I have written posts about my dad before, but today as I was cooking my parents' lunch, I was thinking about why I love him so much. In my opinion, he deserves man/husband of the year sainthood. One day (a LONG time from now I pray), God will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." He is the most easygoing person I know. Rarely do I even remember him losing his cool; in fact, I really don't remember when he did.
As a child, I loved him so much, and I was always fearful of disappointing him. Consequently, whatever he told me to do, I did. I remember in 5th grade I had Ms. Bodison as a math teacher. To this day, I remember her standing in front of the class in what must have been a science room once due to the large table at the front, which served as her lectern. I was having trouble in math due to not knowing my multiplication tables. She must have sent a note home or bad papers. I remember a Monday night and standing next to his recliner. He handed me my brothers' old flash cards and announced I was not watching tv until I knew them. Now, this was the day pre-cable when we had three Charleston channels: ABC, NBC, and CBS. Even so, I knew them within two nights! I wanted to be able to come back into the living room to watch tv with him (We had the one tv.).
Also, it was probably about the same time that I would stand behind his recliner, patting his head, begging him to stop smoking because I didn't want him to die of lung cancer. At some point, he decided to do as I asked (He still does.) and announced before dinner that he would smoke one more cigarette, after which he handed me the rest of the pack. I wasted no time in getting the kitchen scissors and painstakingly cutting each cigarette into small pieces (just in case he tried to change his mind on that pack!)
Fast forward to high school. At the time, Dad was working at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, and he paid a man to ride on his van with other workers. We had a powder blue van that he had stripped on the inside and built a bed in the back and added a chair behind the driver's seat for Mother. We used it to drive to visit my eldest brother, who was in the Air Force. Well, that was my senior ride to school.
(Uncle Ed, Aunt Eva Jean, Mother, Dad, cousin Stanley, Grandmother, Uncle Robbie, and Aunt Jessie. Uncle Robbie was the eldest, then Uncle Jim, Dad, and Uncle Ed was the baby.) circa 1974 or 75
Fast forward to my high school graduation. I stayed home as my parents went to Charleston one day. When they came back, Dad was driving a 1980 (This was 1981.) Clemson orange Mustang with black interior. I never asked for it, nor was I expecting it. The following fall I was going to Columbia College in Columbia, SC. I could not drive it up there until my first semester grade report came out. Needless to say, I had it in Columbia the next semester.
This is out of order, but I want to take a few minutes to reminisce about my two trips to France. The first time I went was in April of 1979 with students from John C. Calhoun Academy. When I brought home the information, I really had no clue he would say "yes." He did not bat an eye. I never asked why, but I assume being that he was retired from the Air Force, he knew the value of world travel. So, four years later when I wanted to go for three weeks as a college freshman during May Mester (as the three weeks in May was called), he again did not bat an eye. That trip entailed Paris, Normandy, the Loire Valley (as the first trip had included), but this one added Monaco and Nice. I remember thinking how small and plain the palace for Prince Ranier and Princess Grace was (She died that following September.).
By the time I graduated from college, I had nothing to pay. What was not covered in scholarships he paid off monthly as we went along. When I graduated, he told me what he had told my brothers: he would pay for my education as far as I wanted to go. Now, we were not wealthy. Dad worked civil service jobs after retiring from the Air Force, but my parents were smart with their money. Anyway, after teaching one semester, I decided to enroll at The Citadel for my master's degree. I was the only one who took him up on it. I am so grateful I did because it saved me $$$$ and enabled me to make more over the course of my career, which will affect my retirement in the upcoming months.
This is just a little reminiscing this afternoon. I'm sure there will be more at a later date.