Sunday, May 26, 2013
Ninety seven years ago today my father was born. He was just an average man. Wasn't famous or wealthy but he was my Dad. I lost Dad in 2006 to Alzheimer's disease. Really the disease took the man I had known a couple of years before that. The nursing home where my father spent his last year and a half had a memorial service every six months for families of residents who had passed. A lot of the employees attended the services as well. We were encourage to write something to read as a tribute to our loved one. I am sharing what I wrote with you here today.
ROBERT (BOB) BROWN
The obituary in the paper only gave a glimpse of the man my father was. It didnít tell the kind of husband and father he was. It didnít tell of the man who made sure his family was provided for, even in hard times.
I remember one winter when the company Dad worked for was on strike and the fund from the union ran out. By going out hunting, Dad saw to it that we still had meat on the table. I remember eating a lot of rabbit that winter. That was before we were overrun with deer.
The obituary didnít tell of the man who held me on his lap while we listened to radio programs back before we had TV, who took us sledding on the big hill east of the town where we lived or ice skating on Kingís Lake. Who got us up at 3a.m. to go to the river because early morning was the best time to catch fish. Who fixed our bikes when we had a loose chain or flat tire, and later worked on our cars.
Although Dad spent most of his working years in a factory his true love was farming. When not farming for a living he still farmed on a small scale. As long as his health permitted he put out a big garden every summer. I will always remember his tending it lovingly. Also remember the dog that helped him plant potatoes. When Dad finished dropping potatoes in the row and turned to look back he saw that the dog had followed him and very carefully taken each of the potatoes out and placed them beside the row.
Cars were another thing that Dad loved. He spent a lot of time working on his cars and seeing that they were well maintained. I remember when I asked him to teach me to change the oil in my car. When he had finished he told me to start the car. As soon as I did he yelled for me to turn it off. He told me that was how "not" to change the oil. He had forgotten to put the plug in and five quarts of oil were running onto his garage floor.
Saying I love you didnít come easy for Dad, but we always knew we were loved and he knew he was loved in return.