This is Father's Day weekend, so it is natural to think about my dad … and to think about Ricky Lee, my kids' daddy. Today is also my dad's birthday, so again, the thoughts and memories.
He was a hard working man. Held down a full time job in town, never making more than $2.00 an hour. Worked 3 gardens at the house, along with all his fruit trees, to keep the family fed. Took care of the animals when Momma couldn't.
He was a human calculator in math. It didn't matter what figures you gave him, or whether to add, subtract, multiply or divide - before you finished giving him the numbers? He had the answer. He couldn't show you how he got to his answer, but he got there!
He was a genius when it came to creating new fruits by making 2 trees grow together.
He rarely complained no matter what was going on in his body, or his life.
He was a quiet man.
His parents had died when he was but a child, leading him to be raised by his older brothers - well, until he was 12 years old. At that time, he took to the rails and became a hobo, traveling cross country to find work. He never talked much about those years.
He married Momma when he was 25, never to travel again.
He raised us 5 kids, and we were never hungry or naked, never had to sleep out in the weather.
We had whatever we needed for school & book learning.
He never whipped any of us.
He seldom raised his voice at all.
He and Momma rarely argued, I can only remember a couple of "loud discussions".
He made sure that wherever Momma wanted to go, she was able to. Family. Friends. Church.
When he died, most people said, "Oh how I would love to hear him pray just one more time."
I cannot miss him.
He was a child molester and rapist. Behind closed doors, or off in the car down a back country road.
I have often wondered about those years after his parents died, before he married Momma. But no matter what he endured, that gave him no right to do to us girls what he did. Gave him no authority over our bodies to change our lives forever. Gave him no reason to steal our childhoods from us.
I cannot miss him on his birthday.
I cannot miss him on Father's Day.
I cannot miss him ever.
I have forgiven him many years ago, the anger and hatred I carried in me was like an emotional and mental cancer - eating me alive. So I made the decision to forgive him.
But that doesn't mean I have forgotten.
It doesn't mean that I no longer feel betrayed, or have no regrets of my childhood being stolen.
Yes, I endured.
Yes, I survived. It is who I am. It is what I do.
I am thankful every moment of every day, for the last 38 years that he was the father of my children.
He was more than just a father. He was a true and honest DADDY.
He loved me beyond any description that I could give. Easiest to say that I was his Beloved.
I believe that is the greatest thing a man can do for his children - LOVE THEIR MOTHER.
He insisted on respect, honor and gratitude, by our kids (and all kids in our home) to me.
He loved dad jokes. And he was excellent at telling them, or coming up with them on the fly.
He loved to play practical jokes on the kids. I think about the "Monkey Hands" in Oregon. LOL
Or when he scared the girls that were sitting in the car out in the yard late one night.
Memories abound, overflowing my thoughts this weekend.
He adored our kids - daughter and son.
He was strict, but he was fair - even when they thought he wasn't.
He would on occasion spank the kids if they deserved it, but he never abused them. Never hurt them, more than their pride.
He helped me in the house, and in the yard.
He made the kids help, too. They had chores that he expected them to do.
He was proud of them for every accomplishment - no matter how big or small.
He was not ashamed of his emotions. He loved to hug - me, the kids, the grandkids.
He was a man's man. But he was a woman's man, too.
He loved people, he listened, he shared.
He was honored. He was respected.
He spoke words of wisdom.
The song "Daddy's Hands" I believe was written about him.
He died and it was said with all truth, "Here lies an honorable man."
Ricky Lee, my husband, my children's daddy, my grandchildren's Ppaw - is missed with every heart beat that any of us have.
Missed … cried for … our minds and hearts reach for him even tho he is no longer here.
I love you Rick.
What an honor to be the mother of your children.
What an absolute joy to have had you in my life for 34 years, 7 months, 17 days, and 11 hours.
I miss you Rick.
Your Meg - always and forever.