This Week’s Writing Prompt

This year for Father’s Day, I celebrated the memory of my dad; we buried him last year the day before the holiday. Saying goodbye to him was long and slow as Alzheimer’s disease claimed bits of him for more than fifteen years. 

I cherish the many stories I have about my dad. Remembering some brings sad feelings; others make me laugh out loud, but the memories I love best are those involving animals. Animals loved my dad, and he responded in kind. When he served in the navy during World War II and the Korean War, a monkey adopted him. The chickens he raised followed him wherever he went. Ducks waddled along behind him, lined up in a row.  

One of my favorite stories about my dad, whom I called Tuttie, centered on his pride and joy—a koi pond he built in the backyard. During a visit, he walked me through the yard to see it. The large pond had a wooden walkway around it about a foot above the water. In each of the four corners, I noticed these little planks of wood about two inches wide and a foot or so long that had been scored. 

Tuttie, what are those little boards for?” I asked. 

Oh, those are for the toads,” he said. When I looked at him, not understanding, he explained. “The first night I filled the pond with water, the toads jumped in to get a drink, but the deck was too far from the water, and they couldn’t get out. They all drowned. I made those ramps so they could walk out.”  

What is a favorite memory of your father or a man who’s been a father-figure in your life? Tell us the story. Allow us to see and hear him through your words, and then, share this remarkable man with us in the comments section below.

Remember, everyone who posts a response in June is eligible to win a free instructional video of your choice. 

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My father was born in Portugal and came to the United States at the age of three. He was not able to finish High School as his family needed him to earn income to help them out financially. He was a weaver in a cotton mill. However, his favorite pastime was salt water fishing. Daddy loved the ocean and in the summer after work he would take me with him to the bridge where he fished. I would sit with my art supplies and he would cast his rod into the ocean. I remember the weathered look of his skin… Read more »

He was 5′-7″ and no more than 125 lbs. soaking wet. His body showed the wear of a lifetime of riding after cattle, putting in fence posts and stringing barbed wire. He was a strong man who was adored by his wife, Nettie and respected by his three sons. I came into his life when I was 35 and I felt his love right away. He treated me the same as the boys, a fact that annoyed at least one of them. He taught me to ride, to herd cattle (eventually without getting thrown off the horse) and to farm.… Read more »

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