My Dad is a year old here – 1915
I have very happy memories of my Dad, he taught me a lot and I have used it through out my life. I remember his story when he was working in a small shipyard in Wilmington, California, for Dick Crank. He dropped one of Dick’s tools in the water and really didn’t want to tell him, but knew he had to do it. So he went to the office and said to Dick ” I am really sorry but I have dropped one of your tools over the side into the water”. Dick told him “Thank you so much for telling me, no one else does, the tools go over the side and I have no idea it happened.” It was a real relief to Dad because he thought Dick would yell at him. That story stuck with me – not only being honest about things but taking responsibility for it. I’ve had times when I have had to tell something to someone and dreaded it – sometimes they were mad, but surprisingly quite often it has turned out well.
Another thing my Dad told me was about tackling a bit project. It certainly can be scary and overwhelming – but his advice really helped me do it. He said to start first with the things I know how to do; then work on the things I don’t know. Often I will find when I have done the things I know, the project is often done or almost done. I notice I use that same type of thinking when I am in a difficult or uncomfortable situation. I have to talk myself through it – “OK, we just do this part first”, when that is done I say “Just focus on this part and relax, it will come together.” Many times I hear myself say “This won’t last forever.” It is often a situation I want someone else to take care of it, but I also know deep down that I can do it.
Every once in a while something will remind me of Dad, something he would enjoy, understand, find funny or interesting. He had a great sense of humor and so did Mom. We three girls have inherited from them – Dad once said you don’t have to be crazy to live in our family, but it certainly helps. I married a man who fit in with my family, at times he says funny things and after 47 years, I can still make him laugh.
Since Eddie has been working with Andy, it is more and more as if Andy is the son he never had. We have been married long enough that he could be our son. It’s interesting that Andy calls us Uncle Eddie and Aunt Lee at times – I sometimes call him Nephew. In many ways, Eddie is as protective of him as a father and also tells him the straight scoop – Andy is not always ready to listen, but over the months he has changed some. Eddie has no problem being the bad cop. At this point in his life, he doesn’t have to be diplomatic any more; nor is he about to play politics. He spent too many years doing that.
When I was doing Ike Pono, I acquired a son Tom. We were doing an exercise I noticed he seemed upset. I went over to talk to him and later, I heard a voice saying “Mom.” It was Tom and we became good friends. The exercise had to do with parents and in his case, it was his Mom. I said to him that his Mom would be very proud of him and filled with love – it seemed to make a difference for him. Then there was the time when we were in a small group and working on another exercise. One of the women was having trouble speaking her mind, so I told her “Connect with you Inner Bitch”. They just looked at me as if they couldn’t believe I said that. Guess I come across as quiet and ladylike at times and something like that was quite a departure from their perception. Eddie once told me he never knew what I was going to say or do at any given time.
Eddie enjoyed being with his Dad, he didn’t nag him about things. They had fun together, and Eddie’s only regret is that he wasn’t able to spend more time of his adult life with his Dad. Life here is so different from where he grew up, it was hard for him to explain it to his Dad so he would understand. Unfortunately he and Mom never took Eddie up on his offer to have them come and live here. Dad would have done well I think, but Mom would have had a difficult time because of language and how things work here as well as not having grandchildren around.
Eddie’s down at LeMay Car Museum volunteering – to us it is just another Sunday.We both remember our parents many times during the year, not just this one day. We were brought up very much the same – the same values, the same feeling about parents and family. That is so important for a good marriage, though growing up in different countries and cultures has been eye-opening – sometimes it really smacks me in the face when I least expect it. I tend to assume he thinks the same way I do because he has been here so long.
Although it is the official Father’s Day today, we both like to think of it as every day of the year and each memory of our dads bring love and warmth to us.