Sunday, June 21, 2020

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY IN HEAVEN-Charles DeVerne Wilcox


My father was born and raised on
a farm in Pennsylvania.
He was a medic in WWI~
YES! WWI~
He taught Agriculture/English Lit at
Penn State for a few years.
He was an insurance salesman
with his brother, Guy, for
a few years..
but finally,
he went back to what
he knew and loved~
dairy farming.
He bought a farm 3 miles
from the one he was raised on
and moved an old schoolhouse to
the property and made it into
his home.
Then he met my mother.

He was well-settled into bachelorhood
when he met my mother.
She was 16 years younger
and I think he felt pretty
lucky to have snagged her.
She had never had children
either and was 36 when
I was born~
Unusual for that era.

My father was 53 when I
was born and I was his
first child.
Can you imagine what he
must have felt like to
be blessed with a child
at that age?

Well, SOME people didn't think
I was a blessing..but I won't mention
their names here.

I was the apple of my
father's eye.
He took me everyplace....
to the livestock market,
to the little juke joint down
the road from the market,
where he would buy me
an orange soda,
to the feed mill,
to the doctor,
to ride along and
check out the fields
and crops.

When I was 10 or 11
I remember a series of
trips he took.  I was left
with my Aunt next door
and he and my mother
would disappear for a few hours.
And then a few more trips,
and voices at my Aunt's house
that would stop when I would
walk into the kitchen..
I would see
 my Aunt's reddened eyes,
and the odd look on my mother's face,
but I still didn't know what was
going on.
At that age, you think life is
just going to go along as
it always has...
easy~ with long days ahead to
enjoy being a child.

Soon after that my brother
and I (who was born 4 years
after I was) learned that
father had
Parkinson's Disease.
A disease that would
eventually rob him of his
strength and his mobility
but never his spirit.
He told jokes until
the day he died.

I was one of those kids
that never said what I really
felt.  I cannot tell  you the
opportunities I missed to
tell him I loved him.
Oh- he knew-
but I never said it.
I actually don't ever
remember telling him that...
even though I loved him to the
core of my very being...
and I knew that he loved me
and accepted me
UNCONDITIONALLY.
That doesn't happen often in life..
that we are loved
unconditionally.

I was 21 and living in FL
when he passed away.
It was eerie, I was
working in an office and
my phone rang.
Nothing unusual about that ,
my phone was the main line
in to my boss and it rang
nonstop.
I was sitting in an office across
from a guy named Jack.
Before I picked the phone up
I looked at Jack and said,
My father just died.
I KNEW..Somehow..I KNEW.
That was exactly what
I was told, by my mother,
over her crackly phone line.
I hung up and Jack was
as white as a ghost.
How did you know that? he asked.
I just knew~ I answered.

It's been a long 50 years.
My father never saw any of his
grandchildren except my oldest son.
He missed out on the joy of
seeing me grown and happy.
He missed my brother's life story
and his children.

I missed the opportunity
to say
I LOVE YOU..
So...here it is...
a little late.

I LOVE YOU, DAD~

Never, never miss the opportunity
to tell someone
that you love them.
(Providing you DO love them,
of course!;>)
I do it everyday,
every chance I get,
because you just never know~
life, as you know it,
can change in an instant.
Just say it...
Say I LOVE YOU to
someone you love.
You'll be glad you did.
I promise!
your photo name

45 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Testing comments

Sandra said...

I very much enjoyed your story of your dad. Your story is very much like my story of my dad except he was 31 which was still old to be having her first child but your dad was even older. My dad also had Parkinson's but he lived to be 93 because he only got the Parkinson's when he was 83. Very similar stories and I never heard the words I love you come out of my mother's mouth or my Dad's mouth and I have never said them out loud myself. I say things like love you when I hang up the phone from talking to my kids but have never said to anyone in my life I love you probably never will

Susie said...

Diana, I liked reading your post. I bet your dad knew you loved him every day. Just going with him to all those places as a child proved that. I miss my dad too. Like you said, say you love while they are with you. Life is too short. Hope Father's day is good for John today. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,love you, (yes I do), Susie

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

I love you Di. You helped me through some long sad moments. I will always be grateful for your friendship. You said everything I am feeling today in this wonderful post. Thank you. Sugar from Rivercrest Cottage

jack69 said...

What a sweet story, and a great tribute to a STRONG man. He sounds like a man's man. My dad dotted over my sister, so I can imagine your dad and you. What sweet memories. And YES don't we all have those regrets of things WE WANTED to say and think we Should have said, BUT HE KNEW, I am positive.
Love from here
Sherry & jack

Carol said...

What a touching tribute to a remarkable man. How neat it would be to live in a schoolhouse! I am sure your dad knew you loved him!

Junkchiccottage said...

Oh sweet friend. I know from talking with you how much you loved your dad and how he made your heart sing. So sad when we lose them early in our adult lives. My dad died when I was 18 and I miss him everyday. You look so much like your dad. Thank God we have memories that can help us remember and always know how much we were loved. Thinking of you today and you and John and your sweet son's celebrate this special day in honor of the good men, husbands, dads that they are. Happy Father's Day to John and the boys and SIL's.
Hugs,
Kris

Mama Pea said...

What a beautiful post. And you're a gifted writer to be able to put it all down in the words as you have. (Gave me the sniffles. Good sniffles.)

HIBISCUS HOUSE said...

What a wonderful tribute a story about your life with your father. Oh my what a good writer you are. How touching is this story.
So the sense of humor you have inherited from him I love it! Thanks for the post you've warmed my heart as always! Oh, I know he knew how much you loved him just as you know how much he loved you.
Love you,
Dolly

Shirley said...

We never want to lose a parent, but we do. I still remember things that happened when I was growing up like the time when he was showing us how to not hold a roman candle firework. It shot backwards or him standing up the hill trying to get us home because of the tornado that we watch taking a roof off a barn as we walked home from school. You have all these memories that can never be taken away from you. I loved your post today. Love Shirley

Debra She Who Seeks said...

A wonderful tribute to your father, Diana. He sounds like a great guy. These days, people say "I love you" all the time, at the drop of a hat. But in previous times, people were raised to be much more reticent, weren't they? I understand that too.

Beside a babbling brook... said...

A bitter-sweet memory...

But concentrate on the sweet part...

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Thanks for sharing your Dad with us. I sure understand I was barely 18 when my Dad died. Its been 42 years and I miss him everyday, because I too went along with him on his adventures.

Jettie said...

I LOVE YOU Diana, there, I said it,
Your father knew you loved him, no doubt in his mind.

Tom said...

...what a story!!!

This N That said...

I'm sure your Dad knew you loved him...Love you!!!

CHERI said...

Such a beautiful post, and I'm sure your father knew how much you loved him. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I never had a decent connection with either parent. I wanted it but evidently it wasn't meant to be. So thankful for the husband and son I have and they are both awesome dads:)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That's a wonderful tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a wonderful man. Good memories all. I tell those I love how much I appreciate them every day. We can't ever say I love you often enough.

Jeanie said...

This is so beautiful, Diana. A wonderful remembrance of a special man and so beautifully written. Yes, he knew.

I was 25 when Mom died. 21 is far too young to lose a parent. I have to believe they know the fully formed people we have become, not those younger versions of ourselves. How many times I wish we could bring them back.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I am so very sorry! But being older, and a wise man, he KNEW how much you loved him! Because he was older when you were born, this must have been like having both a dad and a grandfather, how fun!!! As we get older, we develop more patience and tolerance, and understanding. There are so many good reasons for older people to have children. Blessings to you today.

bill burke said...

A very nice tribute to you dad. I'm sure he's smiling down at you.

Vee said...

Awww...sweet, sweet tribute to a loving dad. He must have felt so very blessed when he probably thought that part of life had passed him by. What a cute little thing you were!

susan q said...

thanks for sharing that lovely father story. i too remember getting that fatal phone call. be well and safe.

happyone said...

Sounds like a wonderful father and nice to have happy memories of him.

Terri D said...

A beautiful description of your dear dad. Thank you for sharing him with us! And Diana, I love you, friend!!

Lowcarb team member said...

A lovely post Diana, and I enjoyed reading the story about your dad.
We've had a very nice Father's Day … although with Covid 19 restrictions still in place it wasn't the usual family gathering. Thank goodness for phones and the internet!

Have a good week ahead.

All the best Jan

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

I think you should tell those you love, that you love them and often. However in some situations, people 'show' their love instead of saying it. Both are good. Enjoyed hearing about your Dad.

Katie Isabella said...

I think, Diana, that we just didn't say it back then. Nor the parents. They (and we) showed it every day by actions, those of us who were fortunate to have loving parents. I loved my Dad so much it took me and my brothers a good 5 years to not choke up when speaking of him and a memory of him. But I don't recall saying the words I love you. I think in our littlest days, it wasn't something that was particularly encouraged to say but, as with you, you SURE did know it. And so did they. The snuggles we have them, the nightly prayers and goodnight kisses, the kisses leaving for school and coming home..for boo-boos, and so on... all said I love you...no words were necessary. Then. My thought. And I love you too. I think you know that. :-)

Ann said...

My dad wasn't the "I love you" type of guy but he made sure that you knew it by his actions. I do agree though, say it while you have the chance.

Wanda said...

My heart is so full, all I can say after reading this is love and tears. I love you Diana..You are a precious friend.

Rose L said...

Such a sweet remembrance. I lost my father in Nov 2018. I have so many memories. I can see you do as well of your father!

cloches and lavender said...

Diana, this is such a moving story about your dad. I try to make sure I always I love you.

Cindy

Kim said...

What a lovely tribute. I know how much you loved your dad and how much he obviously loved you. Sometimes, the words are unnecessary. Thinking of you...xo

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Wow, what a story! (((hugs))) I am sure your Daddy knew you loved him. He certainly loved you. My Daddy went to Penn State and studied Agriculture/Soil Conservation and was a farmer in PA too, and taught Soil Conservation in Clarion, PA in his spare time. But we moved to Florida in 1956, because farming was getting too expensive unless you had the money to really go big, and he didn't. So we sold the farm and moved to Florida. My Grandfather and my Dad both had Parkinson's Disease. My father died when he was almost 93, however. Thankfully he got it at a time when they had developed good medicine to help him. My grandfather had a harder time with it, but still lived into his 80's. Wouldn't it be something if our fathers knew each other? My Dad was at Penn State as a student in late 1930's early 1940's. That's so cool. (((hugs)) dear friend.

Buttercup said...

Your post really touched my heart. My parents were "older" too, and my mother was 36 when I was born. Through the years my father had a number of health issues and sadly, passed away almost 40 years ago at 63. I missed too many opportunities to say I love you and to ask questions about the family. It's a reminder not to let those opportunities slip by now.

Bless said...

Lovely tribute to your dad. My father died when I was 7. I never really got to know him as a person.

Cecilia said...

This is beautifully said, Diana and such a tender tribute to your dad. Thank you for the reminder to say "I love you". So important to let our loved know we do because you never know how much time we have.
Have a wonderful week. Hugs,
Cecilia

Rick Watson said...

A touching story Diana. I was in Atlanta on business when my mother called to say my father was dying.
The travel gods were with me.
I made it back to Alabama in record time. I was holding his hand when he took his last breath...so many things left unsaid.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Such a beautiful post, Diana. I'll bet you really were the apple of his eye...I can just see him bringing you with him everywhere. What a blessing you must have been to your parents! You know, even though my dad is in heaven, I still talk to him all the time...😊

Theresa said...

Beautiful Father's Day post! What a sweet picture of you and your Dad. I didn't know he was 53 when you were born, what a blessing you were to him and your Mom! I know he is very proud of you and smiling down from Heaven! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Creations By Cindy said...

What a precious tribute to your daddy. Oh I know that you must miss him so. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Dawn P. said...

I did up to the end of my father's life (8/29/2018). And I say it still every day. Loving him and missing him every day.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Just three little words can mean so much. However, actions speak louder than words and these memories that you have with your dad speak loudly. He knew you loved him as you knew he loved you.

Doris said...

Absolutely loved hearing about your dad. I love you was not spoken much in my home either but we certainly knew we were loved...but I do feel it's important to say!

Akasha said...

Seems like a good man.
This was the first Father’s Day with my dad in heaven.