Sunday, June 20, 2010

Remembering my daddy on the earth for Father's day

Today is Father's Day to recognize the very important role men and fathers have in the world. My father died in Dec 2004 and I wrote a tribute to him soon after that, but this is another one. I have years without him in my life and I have realized more and more what a profound influence he was in my life. I miss him so much still.
These are what I remember about him most:
* he was a total disciplinarian maintaining 'law and order' in his household and taught me to respect the law at all times;
* His 'no' meant no and his 'yes' meant yes, he did not mince words or use deceit or treacherous words.
* He was not indecisive or wavering on any subject. He knew what he believed and why he believed it, and he did not back down.
* He was willing to take risks for causes bigger than himself, for instance he co-signed the church's loan to help them make improvements in their physical building, and when my mother protested that, he showed his faith, saying it is all right, they will pay the loan, I just helped them get it."
* He tried to shield me from what he called 'no good men' whose hearts were not pure toward me; and I am ashamed to say that was one of the reasons I clashed with him so much in my teen years, when I every boy friend I had was 'not good enough for me" according to my daddy.
* He provided an abundance of food and a secure dwelling for me until I went to nursing school at the age of one week after 18th birthday when I went off to another place to live in at nursing school.
* He was reliable, always at home at night, always honest; not secretive or with hidden agendas.
* He taught all of us {I have three brothers and 2 sisters] to look at him, make eye contact with him when we talked to him to 'not be shifty eyed' as he called it, even when we were expecting punishment from him at times.
* He believed in GOD, church, nation and family and he upheld those values his whole life.
* He believed that women had a distinct role and so did men.
* He maintained his head of the household status and did not tolerate things that he considered sins including card games [he called it gambling and opposed it, and it was a very valuable lesson to me.]
* He served in the US Army and was so pleased to be considered good enough and thought it a duty of men to protect the nation. He taught us all to love and appreciate the veterans.
* He loved to cook and created near banquets at times, serving at times 200 people and putting long tables in our back yard to seat more,and inviting most of the community even when he already had the entire extended family there.
* He loved to have company and loved to feed them well. He would provide a turkey, ham, roast beef, and about 5 desserts and about 10 vegetables at the feasting times. Food was abundant [he farmed and had cattle].
* He had a sense of humour --a very dry wit that I did not appreciate until I spent some time in England and understood that heritage better.The Poole name originated in England and the English people told me that since Poole is my born with surname that it originated in England and that my ancestors on my daddy's side of family, were English origin.
* I could expect my daddy's help when I really absolutely had to have it.
* He taught us the strongest work ethic telling us to do our chores first and then free time to play.
* He took us on vacations to the coast, to the mountains, to my grandparents who lived on coast.
I admit that I was not the ideal daughter and that I caused my daddy much suffering and anxiety. I remember him telling me a few years before he died that IF I would get a good husband [ I was divorced only once at that time] he could be at peace and die content that someone was taking care of me. Unfortunately, I failed at that too. I did not marry well that second time in my haste to please my daddy, and that second marriage ended in divorce but not while my daddy was alive. I really tried to make it work ,and endured much suffering so my daddy would not know what a failure it was; ad I was. I did not want to disappoint him again.
I loved my daddy so much, and I miss him so much.
This is my memorial of him today.
Gloria Poole ; at my home in Missouri; 7:47 AM, 20th-June-2010
I logged back in to add some more of my favorite memories of my daddy:
When my oldest daughter Jennifer was about 3 my daddy called me and said 'come home, I want to see you and that baby". I said I could not afford too, as I lived in a state two states away from them at the time. He said, "I'll buy the airplane ticket, you be on that plane with her'. He did and I did, and he adored her and I was glad to see all of them.
And another memory that is precious to me is of my daddy holding Leigh who is my youngest daughter when she was a few days old, and beaming like he was the absolute proudest granddaddy in the world. He adored her too. And he seemed to really love children.
I have a photo that my sister gave to me after my mother died this past January and she was sorting her stuff, of me sitting on my daddy's lap in the photo, and wearing a dress with a big heart stitched on it, with the words in it, 'Daddy's little sweetheart". My mama used to tell me that I was my daddy's favorite child and that he named me Gloria, but he almost always dropped the 'a' from my name and just called me "glori".
The first time I showed an interest in a guy I was fourteen years old, and I went on a hay ride with my church. There was a guy there from another state and he talked differently, acted differently and I was fascinated with him. Watched every move he made on the hayride. He seemed to like me too. Well, the church director told my daddy and he was furious--told me to stay away from him and if he caught me with him, he'd whip me. I argued with him that it was a church hayride,nothing immoral about it and my intentions were not immoral. My daddy said 'well his are" meaning the 14 yr boy's intentions. Then I tried sitting with him in the back of church. That was like adding fuel to the fire as far as my daddy was concerned. He got up in the service when he realized where I sat, and came to the back of the church and told me to come to the front where he sat and gave me that look of if you defy me here, you will be sorry. And I so I did, and that was the end of that 'boy friend'--never even held hands with him! It is funny now how absolutely stupid I was about how to tell good men from bad ones, and I cannot say I have learned to do that yet. I guess I depended on my daddy to tell me that sort of thing. But not long ago,when I lived in Denver 80203 [but moved to Missouri now], I lived in a building where there were supposedly people looking after / for my best interests and one of them told me 'Gloria, if there were 100 good men in a room, you'd like the one bad one". I was shocked that I was still not able to discern good men from bad ones until there was obvious reasons to distrust them.
In deference to my earthly daddy, I realized I needed some time to figure out what characteristics make men good men and what characteristics make men 'bad'. I could never doubt that my daddy loved me and had my best interests at heart. He did not meet my second husband now exhusband ever and I am sure that if he had, he'd said, you stay away from him, he is a bad man. But I guess I knew he'd say that, and I was so headstrong I did not want to hear him say that to me again. But I proved my daddy was a better judge of men that I was, as the men whom he told me to stay away from and I did, are not the ones who nearly ruined my life but the ones that I defied him about and refused to listen to him, and then regretted it. And I have wished a million times i had done as my daddy wanted and married a 'good man' [and not two bad ones to defy him] and stayed near my daddy in physical location. I have many regrets about being so headstrong and I have paid the consequences. So everyone reading this, remember your daddy loves you and he wants what is best for you. And he knows men better than you know them, =--he knows there are some good ones and some bad ones.
One of the men my daddy liked said to me that 'there are women that men have to marry to have and there are women that men can just have with no committment and men know the difference instantly." I asked which am I? And he said "the kind I would have to marry--not mess around with,and I know that".
Gloria @ 9:15AM, trying to help others recognize good men too.


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