Any Man Can Be A Father But It Takes Someone Special To Be A Daddy - Router Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default Any Man Can Be A Father But It Takes Someone Special To Be A Daddy


What does it mean to YOU to be a father? What is the best thing about fatherhood?

This last December my daddy died. (Yes, I have always called him "daddy".) I am not ashamed to admit that it brought me to my knees. I was beyond devastated. It was one of the most difficult times I have ever faced. With Fathers Day approaching, (June 16th) I decided that instead of falling back into the abyss, I want to celebrate dads and remember the joy he brought into my life.

What are your best memories of your father while you were growing up?

I firmly believe the following quote, so biology isn't part of this. If you're raising kids (or raised kids) you're a father.
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"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy".

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:25 PM
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My dad's name was Raymond Fernand Lecoq, but his nickname in his circles was "Frenchy." He never shared that with his family, we only learned it after his death and inserted it into his obituary. At a memorial that filled the chapel to the rafters. Hundreds of people we'd never met, who read his obituary and came to share how much the liked "Frenchy." We heard stories of his generosity, sense of humor and his love for people from dozens of people we had never met. Although he never mastered English and always had a heavy Frency accent, he taught us all to work hard and love each other.

He did what dads did in those days, worked hard to support his family of six children and his wife, and he did so despite having only a 3rd grade education in France. He came to the US in 1923 with hardly any money, and knowing only a few words of English. He came over on the cheap, aboard a decrepit steamer that was scrapped two years later.

He met and married my mom in Detroit, and moved back to NYC where two sisters were born, and moved to California after their factory and business burned down. No job, no prospects and only determination to have a job and good life.

Again and again, he took whatever work he could find, and finally got a job as a gardener-landscaper at the County Farm, which later became Rancho Los Amigos, the premiere polio hospital in the Western states. After awhile, they gave him a special plot of ground to grow flowers, which he presented to patients confined to their sickly green iron lungs.

He took on side jobs and with his wife, Cecile, financed building small apartments behind their house, which was built before 1913. He taught me a lot about DIY while trying to keep that old farmhouse functioning. When they took the house down, one nudge with a small skip loader made the whole thing fall. They made do. Those little apartments still stand, by the way.

My dad was persistent. He kept going forward, despite lots of reasons to stop or to leave us behind. A friend once said of me, "you are the most persistent person I've ever met." I am happy to say that I got that in my bones from my dad.

Nice topic with Dad's Day coming up.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:17 PM
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My mother passed in 2011 and my father passed in 2013 - it was a very sad time and still miss them dearly.

My father left Italy for Canada to make a better life for his family - it was early 1951. He left my mom behind (pregnant with me - I was born in 1951) and my older sister. He landed in Halifax and worked his way towards northern Ontario, working on track gangs clearing the woods and laying track. He eventually settled in Sault Ste. Marie, in northern Ontario and eventually, my mother, my sister and I sailed to Canada.

When the steel plant opened in the Sault, my dad and others would line up every day to see if there was work. He finally got a job there - he went to school to learn English and to study, eventually achieving his second class Stationary Engineers certificate. In his spare time he did odd jobs, installing radiators, etc. To say my dad worked hard is an understatement. He was the epitome of a handyman and a jack of all trades.

The thing I remember most about my dad (and mother) was his love for family. Throughout the years, family get togethers were always at my parents house. With four of us children, spouses, girlfriends, our children, the get togethers consisted of 20 - 25 people. Dad loved to have everyone around.

Dad was firm, but fair and always ready to lend a hand.

I have two daughters, now in their 30s and 40s and raised them to be independent but caring. I'm proud to say that they are both professionals in their field - one is a chiropractor and the other is a Chief of Staff in our provincial government, but mostly, I'm proud to say that they are both fine adults. I'm happy that I was able to pass onto my daughters, the values that my parents instilled in all of us.

Some folks call me Vince - other folks call me...........
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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I wrote this back in early 2008, so the age at the end is incorrect. The minister read this at my daddy's funeral.

When I was born, my father told his friends I was the ugliest baby he had ever seen, and that I sounded just like a cricket. I think that must have been the moment that I became my Daddy’s little princess.

As a little girl, I remember seeing my daddy sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking his first cup of coffee every morning. Because of a broken finger that never quite healed right, every time he took a drink, his pinky finger would stick up a little bit.

When I grew up, I wanted to be just like him.

By the time I was 10 years old, I was drinking coffee during the summers at my uncle Charley’s dairy farm. Back then I needed a ton of sugar and cream to drink the stuff. Nowadays I use just a little cream, and I sweeten it with the fake stuff, but to this very day, my pinky sticks up a little, every time I take a drink of my coffee.

We have always shared a love of various farm animals. Well, except for that mean old goose that used to chase me around the yard hissing at me, and nipping me in the butt when I tried to run away.

One day I saw the goose trying to do the same thing to my daddy. He turned around and stomped his foot. Then he got right in the goose’s face and said “git on out a here now”.

I thought he was teaching me how to stand up to an old goose, but what he taught me was not to run from things, to stand up and face my fears head on. It took me many years to finally learn that lesson.

I cannot begin to count how many runts I thought I could save over the years. I had a weakness for piglets that were too small to survive with the litter. He would help me sneak them past my mama, and into the house. I would set my alarm to feed them every couple of hours.

He did this, even knowing that I could not save them all, knowing that some would die, and he would have to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, but he was teaching me not to be afraid to take a risk, to have the courage to try even when all the odds were against me.

I started working at the restaurant with my daddy, in my early teens. There were times that I thought he was tougher on me than the employees. He was tough, and he expected nothing less than the best. It was many years before I realized he was teaching me good work ethics and that anything worth doing, was worth doing well.

Growing up, one of my biggest fears in life was disappointing my daddy because I could not bear to see that look in his eyes.

When I was a senior in high school some friends and I snuck out of the house to go to a party. Before that night, I had never drunk a single drop of alcohol but apparently I was making up for lost time because before I knew it, it was noon the next day.

It was time to face my daddy.

Seeing that look in his eyes was way worse than the butt whooping I got. To top it off, he still made me go to work, sicker than a dog, and praying to the porcelain god. That was one lesson in life that I learned very quickly, because I remembered it every single day of the 30 days I spent grounded afterwards.

During that same year, it was my daddy who took me for a long walk up the hill to quietly tell me that my very best friend, Ronnie Winston, had died at the age of 17. Looking up into my daddy’s eyes, I could see his heart breaking for me as he tried to explain that there are some things in life that not even daddy can fix.

It was then that I first began to truly understand the serenity prayer, to accept the things I cannot change, to have the courage to change the things I can, and above all, to have wisdom to know the difference.

It has been 46 years since I became my daddy’s little princess, and you know what? I grew up to be just like him.

I love you daddy.

- Cricket
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 12:14 PM
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Never been a Dad. I have a rare condition that prevents me from having children , I was born without a personality.
Had a close call this week in the bar though. Girl wants to check out my gym
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 02:19 PM
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The best thing about being a father is grandchildren. Got nine! Had five at a fishing derby this morning, sponsored by the recreation ministry of our church. All of them caught fish!
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John T.
Life is like water-skiing; if you slow down, you go down.
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