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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Great Dads are GREAT

I had a great dad. 
His favorite color was green. 

My mother says when she got pregnant with me my father thought he wanted a boy.

Somewhere between my delivery and her recovery he saw me and he changed his mind. He did not give up on his dream of having a son but he went all out becoming the great dad of a baby girl.

He insisted on cloth diapers among other things my mother tells me.
He was a quiet man with those he did not know. To his family he became known, eventually as the man who could talk your ear off but many who did not live in our houses have a hard time believing that.

My daughter grew to know and love my father as both a grandfather as well as a place holder for the father she barely knew and who has never quite risen up to be the leadership figure she needs in her life.

My dad was a simple guy. Hard working and good natured he enjoyed spending time with his family. I think our youth brought him joy. He was so patient with me and then my daughter.

Sadly I think the role my dad played in my life was a tad understated such that it took a few years of being out on my own to really appreciate him. 

It doesn’t hurt that I see so many men failing to step up to the plate and be good fathers to the children they bring into the world. It hurts my heart. My dad made it look so easy.

He showed up
He took an interest and responsibility
He did not nag and fuss
He knew how to have fun
He showed me things
He helped me if I needed or asked him to
He challenged my thinking
He exposed me to new things
He talked to me listened with a caring ear
When I felt threatened he protected me

My dad did not know everything neither did he ever claim to. Still there was a lot of knowledge he had to share with me along the way while I was growing up.

It was my father who showed me how to cook. Scrambled eggs, bacon and toast was the first meal he instructed me in. This is as much about cooking the proteins as it is about timing each element so they can be served together hot.

One year we planted a garden. Another year he cut a panel out of the wall in my parents’ bedroom and installed a sliding glass door.

One day I came home I guess from school and he was painting my room…pink without me even having to ask. 

I loved that.

He had a wild adventure of a life, seeing the world courtesy of the US military, marrying an island girl and owning a home in California, two kids and a granddaughter. 

Who could have asked for much more?

RIP Filder L Johnson 3/12/2006


  1. Hello, Tosca (love the name!)

    My dad left us at an early age, a long time ago, and I still miss him. He was something like yours, though not a military man. The military wanted taller men with better eyesight. Well, they wanted what they needed, I guess.

    And now, as you say, with so many men failing to become fathers--my husband is the "father figure" for our grandchildren.

    I hope that you and my daughter will both find better men the second time around. So far, my daughter has absolutely refused to get involved again. She is waiting till her kids are grown. So, I hope that you, Tosca, find someone who is fit to follow in your father's footsteps as the man in your life.

    Thanks for a sweet, heartfelt post. I really liked the poem, too. :)

    1. Bless you. My daughter is in love with a wounded young man who has a sort of messed up father situation as well. I have hope for them. She is almost grown with just about 18 months left and resistant to the idea of me getting married.

      I have faith that a good guy is still out there for me but ugh it has taken too long already.

      My name is an Opera by the way. This post came out better than I expected and the day produced some new thoughts so all is well for now I guess. Take care

  2. I still have a hard time believing he could talk anyone's ear off. Your father, as I knew him, was the strong, quiet one.

    Lovely and touching.

    1. LOL Woman he wondered how you and I spent so much time together. He thought you did not talk. Oh the secrets people keep ;>

  3. Great post Tosca - thanks for sharing from your heart!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked my post.