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Celebrating the memories of Dads


By the time you read this, another Father's Day will have come and gone, and I have no idea how I spent the holiday, because I’m writing this in late May.

But, I know it was/will be a great day. I don’t need a holiday to awaken memories of my dad. Though gone nigh 19 years, I yet miss summer evening visits with Dad under the oaks outside our house at Elkland, as well as our fishing trips, time in the woods and hours in the hayfields.

Likewise, Martha misses our trips to Cherokee Village, Ark., to spend time with her dad in his retirement years, as do I. He was the only person I ever knew who lived on a golf course.

The visits we once treasured, though, are but memories that grow a little more dim, but more cherished, with each passing year.

Martha’s dad, Buddy Joe Glazier, died Aug 3, 2005.

My dad, Harold E. Hamilton, died Dec. 1, the same year.

Both our lives were changed by their passing. Martha’s mother, Shirley, moved from Arkansas to a duplex in Buffalo. My mother, Hazellee, spent her final years living with us in Buffalo — still missing Dad, but loving our indoor plumbing.

The firstborn of our respective families, Martha and I enjoyed that special relationship only the eldest children can have with parents. We shared not only joy, but also the tribulations often spared younger siblings. We better remember the financial struggles, the changes in jobs and frequent moves common to couples in their first years. We also became caretakers of younger siblings when were yet children, ourselves — roles that seem to have followed us all our lives.

Greater than any struggles, though, were the blessing our fathers showered on us, each in his own way.

Though both from the Ozarks (Bud reared in Howell County, my dad in Greene), our dads were cut from different fabric. Bud, for example, loved football and taught Martha to love it. Dad, on the other hand, hated football, taught me to do the same, and took me fishing a lot.

But they still had much in common. Both were military veterans. My dad was a sailor in WWII and Bud was a marine in Korea. Both remained lifelong patriots and taught us to love both country and God. Both also attended Southwest Missouri State College (now MSU) after the military.

Each commanded our undying love and respect, and both are a part of who we are today.

For as long as our dads were with us we honored them with cards and visits on Father's Day. Now we quietly honor them with pictures on the wall and ageless memories of times and places gone by — thanking God for them not just one day in June, but every day of our lives.

Copyright 2024, James E. Hamilton; email jhamilton000@centurytel.net. Read more of his works in Ozarks RFD 2010-2015, available online from Amazon or from the author.


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