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TideWriters Tales
Remembering Father
By Kitty M. Moore

     I never called daddy ďfatherĒ, but looking back I know he was the best father he knew how to be. He was far from anyoneís idea of the every day father. To start with, he was 52 years old the day I was born. People would ask if he was my real father. I thought they asked because he was short and spoke with a French accent. I never realized that he was old; after all he was just my daddy.

    Ahh yes, I was his little brown eyed princess. Even though he was stern, he still spoiled me with ice cream cones and penny candy when I was good. He wiped my tears away and hushed my cries with his silly songs while he tap-danced straight into my heart. Most of all, I remember his stories that kept me spell bound about his boyhood adventures in a far away place called Nova Scotia. Best of all, he listened to a little girl who's chattering never ended and encouraged her to tell him her stories.

    Now understand, true, my daddy might have not always been right, but he was never wrong. When he said jump, I didnít dare ask how high. He may have spoiled the child a little more than his neighbors did, but he did not spare the rod. I did what I was told and my chores were finished on time or else. I knew better than to talk back to him, if I did, the air would be blue. When daddy put the law down you can be sure thatís the way it was going to be with no ifís, andís or butís about it.

    Daddy was smart way beyond his 2nd grade education. He knew his numbers; no one ever cheated him, not one penny. Besides the grueling days spent on his feet working in a shoe factory, he did carpentry work and odd jobs. It amazes me to this day how he could look at a room and know exactly how many rolls of wallpaper it would take, with or without a drop pattern. Every winter he made outboard motorboats in our cellar, some were fancy with mahogany and polished brass for the out-of-town buyers while others were just plain boats he sold to local fishermen.

    Daddy never called me a brat like some others did just because I couldnít sit still or keep quiet for more than a minute or two. Looking back, I think he somehow knew I wasnít your every day kid. He called me ďhis special princessĒ and told me I marched to my own drummer. He always said to keep trying and there were no such thing as ďI canít and to always remember that I could do anything if I tried hard enough.

    My father wasnít perfect, not by a long shot. Just like the rest of us, he did the best he could and like us he made his mistakes. He showed me very young I had to work hard for rewards in this life. Most important I always knew daddy loved me even when I wasnít as nice as I could have been. Some times I didnít like him, but I always loved him. My father taught me to be the very best I can be and not to give up. Without my fatherís encouragement, I would never have felt secure enough to put my heart down in between these lines, story after story. Happy Fathers Day, Daddy! 

© 2004 Kitty M. Moore All Rights Reserved. Previously published in Gloucester Mathew Gazette Journal

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