat with them or their parents, on occasions when they arrived in the daytime when the girls were at work, when they came by to tend to the girls' yard. We were fascinated at this sweet generosity which they obviously wanted to do and enjoyed doing with their free time, while the girls' free time seemed more limited. The nature of their work meant that their schedules didn't coincide to pitch in and do yard work together on a mutual day off.

Their house is in this middle-to-upper class neighborhood which is mostly occupied by retired folks who originally bought these houses brand new decades ago. It's rather rare for younger folks to move into the neighborhood now, though not unheard of.

The girls seemed content in their arrangement and life went on quietly until, a few years ago, changes began to emerge when a "POD" appeared in their driveway and Jane seemed to be stashing things into it. Sure enough, after a few weeks, the POD was removed, and before long, Jane was no longer to be seen coming and going. She seemed not to be living there. Before long, there was a young man to be seen there.

I don’t consider myself a nosey neighbor; I have more than enough to keep my mind jumping to keep up with my projects and interests, but all this change was impossible to not notice! Couldn’t help but notice Sue and the young man frequently sitting out on the patio during their at-home times. So there they were, in plain view from the rooms where I usually spend most of my time!

Various changes happened. It was obvious that they both work in professional capacity, according to their business attire and the hours and days they go to work.

After my darling had passed away, another neighbor across the alley, while helping me in various ways with some of my chores, mentioned that she'd had the opportunity to meet Sue’s boyfriend. So - the natural question was answered. I'd no idea whether or not they were married, nor did it matter; I just didn't know, but then - I did, and I felt much good will for them.


One day I was out in my backyard having an issue with the yard sprinklers, when the young man appeared nearby and generously offered to help me with it! He introduced himself as “Jane’s boyfriend,Lon” in a totally up-front way, which I highly respected. I noticed that he had the most beautiful eyes I may ever have seen on a human being. As an artist, I couldn’t help but notice

A few more years droned on for the neighborhood, The young couple hosted Christmas Bar-B-Qs and occasionally other parties, but mostly they just came from and went to work, sat out on the patio and let the dogs out to exercise before returning inside. It was a normal quiet neighborhood.

Once I got out some freezer-burned roast beef which was too poor to cook but too good to discard without trying to offer it to them for their dogs. One never knows what sort of a reception such an offer will receive but Sue was most gracious and it did my heart good to be able to do that. She still has "Roscoe" - the dog who was there when she and Jane were the occupants. Roscoe always barked at me when I was out in the yard till I called him by name and spoke to him in friendly tones. Now there have been other dogs added to the household.

What is great to see is that everyone seems genuinely congenial. I just feel happy for them.

Still the focus of this tribute is to fatherhood. It is encouraging to see any example of a kind of easy-going camaraderie between guys, at whatever age and stage, at the very least. Men need each other's company and good-will. No doubt it has its earliest roots in a relationship between a boy and his Dad, though many brave men sometimes find it within themselves, as many of our fellow Hubbers have demonstrated.

What is This?

A New Addition?

Then one day this fall, I saw there was a kid’s little yellow tractor in the yard and a darling little boy was around on some weekends riding it, with Lon frequently out in the yard with this cute little blonde tyke. Their easy esprit d’corps is something to behold!


Then more recently, Lon brought home some large boxes which he unpacked from his SUV in the garage, and before long was assembling a very nice kid’s swing and playhouse set and installing it in the back yard!

There could be little doubt that he was enjoying some fatherly privileges with this adorable son!! It was truly joyous. It was done in the most healthy, natural way, too, which impressed and delighted me.


This morning, as I was pouring another cup of coffee, I looked out and there they were. Lon’s SUV was pulled out of the garage and the door to the storage part of the garage was open and he and the little fellow were pulling boards of lumber out of a storage place and loading them into the back of the SUV, I’d guess to keep them good and dry while Lon prepares further for whatever the project is.


The beauty of it was the way Lon accepted the little fellow's help matter-of-factly, which surely made it seem acceptable to the little one and helped establish the esprit-de-corps which is so good to see between guys.

Now, for awhile they were both inside. Lon came back alone. Possibly it’s nap time for the youngster. Lon has cleared a piece of large woodworking equipment and is clearing other stored items out of the way.


I’ve no idea what the project might be - it’s totally beside the point, and totally none of my business - but it is my privilege to observe the lovely father-son relationship that grabbed me by the heartstrings. Lon’s respect for the little fellow’s efforts was natural and unforced and the little guy was giving the task all his best. Though Lon is normally dressed in suit and tie for work, he was in t-shirt and jeans with a backwards ball cap on, being so available to his little boy.

Ah - glanced out my patio door and see that they are sitting together under their patio umbrella on their back porch. Nice. Sue has joined them. She frequently comes out and swings the little guy in the swings and turns him round and round on the suspended tire on the set. The apparent caring attitude with the child is as natural as if he were her own.  It's a scene to delight the viewer; - and no doubt even more so, the participants!


That Lon is enjoying this relationship in such a wonderfully normal/natural way is uplifting to behold. I can’t help but rejoice in the scene and sort of visualize the memories being implanted in the little one’s memory - and surely, in the kind, gentle, good father’s as well.

Sometimes it is rewarding to make like a snoopy neighbor!  I hope I may be forgiven!

A Postscript

It all makes me feel such closeness for our fellow hubbers whose own stories include issues of the heart and the relationships with their children which suffered in sad circumstances which surely should not have been affected by grownups' issues. I can only hope that their losses may somehow be remedied for the good of all concerned and without bitterness. If Lon and his little son is any example of hope, let them shine forth brightly on this lovely day in a season of Thanksgiving.


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Comments 32 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

It is wonderful that Lon is able to spend time with the child..and you being you noticing that he is a good father..

I love that phrase "uplifting to behold" I am sure I would have felt the same way.

Thank you for sharing the story, Nellieanna.

Much love, Melinda


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Melinda, my friend. Yes - I saw him pull into the garage a bit ago, probably had to take the lad back to his mother. Tomorrow is a work day again for him. It was a lovely day for their time together. I wondered if he an his girlfriend feel the good vibes coming from here! Thank you so much for being my first visitor here.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

It must bring great joy..to see a father and son sharing precious time. I am sure they feel the love from you.

It is light that generates warmth and comfort and goes beyond the physical barriers as we know them.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

it was a ray of sunshine and hope in my day, Melinda. The quiet normalcy of it was so refreshing. Thank you, my dear.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Nellieanna, you have a gift for looking beyond the obvious. What may have barely registered on the minds of most other people, has you giving meaning and shape to! :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

FP - that's the nicest compliment anyone could possibly give me! Thank you, dear friend!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Its good to see that some people seem to put the welfare and happiness of their children before any petty issues that divide them. Long may it stay that way.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Christopheranton - yes - it is encouraging. It may not always be obvious to others, however. It's possible to have to choose between two very sad choices, but still, choosing the least harmful to the children, even at one parent's own personal sacrifice, is truly the best one can do in the circumstances. It's impossible to second-guess and nothing about another's life is as straightforward as it may seem from one's own perspective, which is, after all, the only one a person has to bring to bear. It emphasizes the need for non-judging others.

Thank you, as always, for a most valuable & astute comment! I agree that is is a joy to see and be able to see good in action, especially when it benefits a very young life. I feel great love toward that little boy whose name I don't even know! And I appreciate his parents so much for providing the healthiest situation they can under whatever their own personal conditions will allow. They are not petty, thank God.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

This is another beautiful hub from a person who has a heart big enough to look into a situation fully.

There are so much narrowminded people in this world but not an ounce of that belongs to you Nellieanna.

Thank you so much for a brilliant read again.

Take care and God Bless you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Eiddwen - you honor me and I'm humbled. Thank you, dear lady. :-)


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

This brought great joy to my heart. I felt the love between a father and son. Something I so missed as a boy. You painted a very pretty heart warming portrait of a family doing what families should be doing.

Spending quality time with their children. Thank you also for choosing the video you did. We named our first son Sean after John Lennon's beautiful, beautiful boy. Thank you my dear for this generous and uplifting hub, you made my evening and my heart soar with joy. Peace and hugs


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ken - thank you, dear gentleman. Gentle man. I appreciate you greatly. Yes, it was heart-warming to me, so much that I couldn't keep it just for myself. It was good to see love in ACTION, not in REaction. The little boy was simply being loved in a genuine way. If any other undercurrents exist - and I don't know anything about the rest of the story there - the child is being spared their anguish, it looks like to me. And for that, both his mother and father - and the sweet girl he lives with as well - are to be commended. Whatever differences may exist at the adult level to have caused the parents not to be together - are obviously secondary and subordinate to their earnest desire for their chid's best interest, judging from the scene which unfolded Sunday and has on other occasions.

I look over there during the week when the little fellow is not there - surely with his mother or some other guardian, (who knows) - and I see the dormant swing set and other outdoor toys. It touches me that the daddy happily provided them specifically for the rare visits by the son. He is not a wealthy man, obviously, but he invested in the enjoyment of his son even on such a part-time basis, when he could have been justified in discounting the value of making it a real "home" for the child even only on weekends. Not that things provide love, but love provides all the things possible to express itself and please the beloved.

If that swing set is as big a reminder to the dad of the little fellow in his absence, then it must surely touch his heart every time he sees it - and he lives there!

Well - I know I'm filling in blanks here, but the sweet people involved provided the blanks and it gives me joy to see the good in them! It also gives me joy to hear you say it uplifted your evening and made your heart joyous, Ken.

The first time I heard "Beautiful Boy" was at the happy ending of the movie, "Mr.Holland's Opus" when Richard Dreyfuss' character sang it to his son, using sign language because the boy was deaf. The father's life was music and it was a terrible blow to him when they discovered the boy was deaf. Singing that song to him was a special tribute to the beauty of the boy and the relationship. And the song is lovely. Glad it touched your heart too!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

It is so rare to see or hear that. Our son still crinches and curles up like hedgehog when he see a father and son like that. His father all over sudden wanted a child after 11 years of marriage and then he din't want to know him. How on earth do you ever make sense of that?

Thank you,Nellieanna, for a wonderful hub. I have got to extent on FP's words and say that you also can put into the right words what you saw. You are marvel to me.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - thank you H-H! That is an unanswerable question, to be sure. But so many things that happen in another person's mind are unanswerable. At times it is all one can do to keep up with one's own contradictions, isn't it? It is for me, though less so as I grow up more. :-)

I was hesitant to try to write that and relay the good feelings it gave me. It could be interpreted, I suppose, as spying on the neighbors. But if I happened to observe

something unpleasant or a poor example of how to be as a human being, I certainly wouldn't want to relay or broadcast that, realizing how little I'd really know about why it happened and certainly not wanting to promote bad behavior!

But this father-son scenario was so obviously a good & positive panarama of sweet feelings and interactions, I could not resist passing it along. I am quite gratified that it is being received by my dear Hubber friends in that spirit!!


SilverGenes 6 years ago

I'm sitting here with my tea and enjoying this view from your window. You have a way of observing things that not only makes sense, but is enriching for the spirit. Thank you for this glimpse into goodness :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Definitely my pleasure, Alexandra. It's refreshing to see and to share an uplifting, spirit nurturing scene like that was It was lovely weather for it too, and before long it will be less pleasant outside. It was especially nice that it was so ideal for their activities. Thank you for coming by and leaving a lovely comment. Hugs.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Personally I gape at fathers and sons in harmony together, while my heart break for my son who have to live his life knowing daily that his father is not interested in him and his achievements. Well written, Nellieanna – I could ‘see’ your lovely neighbors through your eyes.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I am still without my oldest son in my life and my two daughters, I have my 16 year old son living with me, he stands by his Dad. I am still praying for the other 3 to come back into my life. Your mention below is very sad.

"my heart break for my son who have to live his life knowing daily that his father is not interested in him and his achievements"

NO FATHERS OR MOTHERS should ever abandon their children...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Martie, yes, it's uplifting to observe good dads with their children, and possibly especially so when it is a son, who so much needs a good male role model. Of course the love of either or both parents for any and all of their children is equally vital.

That scenario I saw and shared was simply too poignant and beautiful to keep just for myself. And it was timely - pointing out the good things about fathers. No one wants to cast them in a bad light when they are mostly wonderful.

I'm pleased that you visited and saw the harmony I wanted to portray - and enjoyed it from my perspective as though you'd been sitting right beside me!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Ken - Yes, I know. We share a a similar deprivation and we grieve more for what the children are being deprived of than our own loss.

How glad I am that your 16 year old is with you! He is a most fortunate young man to have you as a father in his life. That is wonderful. Perhaps the others will acquire both the insight and the opportunity to return to you, as well. It is excruciatingly sad.

Perhaps the most heroic thing we deprived parents can do is to go on growing and deepening in both our own wisdom and understanding ourselves in the meantime so that if and when our lost lambs return, they will find us strong and valiant - as well as good role models. After all, they are growing up and facing their own adult challenges and so for them to find that, indeed, we allowed our losses to crush us - would NOT be a good example for them in their own challenges of adult life. How much better for them - and ourselves - to learn from it, derive all the best from having endured it to make us better people - and to exemplify that kind of resiliency and strength for our children to observe if and when they can and will. Those of our progeny we DO get to be close to are also the benefactors of who and what we are - and they ARE near us to know and grow the better for it, - or to see us being crushed and wondering how they can cope with their own challenges if we can't seem to cope with ours! I believe this is one gift we can give, no matter who or what anyone or anything arises to thwart our parenthood!

So take heart in knowing that the way you are living your life and facing your most crucial challenge of all - is courageous, honorable and fully human in the very best sense of the term!!


Heart Felt Book profile image

Heart Felt Book 6 years ago from New York, NY

THIS WAS VERY SWEET GREAT HUB!! I ALWAYS LOVE TO SEE A MAN WITH HIS SON\KIDS..FOR SOME REASON IT HIT'S A SOFT SPOT IN MY HEART.. IT'S SOMETHING WE LACK IN THIS GENERATION/WORLD.. SO IT'S A GREAT HONER WHEN SEEN. THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL THANK YOU FOR SHARING


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

Heart Felt - Thank you! Yes - it is a wonderful reminder of good men and fathers. I guess it is missing more and more these days. Let's hope there are more and more good guys who truly take the responsibility to heart and realize what a joy it is to be a parent!

Thanks again for the visit to my site and the lovely comments!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I cannot imagine being who I am without my father - and yes, we girls need our dads - sometimes I think more because it creates the natural balance and ying and yang. Yet, we girls are ignored in this equation.

Pains me that men are having children everywhere knowing full well they can neither support them physically or emotionally. Poor kids in our culture.

Thanks for the hub!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS Author

OH, yes. My father was my hero and I knew he loved me dearly. I know it was something real to me all through life.

There is much to be concerned about in modern "families". Responsibility seems sadly lacking.

I'm still getting to enjoy seeing the father and son across the alley on weekends when he has his little boy.

Thank you so much for visiting the hub and commenting!


Shyla's Nana profile image

Shyla's Nana 5 years ago

Dear Nellieanna, this is such a sweet story. A lot of things happen in relationships and children are left wondering if it was THEIR fault. It is the parent's responsibility to assure their child/children that they are loved beyond measure and what is happening is in no way their fault. I know as a little girl, my dad was hardly ever around. Us kids saw very little of him. Sometimes he would show up in the middle of the night and give us a kiss on the cheek while we were sleeping, except some nights I wasn't asleep. It was almost like a dream one could say.

After I grew up and got married I had children. It was not a very good marriage, it was filled with abuse. My oldest son was 13 when I took him, his 2 brothers and sister and left my husband. I never once tried to keep our children from their dad, even when he kept putting me down and calling me all kinds of names when they were with him.

This is neither here nor there though. What you have written is what every child hopes for in a father, someone who loves them to the ends of the universe and one that will play with them and teach them things about life. But I see in my son, Robbie, who is Shyla's dad, what it takes to be a daddy. Anyone can be a father, it takes someone special to be a daddy. He is the kind of daddy I wish I could have had. I love you Robbie. You are a wonderful son, husband, and brother, but you put a smile in the word of daddy. Thanks Nellieanna for sharing your gift of words. Take care.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, - oh, yes, Shyla's Nana. It is truly wonderful to see a sweet Father-child relationship in progress. It sounds like your own was just not quite enough - or certainly didn't feel like enough. As I've mentioned, my Dad was a wonderful one. I understood that he had to commute to the ranch when we lived in town so I could go to school, but he never failed to be very much there for me when he came back. When school was out, we stayed at the ranch all summer, too. Those are all some of my most precious memories. I FELT his caring and it washed away the time he had to be away. I'd love to think that your Dad's kiss on the cheek was his genuine expression of caring for you too but just not as obvious to you as a child. Perhaps his reason for being away was as imperative as my Dad's. Often kids don't fully have opportunity to know too much about their father's work and other obligations. I was able to see and be part of my Dad's so I could picture him out there working on that remote place a hundred miles away, making our living. If a dad's work is in some office removed from the kids' lives, it would be easy to feel left out I'm sure. Parents are so aware of their facts, they can fail to realize that kids have no way of knowing them.

But worse - your children's dad was cruel. I can empathize. I, too, chose my first husband & my children's father poorly. But How great it is that your own son, Robbie, found within himself the ability to be a good Daddy. I'm sure your love and training helped make him what he has become. No wonder you are so happy to be Shyla's Nana!! Makes it all worthwhile! Thank you so much for sharing that happy outcome. Hugs.


Shyla's Nana profile image

Shyla's Nana 5 years ago

LOL well Nellieanna, my dad was away. He left my mom with 5 kids. He was a womanizer. My mama was both mom and dad to us and I am glad she was. I actually wrote an article about her here in Hubpages. The title is Wind Beneath My Wings. I know you are very busy here but perhaps sometime you can drop by and read it. Her pic is above the article. Thank you also for your kind words regarding my son. I have 4 wonderful children, all grown now. I am sorry to hear of your first marriage. It makes you really appreciate the one that comes along afterwards that makes life worth living and puts a smile on your face. And I would be most honored somewhere along the way to call you my friend. Take care.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, dear. Of course, I considered it could have been like that, but hoped it might not have been. But what a wonderful role model your mother was/is. I will most definitely look up your Hubpage about her.

My experience was incredibly excruciating and its effects in regard to the children persist after 39 years since it erupted irreparably. They are now well into their AARP years and have grandchildren of their own. I can applaud them for their courage & determination.

Yes, my precious George was indeed, a reward for me and I miss him dearly since his passing - and his memory keeps me smiling.

Of course I would also be honored to be friends. Thanks for this followup message, too. I am sorry to know why your youth was deprived of your father for the most part. We grow past these trials, but we bear some reminders.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

What a sweet story. It is so refreshing to read of goodness. Being a 'nosy neighbor' has it merits on many levels for sure

What you would have missed is far greater than any imagined nosiness...this lovely tale we would not be privy to had you done otherwise.

What joy it is to see Daddy and child interacting in such a lovely way.

My son in law and his son can be seen working side by side since his tiniest years (he is five now). He is often all up in the middle of Daddy's tools when he is building or repairing this or that and his help is eagerly received. How lovely it is to behold

Thank you for sharing such a loving article at this time of the year.

Angels are on the way. ps

shared


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 13 months ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you for discovering this hub, Patricia. Yes, it's meaningful. Fathers and children relationships are, indeed, inspiring and so important to both participants.

I must confess that I've, since writing this, learned that these two are grandfather and grandson. If anything, that makes it extra-special and lends even more meaning & significance. There's also a precious granddaughter. The yard has a much-used swing-set, play fort and there are bikes and pedal vehicles, along with pets. Obvious caring about those children, along with personal contact frequently evident.

Good people.

Oh - and I can't help but notice. That house, garage and backyard are in my direct view from my kitchen window. Haha.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 12 months ago

Nellieanna Your story is of love. The connection with a father and his son.I enjoyed reading it as my mind flooded with so many childhood memories. My dad always let me help out painting the outside of the house no matter how bad I did. He helped me ride my first bike and he gashed his leg with my bicycle pedal and he still let me ride.I have no children but I carry that connection with my nieces and nephews today. Hopefully they will see and feel my love. I always look forward to your hubs. Filled with real life situations and many lessons. Thank you so much. Wishing you good health and a beautiful day.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 12 months ago from TEXAS Author

My dear Dream On ~ You comments always warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. This one, with your own precious memories of your own Dad and how he guided you inyour childhood, is especially dear. And you pass along that kind of love and wise guidance in your relationships with your nieces and nephews. That's what it's all about.

I loved my Dad and he was a big influence on my youth and later m life, along with Mother's. What a blessing good parents and other older relatives are to kids.

One of my Dad's counsels to me was to seek out a trustworthy older person to befriend and then to pay respectful attention to their counsel, while still using my own mind and heart to resolve my challenges.

He was fond of quoting cute poetry which had a lesson or a moral for me. I need to find a copy of one I especially remember about a "little mousie" who was too quick to act without thinking - and, of course, got trapped while boldly investigating the cheese in the mousetrap. haha. He even wrote it out in a letter to me when I was away at school.

He was old-fashioned, but so wise. He understood his daughter all too well. I overheard him saying I was 'a determined little girl' when I was no more than 3 or 4. haha. He had me pegged!

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