As children, most of us viewed our fathers as part of the family unit. We were so busy creating our own social world that we did not pay that much attention to the inner workings of the household. Our interests were doing our chores so we could go out and play. Looking back to those days, we were blessed that we could explore the outdoors and not look over our shoulders in fear – the world was our oyster. We did not think about how the food got to our table – our only problem was not being late for dinner. Our house was small – located in a modest neighborhood – near schools with playgrounds. There were so many children, no one was ever lonely or bored. We did not have many toys, but we had more fun making up games. As we look back, everything we had was because of our hard-working fathers. They were the major bread winners in those days. Each morning, he would get up early to go to work. My mother would make lunch for him and put it into a black lunch box with a thermos of coffee. Off to work he would go, and he never complained. He would even sometimes have extra jobs on the side to make sure the family kept the roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on our backs. Many late nights he would come home exhausted. Mom would reheat dinner for him and he would fall into bed and repeat the same routine the next day. There were many times that we would not see him for days because he left when we were sleeping and came home past our bedtime. It was a six-day work week, but when Sunday came, he would take some time for us. We would throw the baseball for a while or take a drive and go on a picnic. It was just nice to have him around. During football season, every Sunday, we would watch football with him. One winter night he got two tickets to see the Cleveland Browns play. The stadium was located by Lake Erie and it would get so cold, but I did not care – I was going somewhere with my dad! Some say those times were simpler, but I do not agree. Life, no matter how you slice it, is hard, yet there are moments of memories that still bring us smiles. Today, we are grown, and many of us are even grandparents, and it is now that we truly realize what it took to raise a family. Not an easy task, yet most fathers never complained. My indelible memory of my parents is of the early morning ritual – mom packing the lunch box and pouring black coffee into the big thermos. She would finish and hand it to my dad and he would give her a kiss. Out the door he went, with his big lunch box in hand, six days a week, year in and year out. He was our security, and he shouldered that huge responsibly with what seemed to be a carefree ease. That is a father’s love – doing all for the family by working hard, with only a thermos of hot coffee to assist him. Happy Father’s Day. Bless you all!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.