Remembering Dad


My father, around 1946 with his faithful pup, Brownie.

Today is my father’s birthday.  Had he still walked the earth today he would have turned 104.  He has been in heaven since 1987, and i still miss him alot. My dad was a native Clevelander his entire life, raised in the Tremont neighborhood, and then his parents moved to a house that is now the off ramp of I71 between Pearl Rd and Fulton Road in Brooklyn Center.  He is a World War II veteran of the European Theater  decorated with honors, and carried to his grave some schrapnal that was not operable.

Dad’s first job was working in a hat factory, creating mens fedora hats.  I wish i had that photo to post.  It was so interesting.  He went into WWII as a volunteer, and became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne in the US Army.  His military service was all over the map… invasion in north africa, italy, behind the lines of the normandy invasion, and all over europe.  And i am the blessed one to have heard the stories.  My regret is that i did not capture the stories in video.  He had some amazing stories.

He returned home after the war to become a post office administrative guy… working behind the scenes, keeping time, doing all sorts of interesting things to keep the gears of the postal system humming.  And in the early 1950s he met my mom, who lived in Pittsburgh… their chance meeting developed into a friendship, and finally marriage in 1954.   They remained married to the end of their lives, which was 33 years.  Dad was a hard working bread winner, who took good care of his family.  He lived well, loved well.

My parents were lifelong Russian Orthodox church attenders.  While i can say my mom had a deep personal relationship with God, i am not clear about my dad.  But i have a peace to know that God was there, and he brought people to share the hope of Jesus with him.  In his final weeks of life he strived to make peace with everyone… from the sister he had not spoken with in 20 years to the smallest misunderstandings, he strived to clean up the accounts and bring peace to them.

So I ask myself what spiritual lessons my dad taught me.

1. Love with reckless abandonment – do good, love and encourage someone with all you have.

2. Be generous – share what you have, give as needed, be willing to open your hands and give to someone else what they need.

3. Dream big dreams – allow your self to have dreams, and lay aside the hinderance you perceive.

4. Consistence – steady on, continue daily whether it is a good day or a bad one, but stay the course, keep on going.

I long for the day in heaven when i can see him again, and we can really talk about our lives, and i can really thank him for the stability he gave my life, the selfless hard work he put in to keep us with our daily needs met, and with security that it was not just daily minimum, but abundance.  And i will thank him that he taught me how to be consistent and steady on.

Happy Birthday Dad!


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