The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Dad's Day-Special for Many Reasons

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

June 21, 2017

I attended a Father's Day celebration Sunday evening when a little 10 year old girl of our good friends came over to me with sincere yet sad eyes. She glanced down and said, "I love my daddy so much. I really miss him. He is so funny. He calls my horse "Coyote"! Her eyes turned to gleeful, and then she ran over to hug her dad. Due to a unwanted divorce, dad and his kids are forced to share visitation rights leaving an ache in each of their hearts, especially the father.

I feel intense sadness for this little girl, I guess because I loved my father so much and couldn't bear to think of the heartache not to have my dad.

My father, too, was funny, and always had time to play or wrestle with us and he would plan fun times. If I asked him for a drink of water, he would ask, "What flavor strawberry or rootbeer?" (this was before anyone ever thought of flavored water). He built us a home, a treehouse, a schoolhouse, bought us go-carts, a donkey, horses, five calves for my brother to show a pen-of-five at the county fair, a couple of dogs, cats, birds, turtles, rabbits, fish and 2 parakeets. He even told me if I dug the hole in the back yard, he would build me a pool. I tried but couldn't get the shovel through that hard clay soil. And he told me "when his ship came in" I could be his personal secretary and have my own office.

He took us boating and skiing on the Mississippi River, we had a cabin for family gatherings, walks in the timber for a wiener roasts, family picnics at Crapo Park and their pool, later Hend-Co-Hills-tennis, golf, and swimming. At home we played ping pong, monopoly and ate mom's chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, had water fights, lemonade stands and lots of friends over. We attended church each Sunday together, youth group Sunday evenings. He sent us to 4-H and church camps. We sang songs together at the piano and he would tape record me singing "How Great Thou Art," telling me it was good enough to be on the radio. He always had words of praise and encouragement. I can't remember a selfish thing about my father, but he was so loving to our family and all my friends.

When he had his first heart attack, I was in high school and I thought my world was coming to an end. I couldn't bear to lose my father who had my back, was my best friend, I loved him so much. God saved him that night and for eight more years we made each day count. My father died May 18, 1973 after a Stronghurst 8th grade graduation as he was getting in the car with my mother. I was strong enough to carry-on. He was in my heart, and hopefully in my walk as a parent. I ache for loving fathers and children who can't be together, but I hope on the days you do have each other, you make great loving memories together living each day to the fullest.