Where Dad Comes From

The best Dad in the world – mine, of course.

He is from Indiana corn fields and blinking fireflies on

cool-moist summer nights.

He is from generations of adventurers,

farmers and teachers.

He is from Clarence Vespacian a.k.a. C.V. or Mike, and

Genevieve Mae a.k.a. G.G. or Genny.

He is from  a passel of cousins with nicknames

and games.

He is from 100 years of family reunions with the

sweetest of tea and juiciest cherry pie, and croquet

wickets with balls whizzing by and uncles fiercely competing,

with peals of laughter from aunts.

He is from Red Ryder BB guns, razor straps and

slippery Dial soap after cuss-word-slipping (learned from C.V.)

He is from work hard, speak well,

mind your manners and pray.

He is from Trust in the Lord and Do Good.

He is from honor and respect and do-the-right-thing.

He is from razzing jokes and teasing;

from joy and ultimate optimism.

He is from service. And duty.

He is from Studebakers. And snow piled high over his head and

soaring from ski jumps on golf courses.

He is from caddying and playing and oh-so-wanting a pony.

He is from All Hail-ing James Monroe and Stand Up and Cheering Riley High.

He is from singing and violin-ing

and carefully crafted arguments

and winning debates.

He is from DePauw Tigers and from honored Rector Scholarship.

And he is from interruptions…and war.

He is from the U.S. Army and “Benning School for Boys.”

He is from marching and training

and “Lieutenant Egghead.”

He is from the pride of the 10th Mountain Division and

the chill of springtime in the Italian Alps and

dark mountain climbs

and DUKWs and lifelong comrades…and death.

And he is from the Bronze Star.

He is from resilience

and recovery.

He is from the GI Bill and study and achieving degrees.

He is from Miami, OSU, Purdue, OU and ASU. Teaching,

learning, leading, researching and pioneering.

He is from building bridges for students

and leading us across.

He is from volunteering and lobbying and believing

in more.

He is from a hot August wedding and a sewn-in bride.

He is from 61 years of real love and laughter.

And dancing in the kitchen.

From partnership and travels and parenting perils.

He is from stroke devastation, dedication and

23 years of care-give-ing.

He is from loving the prettiest girl in town and telling her so. Often.

He is from lines and leads, rehearsals and songs.

He is from fans from classroom to stage to TV.

He is from meet you at your level.

He is from classical music and “All Things Considered” and

fishing and galloping horses and ear-tagged cows.

He is from sycamores and buckeye trees, ferns and hayfields

and roses.

He is from beaver dams and the hush of silent mist

slowly rolling across the valley.

And he is from freshly cut green Christmas trees from the farm.

He is from tearing down walls and building

new dreams.

He is from scorching desert days and

cool-dry desert nights.

He is from admiration for sunsets and

noticing the smallest of blossoms and the largest of moons.

He is from  moment by moment

and living in now.

He is from glimpses of memories

gently moving from front to back.

He is from seeing and not

seeing.

He is from musicals and baseball and “Where is Patricia, is she OK?”

He is from walking,

and walking. And strength.

And he is from his canine companion-friend-son.

He is from whistling I’m-ho-ome!

He is from dog-walks and cat-tails

and “Daddy, will you carry me?” from

four little girls.

He is from secure and safe

and knowing.

He is from compliments and hugs and

“That’s great, sweets!”

He is from dinner at home every night,

and homework

and pink sponge curlers in his hair.

He is from meeting our boyfriends and trips down the aisle.

He is from face lighting up at the sight of his girls and

happy grandchildren as he took them on twirls.

He is from appreciation and

receiving.

He is from “Hang in there!” “Keep cool, but don’t freeze!” and “Don’t fight the problem.”

He is Dad, Daddy, Daddio – Par-Par and Pop. He is Grampa and Grampy

and Pickle-Nose.

He is ours.

And we are his.

Photo Credit: Amy Goyer

Follow Amy on Twitter @amygoyer