My Father


Where do I begin?  So many thoughts running through my head.  This is an attempt to give tribute to my Father….. a wonderful man whom I miss very much.

I thought Father’s Day would be a perfect day to express gratitude for my Dad….. not only because it’s Father’s Day, but also because tomorrow would have been his 90th birthday!  It’s hard to believe that he’s already been gone for 5 years now.

My Dad was a funny person.  All the grand kids would attest to him being a tease.  We could hardly ever get a picture of him with a straight face.  He was always pulling some goober face when the camera clicked.  He loved to have fun with his grandkids.

Donald White Bangerter June 20, 1921 — May 31, 2006

I remember many a camping trip with my family.  Mostly just my sisters and I since my brothers were too grown up to join us by the time I was old enough to remember the campouts.  He taught me how to fish.  Oh, how my Dad loved to fish!   I don’t quite understand how I could grow up loving camping as much as I did and now not even want to do it!  I don’t know….. I guess I’m just too much of a princess!

His obituary read ‘Gone Farmin’.  It really could have just as easily read, ‘Gone Fishin’.  He spent a good portion of his retired years farming.  He was raised on a farm and always had a large garden.  He knew how to make things grow.  Not only did we have a large patch of ground in our back yard for a garden, but he purchased a very large piece of land that he could do some ‘real’ farming on.  He and his brother Carter spent many an hour gardening.  Oh how I miss his corn!  And cucumbers….. and tomatoes….. and…. well…. you get the picture!

As my Dad’s health started to deteriorate, he made the decision to cover his beloved garden at the house up with sod.  He also sold the plot of land he had.  Ironically, he was gone by the following Spring.  I don’t think he could bear another summer to come and go without getting his hands in the soil.  That, and the fact that his two younger brothers, who he was very close to, passed away and pretty much took the life out of him.  He and Mom could not do the kinds of things they had always done anymore and he didn’t like that much.  I sometimes wonder if he just gave up.  Life has a way of doing that to you.

Dad was a hard worker and believed that everyone should be.  He was a brick mason by trade, so he spent countless hours in the sun, using his hands to create.  He loved to create things.  I believe he looked at farming as a hand in creation.  He loved to build things and work with wood.  I don’t remember my Dad being the kind of person that sat around a lot when he was younger.  He would come home from work and rest for a while in his chair, but it seemed he was always doing something around the house.  Even on the weekends.  Unless of course we were camping!

My Dad was a very generous man.  He loved to have nice things but didn’t flaunt it too much.  He liked to drive nice cars and dress up clean and sharp when he and Mom would go out…..but he was very generous.  He was always willing to help any one of us when we were having struggles.  I believe he was truly grateful he was in a position to do so.

My parents were great supporters of me and my ‘habits’.  Mostly that of performing.  Both in High School and College.  I was very fortunate that Dad put me through college.  It’s just a shame that I don’t have anything to show for it!  (Long story that we won’t go into now!)  Just know that I appreciate the support he gave me and though I don’t have a diploma…. I learned a great deal in college and was blessed with some wonderful experiences that have affected my life.  All thanks to my parents generosity.

I am so grateful that I had such a wonderful Father.  I’m grateful that my children remember him fondly.  Thanks for always taking such good care of us Dad!  Thanks for being a good example and so fun loving!  We all dearly miss you!  I give you a bouquet of purple roses from your rose bush on this day and send you my love!

Your Baby….. Wanda

I am Grateful!  How are you?

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2 Replies to “My Father”

  1. Daddy, That is what he was to me and even at my ripe age of 62 I will always caqll him DADDY !

    Everything Wanda said about him is so true, loving , generous, willing to listen to us. I dont know what i would of done if he and mom would not of been here to help carry me through my falled marragies. He gave me syrenght unconditional love and support. He taught us all how important family truely is. I miss him dearly!

    I know he would never want me or any of us to give up on life! He was a Father to my children with the strenghth to teach them love and help them They all miss him. My grandchildren loved their Grandpa Don and he represented their lonliness of a grandfather. Loved Sunday nights cheeses, eating watermelon in the back yard spitting the seeds in the bucket! Christmas eve and any other time we could het together. We all miss him. Love you , Daddy, Gramps, Grandpa Don .

  2. Thank you for that addition to this post, Shawna! It was beautiful. I’m grateful Mom and Dad were there for you too! What a great man….. and as you said, dearly missed. Thanks for adding those great memories.

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