With Father's Day coming up, Dad is on our minds. My-Sister-The-Nurse was visiting with us, and asked for help in scanning a picture of Dad to post on Facebook. We actually chose to use his picture as our profile picture for the week, so that it would be present each time we post.
Dad was an exceptional man. There are a lot of funny stories about him as a teenager. He went to Pillsbury Military Academy at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, in Minnesota, and then on to college in the Chicago area. Dad worked for Public Service, which became Commonwealth Edison, as an electrical engineer. I believe that he worked his way up the ladder to become Testing Engineer for a major area of Illinois, before he retired early to develop his own business.
My parents are survived by their five children: four daughters and one son. My brother followed in Dad's footsteps to become an electrical engineer, and we have a niece who is also an electrical engineer. Education was and is valued in our family. It never occurred to me that there might be other options than going on to college once I finished high school.
I chose to get my first degree in music education, and became a band director. I suppose I knew in the back of my mind that Dad didn't quite understand my choice, but he never said a word about it. As long as I was willing to work hard in my chosen field, it was fine with him to let me choose that field. I joined an adult community band in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and my family came to hear one of the concerts. Dad was seated where he could see my hands as I played, and for some reason, that experience brought home to him what it was for me to be a musician. Having him attend that concert is a memory I hold dear.
We lost Dad more than 25 years ago. I so regret that Dear Husband didn't have the chance to meet Dad. They have the same work ethic, and the same belief in the need for a moral life. Both are nurturing people, able to stand back and let children test their wings, while providing assurance that the rock, the foundation, will always be there.
So, I'd like to share with you one of the last pictures taken of my Dad.
I miss you, Dad!