Saturday, June 16, 2012
Fathers' Day 2012
He worked hard to make something of his life. He graduated from Perdue University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and continued on to get his master’s degree. He got a job at General Electric in Schenectady, NY and then was transferred to the transformer division of G.E. in Pittsfield, MA.
He and a friend designed and built a sailboat from scratch.
He met and married my mom. And when they found that they couldn’t have children, they adopted me and then my sister. My mom did not have to work outside the home. When I was little, Dad rocked me to sleep most nights. We were punished – even spanked. He sent my sister and me to college. He was what people would call a good provider. He saved money. He was mature. He made decisions that were reasonable and well thought out. He required that we respect him as well as other adults. At times, he was difficult to know and even more difficult to love. [I did not think of him as an affectionate person.]
He designed our home. We moved in when I was 4 years old -- and part of me still lives there. They sold the home in 1987 (I was almost 40). By that time, I was married, divorced and had three sons to care for.
He retired from G.E. in 1972. His retirement lasted 30 years. He and Mom became snowbirds.
In the end, this intelligent man succumbed to Alzheimer’s. In a sense, it was wonderful to see the joy in his eyes when he rocked his great grandchildren to sleep. And, it was sad to see the mind vanish.
He was a quiet man. He kept to himself. He wasn’t a social butterfly. He was opinionated and stern.
But he was my dad.
And I can now appreciate and love him even more for who he was.