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A tribute to my father

Updated on October 15, 2013

My childhood dog Babe.

Source

My 100th Hub, I dedicate to my Dad.

By the time I finish typing this tribute, my father will be hurting, and in the care of Hospice. He has pancreatic cancer which is a most painful disease. While I actually started this Hub over two months ago, I haven't been able to get through it. It's so painful to me to watch a man waste away to nothing that has been the biggest influence in my life.

I've been fortunate enough not to have lost many loved ones in my lifetime. A few family members passed away before I ever met them. My great-grandparents passed away from natural old age. My grandmother lost a battle to lung disease in her 80s. A cousin died young at an early age.

To anyone wandering by this tribute that does not know me, my grandparents raised me as one of their own. My grandmother was more like a mother to me. My grandfather is the only father I've known.

My grandfather is standing by the horse and cart.  My grandmother's father is standing by Duke, the dog.
My grandfather is standing by the horse and cart. My grandmother's father is standing by Duke, the dog. | Source
My father, my hero.
Over the past year, between my hospitalizations and illnesses, my father was there for my family.

I call him Huffy.

I always lived with my grandparents because my mother was very young when she had me. Never knowing my biological father, I just naturally adored my grandfather and always felt he was my true father.

When I was about three or four years old, I have memories of my grandfather telling me the story of the Three Little Pigs! He never read from a book. Always reciting the story word for word from memory. I got such joy and delight from the time he spent reading to me, that eventually I started calling him Huffy because of the big bad wolf and how it huffed and puffed.

In a cruel twist of fate, my father has factory lung from working in a foundry casting airplane parts most of his life after giving up farming. Cancer has taken most of his breath.

Lessons learned from my father.

My father taught me never believe I'm smarter than someone else. He raised me to understand that we have something to learn from others.

Because of his teachings on the farm when I was a child, I learned to have a passion for animals and other people.

He could have by all rights been a political figure in town. Everyone loved and adored him. He couldn't travel anywhere without someone recognizing him. I met a lot of people during my childhood.

We lived in a small town, so most people around here knew of us.

My father was from a large family and had a large family of his own. Many people to this day still know of our family, even though there is a high rate of people that come and go. This is also a military town.

My father took me to church when I was younger. He thought having routine and structure was important to raising a family.

He taught me important lessons in life when everyone else seemed to forget I was born.

He had a strict routine. Daily, he would wake at 4 a.m, even after he no longer operated a home farm. He would get himself ready, take out the garbage, feed the dog, and drive down to get the paper. He would never let a day go by without waking me up so I wouldn't be late for school.


My father's faith!

My father would rake the yard every fall. Carefully piling up leaves. He always liked the way a yard would look after it was freshly raked. When someone would say to him that he lived in the woods and wonder why it was necessary to rake so hard, my father would reply, "you have to scratch mother earth's back to reap reward."

My father believed no two wrongs make a right. He also believed that we are accountable for everything we do on earth.

He started taking me to church after my second adoption, when I was seven years old. He may have taken me prior to that, but I don't recall.

I remember being so frightened in church. I would always sit by him upstairs with the other adults instead of going to the Sunday school classes.

He never read the Bible that I know of, but he could recite versus from it that he had memorized.

When I was hospitalized in December 2012, paralyzed on my right side for eight days, my father sat by my side. He came to visit me out of the love of his heart for me. He was awfully worried about me, only as a father could be.

There was a patient in the same room. The hospital has shared rooms still. The patient's name was Jane. One day Jane was having an awful tantrum. She wasn't herself. Perhaps it was the medication she was given for the infection on her leg. She was carrying on and on, belitting hospital staff, and then asked me how I could remain so calm being paralyzed. She said it would have driven her mad with no control to get better.

Jane was mad. She felt plagued by the unfairness of her medical problems. She was in and out of the hospital four times during my stay. She wanted instant gratification. She was seeking medical advice that would cure her congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis that prevented her from living the retired life she always dreamed of.

One day, she turned to me, and asked how I could be so calm laying in a hospital bed without being able to be home with my children. She said it would have destroyed her to be in my shoes.

Jane thought I needed prayer. She sent a clergy to visit me. As I'm laying in my bed, unable to move because my headache was more than I could stand even on the pain pills they were feeding me, this nice lady from the Chaplain office asked if I needed her to pray for me.

I replied, "why did you come here?" "Who requested you?" Knowing I had not requested a clergy member.

She replied, "Jane requested my presence so that we could offer you prayer."

And I said, "I have made you, I will carry you, I will sustain you, and I will rescue you". Isaiah 46:4

I suddenly had the attention of the clergy member and Jane who took her cane and hobbled over to one side of my bed with a chair. Jane said, "well, I was raised Christian but I can't recite Bible versus like that."

I said, "I never could either, until I needed to remember one to get through this!"

So you see, maybe I wasn't paying all that much attention way back in my younger years when I attended church with my father. But somehow, I remembered what my father taught me.


My father's life.

My father was one of six children who lived with his parents on a farm. He was a potato farmer. He dropped out of school at a young age. He really wanted to be free and work outdoors. At sixteen he started driving potatoes from Connecticut to Rhode Island.

He also has served as Fire Marshall in our town.

Everything I've been taught, he showed me how to learn.

My father's mother was originally from England. She grew gladiolas and attended to her other children.

His father operated one of the first gas stations in town and sold the freshly-cut gladiolas at the corner store.

At age 16, my father met his wife, my grandmother.

One of the funniest stories he ever told was how he met her.

My grandmother was from West Virginia.

My grandfather was on his bicycle running chores for his mother when he saw this beautiful brunette standing on the corner, her hair wavy and glistening in the sunlight. He drove by a few times before he braved the courage to ask her what she was doing.

My grandmother replied in her southern accent (with a long drawl to her words), "I'm just wait'n on the bus".

My grandfather replied, "how can you be waiting on the bus when you are standing on the street corner?"

Love at first sight blossomed, seven children later, and the story goes on from there.

Life as a farmer's daughter.

My grandmother used to tell me, "Home is where your heart is."

She always tried to protect me from feeling hurt, when in reality they gave me all a child could ever ask for. I didn't know any other way of living so there was nothing I felt I was missing.

My father worked a full-time job. In the summer, when the leaf of the tall oak tree grew to the size of a mouse's ear, he'd plant the corn. Then, he showed me year after year, how to mound squash seeds, where the best spots were to raise cucumbers, how to know when to pick a head of cabbage, and how to look out for horned tomato worms.

At four years old, he taught me to feed baby lambs, while I held them in my lap.

He bought me my first puppy when I was seven.

He taught me everything I know today, but he never knew I was watching and listening!

My father was a horse trainer.

My father trained horses. He taught them how to do tricks and roll over.

When my son was referred to horse therapy for Autism-related sensory issues, my father stepped up and volunteered to work with my son. He bought him a safety harness and gear. He never got the chance to work with my son though, because at the beginning of the summer we had a terrible wave of heat. My father's health went downhill after that.

My father training his pet horse to do tricks.

Source

Family first.

Family always came first for my father.

Before landing a good job, for years he worked multiple jobs just to make all the bills.

Several of his sons served in Vietnam.

And when my grandmother became too ill to care for herself, he cared for her.

I've always thought it was important to tell my father how I feel about him. One Christmas, I wrote him a letter.

"You are always there when we need a helping hand. You have yet to turn us away, tell us you are too busy, or can't be bothered.

You have helped us more than we can possibly express gratitude for in words.

I want to tell you how much you mean to me.

I think you are a pillar of strength.

You are a windmill. Strong and sturdy, yet you do cartwheels to get where you need to go when someone needs you.

You are a lighthouse. You guide us through murky waters and lead us to shore to return home safely.

You are a flashlight. Your batteries never run out and you always light the right path in the fork in the road.

You are my hero.

There have been times in my life when I didn't think I could go on any more. And you hugged me with your great big strong arms. I felt God's love through your heart. And because of you, I felt stronger and was able to stand on my feet once again.

You have always been there for me and you amaze me with all you do even today in your retirement years when you should be resting.

I can't thank you enough for all you do.

I love you so much.

We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for you and I'm so proud to call you dad.

Thank you!"


Do you have a parent that adopted you?

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My Father's Favorite song.

What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.

"I see trees of green, red roses too. I see em bloom, for me and for you.
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world."

Conclusion.

Well, thank you for reading this. It was a very painful story to write. I know we are not supposed to right about things that are too personal, but this one I couldn't let go of without letting everyone know where I came from.

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    • profile image

      Roger 2 years ago

      Hi Corey,My mom mentioned that Bobbie Joe (Grandma's niece) had been to your site and seen Grandma's photo and your kind words. It's a perefct picture of Grandma with her smiling face. I can almost hear her laughing. We were truly blessed to have such a free spirit as a grandmother. She was such an inspiration.What a fabulous artist you are. I've really enjoyed perusing through your site. It all has such a great feel to it.. you should be very proud. And of course, your boys are amazingly adorable. What meaningful keepsakes they will have with such masterful art documenting their lives. It's really too bad we haven't gotten to know each other better throughout the years. I'd love to be better connected to you and your sisters. Maybe we can somehow make that happen. I'll check back into your blog.Take Care and wish your family well. Kelly

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Swelly! Thanks so much for your warm comments.

    • Swelly profile image

      Shelly R 3 years ago from Maryland

      This was very touching. I can't imagine how difficult it was to write. It caused me to think of my dad whom I lost almost a year ago. Thank you for sharing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much JPS0138 for your wonderful and kind comments.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Congratulations on your 100th hub. What beautiful way to celebrate the occasion by writing something dedicated to one of the most important person in our life. Very touching indeed!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Ben! He certainly has lived a very blessed life for sure. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughtful words.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

      Hi Crafty, your dad is one blessed man. He has lived a great life and from what I can see, he has tried his best to give you and your siblings a good life. We will keep him in our prayers. We wish him well.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you for commenting and sharing such kind words Alicia!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a beautiful and touching hub, Crafty. I know it was painful to write, but it's a wonderful tribute to your father. It's also an excellent hub for number 100. I agree with some of the other commenters - it would be great to show or read this hub to your father (grandfather). Best wishes.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you wetnose! That's so sweet of you to say.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind words Diana!

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      This is a great way to get out your 100th hub. To tell how about your father(grandfather) and he did a grand job raising you.

      It would be wonderful to read this to your father. It may help ease his pain even for a little while.

      Be strong.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 3 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is a very touching story and your dad deserves the loving tribute of devotion. I've written poetry in honor of my dad and posted them in a hub. Voted up and beautiful.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments MysticMoonlight!

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      MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

      What a wonderful man, Crafty. Certainly worthy of this beautiful tribute! Well done and so touching.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much EP for your heartfelt and thoughtful comments!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Such a beautiful story, Crafty and your father is a wonderful man. What a fantastic upbringing. I hope that you are able to show this hub to him as I'm sure this tribute will mean the world to him. This is a wonderfully-written and heartfelt 100th hub. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Brave! Thank you so much for your sincere comments and thoughtful words.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      100 hubs? Already? Wow! Congratulations, Crafty!

      This tribute to your dad is very heartwarming. The love you have for him is so strong; I can see why his present condition hurts you so. The letter you wrote him is beautiful. I hope you get the chance to read it to him over and over again.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi DDE! Thank you so much for your beautiful and inspirational words. Your thoughtful words are much appreciated.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Jackie! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words for him.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Faith! Your prayers are much appreciated. Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful and heart-felt words.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Congratulations on your 100th hub a tribute to someone who you looked up to and felt so safe with. An incredible write on this title writing out what you feel makes you look at life differently and also feel stronger.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I know how painful it must have been to write but I am also sure you felt much better once you did. May he have a peaceful and pain free passing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Dear Crafty, This is a most beautiful tribute to a beautiful man, your father. I know it was so painful for you to write, but I am glad you did for it has touched my heart so deeply (as I am sure many who read) and brought tears. I do hope you read it to him. You are blessed to have such a father in this lifetime. This is certainly a beautifully written and thoughtful hub from your loving heart.

      I know you are hurting now for he is in pain, and my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family right now, please know.

      Your childhood dog looks just like my childhood dog, Brownie. I could not think of a more beautiful 100th hub ever!

      Hugs and love to you and yours from southern USA,

      Faith Reaper

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Lyricwriter! I don't recall exactly where she was from, but I have it written down somewhere. I'd just have to find it. Her father was a coal miner. She told me stories about growing up really poor and chasing a train bare foot on Christmas Day for an apple and an orange. I've met some of relatives from there. Thank you so much for your kind comments!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Cygnet! That's a very lovely comment.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      This was a beautiful and wonderful tribute. Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting. Your grandfather(father) reminds me a lot of my grandpa. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I'm quite familiar with it myself, but it's never easy. I loved how you defined everything, it was very interesting. I wonder what part of WV your grandmother was from as I live in WV myself. I love this because it's a forever-lasting tribute to your father. Touching, beautiful, heart-felt, and well written.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      What a lovely tribute. I'll bet he is proud of you too.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Jaye, thank you so much. I've told him often how much he means to me and my own children. I'd like to think I didn't give him any trouble when I was growing up, but I did have my moments. LOL I totally agree with your grandmother. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you Flourish! I never thought it would come to this. He's like the Titanic. But it happens to all of us. It's just so hard to let go.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi DreamerMeg! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      This is a wonderful tribute to your dad, Crafty, a man who obviously deserves it. I am sorry that he is in pain and hope hospice care will be able to ease that pain so he won't suffer.

      When I read the letter you wrote to him years ago, I was reminded of something my grandmother used to say: "I'd rather have flowers now while I can enjoy them than have people send them for my funeral."

      By writing such a loving letter to your dad and thanking him for what he meant to you, in effect you gave him flowers while he could enjoy them. This tribute is more of the same, and I hope he will be able to hear you read it to him. Even so, I feel confident he knows how much you love him and how much he influenced your life.

      Blessings,

      Jaye

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Wow is this touching and beautiful, dear Crafty. A superb tribute to a strong, caring man who dedicated so much to those he loved. I am sorry about Huffy's pancreatic cancer and having to be in hospice. Why don't you read it to him if he is too tired to read it himself? Hugs to you, as well as congratulations on 100.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      A great story. We can all learn from hubs like this. I think part of your story could be turned into a poem - your letter to your dad. (Pillar of strength, windmill, etc)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Heather! All these years I never met my bio dad, and I felt like I had not missed out. My grandfather has been such a special person in my life. I don't want to let him go, but I know he will be better off without the suffering he is going through.

    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 3 years ago from USA

      I think this is one of the most beautiful things I've read. What a special and precious father you have. I hope he has the chance to read this or that you to read it to him.

      Hugs to you. Heather

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Laurie! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comments.

    • profile image

      Rayne123 3 years ago

      Beautiful heart filled story

      Its not too personal, it just is more of a tribute to your dad (grandfather)

      Its an inspirational story

      Blessings

      Laurie

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you very much! I've said from the day I saw your Hubs, we are cut from the same cloth. :D

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We have a bit in common, don't we? I was adopted at nine months, and my father was easily the most influential person in my life. The lessons I learned from him have given me guidance for a lifetime....and that's how it should be.

      Congratulations on #100; you are a great member of HubPages and as you know I think you are a terrific writer.

      bill