Aren't we all? If we were not Daddy's Girl we were wanting to be. Fortunately I as the oldest child and my sister as the youngest got to have that kind of "daddy's girl" relationship with our Dad.
My father was not the most upstanding citizen in the community. He was not always a picture of respectability or being responsible. He was not "always there for us." I am reasonably sure he was not always a faithful husband. He let us down. He left us in a lurch numerous times. Daddy was not a Wise Man. He was not always the example his two sons and two daughters should have had. Oftentimes he did not even come close to 'measuring up,' as a father, husband and man.
Having said that I have to share these additional thoughts and observations. My Daddy did always love us. I knew that. He taught me to do things like tying my shoes, learning the alphabet, counting, memorizing multiplication tables. He taught me to "tell time." I think that was about the first or second grade if not earlier. Daddy only attended school through the fifth grade. He taught me what he knew and was learning. Daddy didn't go to church with me..but he never hindered me from going or discouraged me concerning church or what I was taught. If he had money he always gave me money for the offering at church..back then if you had a penny or two you knew you had it covered. You had an offering for church.
I know my Daddy was proud of me; I never doubted that. In 1957 when I was in the 10th grade my Dad stood outside the school auditorium and watched through the window as I received a satin and tinsle crown and bouquet of red roses as Miss Patterson High School of 1957. I wasn't aware of this until weeks afterward when my Mother told me. I was never sure if he didn't go inside because he felt he was not dressed well enough or if admission was more than he could pay. Realistically, if there was a charge it would not have been more than a dollar. I never asked him.
My Daddy had a sense of humor. Perhaps I might describe him as a 'charmer' . I realize as I look back at some of the photos saved in my inner photo album that Daddy didn't lie easily. I recall conversations between him and Mama when I suspect he was lying and he didn't do it well. That would be a good trait. Daddy didn't use good judgement in choosing friends and he was not strong as a leader. He was not a man of strong character. He was easily led by others and there were always consequences our family paid for those poor choices in following others.
I saw how he hurt my Mother. She didn't talk a lot about it but children see and hear and perceive more than adults often know. He broke my Mother's heart but he didn't break her spirit. She was encouraged to leave him and by most anyone's standards she had justification. She did not. She stood strong and faithful in every way. The struggles that were more than a few lasted until the last few years of their lives together. Of course that saddens me even today [after they are both gone years ago] It saddens me that my Mother [ & Daddy too] didn't live long enough to know the joy of seeing the wonderful life we have had and how their Grandchildren grew up [quickly] to be such fine adults.
The saddest reality to deal with is that I have no assurance that My Daddy will be in Heaven when we get there.
For my Mother I thank God for the knowledge that she'll enjoy Heaven for eternity.
[My Mother: Another chapter-another time].
I couldn't write this any other way. This is the way it was. It cannot be changed now.
God did show me that in the middle of all those negatives there was still something for which to be thankful: "My father was not 'a good man' but he was A WONDERFUL DADDY."