Father’s Day is always a big deal in our family. My dad is 85 years old, and he is still going strong and enjoying life. Growing up, Father’s Day meant making his favorite dishes and dessert. He loves a good cherry pie, but it was only several years ago he confessed that it is his favorite.
Mom always made the side dishes, and we usually put Dad out at the grill. He loved cooking for all of us, and he still does from time to time. But ask about a seafood restaurant, and he is in the car before you can finish the sentence!
I have learned many things from my dad. My dad is the most consistent and disciplined man in the world. He never waivers in his faith, his routine, and working his plans. “Make the plan, and work the plan” are his words of advice coupled with mom’s advice of “you never know if you can do something until you try.”
Dad’s life IS a life of integrity. If Dad tells you something, you can trust him. You can believe his words and know that he has given a lot of thought before he speaks. His words mean everything, and his handshake is a bond.
Table manners were a must at our house. Dad loved the time spent around the table and insisted that we put forth our best. Little did we know he was preparing us for our adult lives of meeting people in our careers. “You need to extend your hand when I introduce you and respond with ‘nice to meet you,'” he would say. It was important to him that when we were introduced we knew how to respond.
Dad is the grandfather of six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, and he gleams with pride when they are around. He makes everything fun.
I love hearing stories of his growing up years on the farm. It was a hard life of work, but he always managed to sneak in some practical jokes on his brothers. He served in the Navy and worked hard to get his college education. Mom worked while he completed his college education. They are still a strong team. They made the plan and worked the plan.
He retired from the phone company and has enjoyed his years of retirement. He lives everyday to the fullest. He can always be found in the tomato garden watering his prize crops. I bet he has 50 plants this year and supplies the whole family all summer.
I love him so much. Oliver Norton always has the right words, the right love, and the right heart for everyone. If men today could understand the word integrity and live as he has, the world would be a better place. He lives as an example worthy of being followed. Now I must go and talk him out of some of those green tomatoes on his vines. I must make my plan and work it and pick a few to fry. Have a blessed day.
Do you have any Father’s Day memories you’d like to share?
What a wonderful story. My Dad was my best friend. He past away in April of 2000 at the age of 85. I miss him to this day. Please treasure EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Phyllis. The good feeling I received from reading your post was almost like receiving a hug from my precious daddy. He spent his first Father’s Day in heaven because God called him home the last of April. He would have been 86 the last of May. He was raised on a farm and learned all those important lessons of hard work, honesty, integrity, and commitment just like your dad. He left his garden here for a much more beautiful garden there. Today has been a difficult day, yet it has been a day of sweet reflection, and your post brought joy to my heart because I can truly say, I know exactly how you feel. Enjoy every moment with your dad. Cherish every second you spend with him. Relish the touch of his hand, the curve of his smile, the feel of his skin, the sound of his voice, the glimmer in his eyes, and the pleasant feeling you get just being in his presence. Thank you for being so considerate to share your dad with us today.
Having Oliver as a personal friend I can “Amen” everything you said about him! He truly is a man of his word, and everyone I know who knows him has so much respect for him! He has given us many laughs over the years as we have been fortunate enough to travel with him and your Mom. Seafood? Absolutely! If the two of us are at the table you can bet there is some kind of seafood. I admire him for many things, but to me the one trait that defines Oliver the most is that he is a man of God. You are blessed to call him “Dad”.
It must have been wonderful and still is having a father true to his word. I don’t have that kind of father and always am envious of those who do. May God bless your dad!
Your Dad is a treasure from ” The Greatest Generation “. You are so blessed and fortunate to have such a dear man in your life for so long . What a gift for your family to witness such love and devotion ,
Please give him my best and give him an extra hug from me .
I have been a nurse for 40+ years and I have always had a special place in my heart for “gems” like your Dad .
My husband and I have lost our Daddys years ago . They will forever be missed but are ever present in our daily lives . I have faith that we will meet again someday .
Our parents can never be replaced. Cherish each moment with them .
Thank you for sharing your touching thoughts . A perfect gift to your readers !
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours! I loved reading your tribute to your dear dad. I feel the same about my own father. Although he has been gone nearly 13 years, I still miss him, especially on Father’s Day. You are beaming with pride right through the computer screen, and I imagine your dad must be pretty proud of his daughter, too!
My Dad was in the Navy also. He partially grew up on his grandfather’s farm. He was a hard worker. The men that you and I had/have as Father’s are practically extinct. Their honesty, hard working, unselfish, putting their nose to the grind for however long it takes. Loyalty,bravery, good character, not always looking for the easiest way out., sticking with a job, sacrificing for their families. etc. etc. I think the days of “real men” possibly over. Especially in the30-40 age group. They are whiners, selfish, lazy, depend on their wives to do just about ALL. Don’t know where their children’s hairbrush is, or the child’s clothes. I was thinking just this watching all the 70th Anniv. of D Day. In general, men are not men anymore. I know there are a few out there, but not many.
Everything you said about your Daddy I could say amen. He and my Daddy would be good friends. My Daddy waits for me I heaven. But I know he still keeps his eye on me. I miss him sooo much.
Heartwarming. My Dad also had strong faith and family values. Miss him – he passed in January 2012. Very sad.
My dad died a few years ago but I respected and practically worshipped him. He
Was all about family and held high standards. When I was in the 5th grade
He worked a night shift and was able to be at home to take me to school.
Sometimes he would bring me lunch – I’m talking about fried chicken, hamburgers, whatever I wanted. I felt pretty special. His mission was to teach everyone, who wanted to learn, how to fish. I miss his wisdom, generosity, and his humor.
I think of him daily and especially on Father’s Day.
There are so many things I admire about my Dad, who I lost in 1996. He was so responsible, if he said he was going to pick me up from school, I knew he would always be 10 minutes early. I never had to wait or wonder where he was. He had the best work ethic of anyone I know. He instilled that in me. He always said be glad you have a job, and do the best work you can do. He was a man of the Depression. I have instilled that into our two boys, and they have wonderful careers and they too are admired by their work ethic. My Dad adored my Mom and the two of them were a team. They had their disagreements, but they knew how to settle them, with love and tolerance.
I miss my Dad this Father’s Day.
Your dad seems like quite a guy. You have been very blessed to have him, and STILL have him, in your life. My dad was s great guy, too, and I sure miss him. Nice post! Susan
Enjoy the time with your father. You and I share an experience of growing up with a loving man full of integrity. My dad is gone and I miss him very much, but have his life lessons to keep me going strong. B
What a beautiful & loving tribute to your father. I can see from his picture that he is a womderful man. My Dad has been gone since 99 & I miss him every day. Cherish those good days that you can spend together. Do enjoy the fried green tomatoes & Happy Father’s Day to all special Dads.
Loved reading that tribute to your dad! I lost mine in 2010 to cancer. He was a former Marine and ran a barbecue restaurant in his latter years. He created his own sauce and would tell us kids that only after he was gone would we get the recipe. Well, I did get that recipe and to my surprise it makes 5 gallons!!! So I just went for it and canned many jars a week ago. I made a custom label with his marine photo and Doug’s BBQ Sauce in loving memory to dad on it. I plan to ship them to my brothers and other family members in time for July 4 as a surprise gift it celebrate him. Happy Fathers Day dad, hope you are in charge of the smoker in heaven…
Beautifully written and heartfelt. Plain and simple, your dad is a good man. Happy Father’s Day to him!
Phyllis, the love and gratitude that you feel for your “dad” is palpable in your words. What a beautiful tribute you have given. How very fortunate you are, not only to have had such a parent, but to still have him with you to share this Father’s Day. For all of us who bid our father’s goodbye much too soon, and when we were much too young, thank you for sharing your dad with us today. MM