Portrait Of My Father

Though the sparkle in his eyes has started to dim and his feet have begun to shuffle, his passion for life has not begun to be snuffed. Time has softened his guffaw into a gentle chuckle. Quiet wisdom rests within his soul. He says what needs to be said without forethought or regret. He spins tales of days gone by with gusto and color. Those who know him say he is “quite a character”. Yes, the man has charisma. While he woos you with his charm, he wins you with his integrity.

He doesn’t just point out the history of the land and the people; he stretches his arms in exaggeration, and points his fingers here and there as he tells the real deal. As he grins his thin Clark Gable mustache spreads around his lips. He pulls at his suspenders and smoothes his shirt across his full, rounded stomach. He digs beneath the surface and presents a two sided persona rather than a flat, dull character or account. He has the ability to amuse as he teaches. One often is so taken with the anecdote; the lesson is not realized until much later.

Yes, at almost eighty-two my Daddy is still bigger than life. He is the ultimate storyteller, weaving emotion and imagination. He knows the point of his story and how to get it across. He has a gift of embellishing without compromising the truth. Though he is not a writer, and I am not an entertainer; I suppose we both have a need to tell our stories in our own way.

Like everyone else in the game of life, he has made mistakes along the way. He has learned from them and become a better man because of them. I sometimes wonder if he had been born in a different time and place how different his life would have been. Fortunately, the place and time is here and now. I am the recipient of his influence, and what a blessing he has been on my life.

Some people are writers. Others are story tellers. When one learns to write as a storyteller speaks it is the greatest gift of all.

Living in the Gap

January 15, 2012 – Snowbirds

A scattering of grey lay strewn across the dying lawn. A whoosh of wind, the tiny bits of grey lifted into the frosty morning air, sporting white patches beneath their tail wings. Airborne, they appeared to be a clouded sky. Snowbirds in flight: a premonition of weather around the corner?

39 thoughts on “Portrait Of My Father

  1. My dad was also a storyteller and had the same kind of blue eyes as your father. Mom and I used to promise ourselves that we would record the sayings that Dad rolled out like rosebuds in a chocolate factory. We didn’t – my loss!

    • The funny thing is that my father has hazel eyes but look bright blue in every photo taken!
      I know what you mean; there is so much I wish I’d written down and think I’ll remember but yet I don’t.

  2. A wonderful tribute, honouring a wonderful man, Suzi! This has brought to mind my Scots stepfather – who needed no encouragement to ‘spin a yarn’ – most true, some clearly make-believe! Like your Dad, he taught me so much without me even realising it. A lovely post!

    • As I was listening to him tell some stories last weekend I realized how much his story telling has influenced my desire to write…I’d never given it much thought before. I’ve always found him entertaining, but had never considered what a natural gift he’s been blessed with.

  3. What a WONDERFUL tribute and celebration of your father, Suzi!

    Gosh, your words had me smiling through this whole post.

    ” Quiet wisdom rests within his soul. He says what needs to be said without forethought or regret.”

    LOVED that!

    And you’re right….he does have a Clark Gable moustache!

    Thanks for sharing, my friend. REALLY enjoyed this.

    Happy Sunday!


    • I often print out things I write, especially if they are about him and give them to him. He gets a kick out of being the central character in things I write, though when I’m relaying a story we were both involved int he sometimes tells me “that’s not the way I remember it.” He forgets his own embellishments to the story line!I guess it sounds different coming from someone else.

  4. What a wonderful tribute to our daddy! Made me cry. Although you are trying to age him quicker than he is. He is 81 (born in 1930) and will be 82 this year. 😉

    And yes he is quite the entertainer. I don’t know why you insist that you are NOT an entertainer. You are very much an entertainer, just like daddy. You just prefer to do your entertaining through the written words whereas daddy uses his grand gestures and witty verbal skills. You got mad skills girl!

    And i love you both dearly. Thanks for this post. By the way, it’s a great picture of him. I think you captured his twinkle very well!

  5. I find it so wonderful that both your dad and mom are still together and doing okay. It seems they both had hard working lives and have “stayed in the game”. You are all blessed to have each other and to have weathered so much together.

  6. What a great portrait! Both the picture and the words.

    It really is a nice picture of him. His eyes are very vibrant. And he has somewhat of a cheshire cat look about him. He knows something he is not quite gonna tell us ALL about. As you said, “One often is so taken with the anecdote; the lesson is not realized until much later.” He probably knows this so he has a sly smile.

  7. My father-in-law just turned 78 and is, in many ways, just like your dad. I truly don’t know what we are going to do once he’s not with us anymore. Lovely tribute to an amazing man in your life.

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