Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ode to my Dad - Jackie (Jack) Emerson Thurston

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. "
~Clarence Budington Kelland



This is a picture of my father in southeast Asia. I love this picture. It reminds me to keep that adventurous spirit. To travel. To be brave. To enjoy life.

My father is a quiet man. He is a man of few words. What I can tell you about him is that he loves to smoke a good pipe, he enjoys the written word, he enjoys the peacefulness of the outdoors, and he has an impeccable handwriting.


My father worked really long, hard hours when I was growing up. Too many. Still too many. But the quality time we spent with him was either talking, playing or laughing.  He would read books to my sister and I. He would play his records on the stereo. He would fiddle with his black powder rifles. He would piddle in the yard. That was my dad. Hard working. Quiet. Peaceful.
My father is actually very intelligent. He was valedictorian of his high school. He went on to college to study engineering, but left in order to join the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He traveled all over the place: Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines. He lived over there for several years. He came back and finished his college degree in Sociology.

Later he met a hot little blond southern belle - married - and began a family. In turn, he needed a job that paid the bills - so he began working for a milk company. He worked for Borden Dairy for over 20 years. Later he retired from there and went on to work at another Dairy company - and that is where he is today.




I often thought he could have done something else. He is entirely too smart - but I believe in my heart of hearts, he must find some sort of peace in it. Why else would he stay in the same job for so many years? It always concerns me on how hard he works now - his health is deteriorating, and I want his golden years to be spent in peace and happiness...

On to Father's Day memories...

One of my favorite memories involves one Saturday afternoon my dad (which I called daddy or daddy jack) took my sister and I to the park at a local college. He purchased happy meals from Mickey D's or a bucket of chicken (I can't remember which!) and paper kites. Luckily it was a very windy day - and we were taught how to fly a kite. Very exciting!!

I have many fond memories of my father. He was from Indiana, and all of his family decided to stay in the Midwest. My father came to Georgia by way of Robins Air Force Base. That's where he met my mother. (At a party!) We would spend a few summers up in Indiana. What do I remember? Corn fields, bad mitten, and people picking on me for my southern accent. ;-)

This Father's Day I wanted to share some of my memories of my dad. Most are good. Unfortunately my mother had to wear the hat of disciplinarian, so it is always easier to pick on her. ;-) Since dad worked all the time, my memories are a little different.

I am blessed beyond belief to have such strong men as role models in my life. My father is a good man. My mother's father was a good man. My father's father was a good man. I have since wanted only good, strong, intelligent men in my life. I am thoroughly impressed by a man who openly loves his wife, stands by his family and supports them completely, and has strong morals. There is nothing more valuable than that. I often feel sorry for my friends that come from broken homes. Not in a "oh you pitiful thing" way. Because I can assure you, you don't know what is missing if you never knew it.

I often joke and say I am a serial monogamer. I don't date around. I think it is because I came from a strong family background. You can imagine how devastating it was to divorce my first husband. (A VERY smart idea.. but hard one to make.) I hold very high standards for the men in my life - be it an intimate relationship or friendship. The major relationships in my life, unfortunately, did not have strong father figures. None of them had this powerful force to help shape them as men. (except for one.) I often think that explains so much in how a boy develops into a man. It is amazing to see how each one of them truly looked up to my father. In some ways, he was that role model so many did not have. (Yet, I doubt my father even realized it.)

To all of the fathers out there reading this today - remember you are shaping your son's reality. Your actions are teaching your boys how to treat women, how to provide for a family and how to inspire and lead others around you. If you have a daughter, you are showing her what a true, good solid man is. You are teaching her what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior from her husband.

I only hope that each of my family friends have a wonderful father's day. Moms get a lot of attention - while dear, ol' dad sits back in the shadows working hard, and trying to provide. Let's celebrate DAD today!

I will do so by sharing some of my favorite pics of my father and I! Enjoy!


Well - we will start with a more recent pic - here is my father with my mom!


I had to share this one - this is one of my dad and my niece having a tea party.... and let's just say, it's not his first trip to a tea party!! (You'll see soon!)

3 comments:

Wendy said...

:) This entry made me smile! Happy Fathers day to your awesome dad!!!

Classic said...

What a very sweet tribute!

Karen Peterson said...

What a nice tribute to your dad. And it's so much fun to look at those old pictures, isn't it? I recently found some of my parents and it just made me see them this whole new way.

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