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. 

3 Comments

  • by
    Cindie
    Posted June 19, 2019 6:04 pm 0Likes

    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 in the summer and the smile on his face.

    He suffered with Type 1 diabetes for most of his life, but you never heard him complain. I never remember him missing a day’s work despite occasional complications. At the age of 62 he was forced to retire as his right leg would need to be amputated due to a nasty infection. Again, no complaints and within a few short months he had a prosthesis and was driving again to his favorite fishing spot. A few years later he lost his second leg as the result of another infection. He came to live out his remaining days with us and left a wonderful legacy for me and for his grandchildren.
    He taught me to never give up, to live life honestly and authentically, to trust God and to always look for the best in others. He died in 1984 and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him.

    • by
      Patricia
      Posted June 19, 2019 6:31 pm 0Likes

      Thanks so much for sharing your father with us, Cindie. What a beautiful image of you sitting next to your dad with a sketchbook while he fished. He sounds like a remarkable man who gave you many gifts, especially the will to never give up.

  • by
    Judi A Graham
    Posted June 23, 2019 2:54 pm 0Likes

    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. Sunday was a day of rest, and he would sit out on the front porch with Nettie and I, shelling black eyed peas and answer my stupid questions and share his knowledge. He was special, and I am blessed to have called him Daddy.

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