The Stories Told Throughout My Life: A Father’s Day Edition

I wish you could have sat at the dinner table with us, my parents, my brother and I, especially in the late 60s. Not only  because the table was perfectly set, with an ironed tablecloth and china dishes, not only because the food my mother prepared was exotic and nutritious, but because my father told us stories better than anyone I have ever known.

We didn’t have the television on, ever, during mealtimes, nor a radio. We didn’t have cell phones, or iPads, or anything distracting us from one another, and nothing was more entertaining than hearing a story told by my father. Even if it was a repeat.

“Tell us,” we’d beg, “about the Chicago Stockyards. Tell us about that time we were going to church when that motorcycle crashed two cars ahead of us, and you ran out to help while Mama made us stay in the car so we couldn’t see what was being covered with a blanket.”

His stories border on the fantastic, not because they aren’t true, but because they are. You can hardly believe that these things really happened, that we seemingly entertained angels unaware, but I can attest to the veracity of every word. I was there for many of them.

But, I wasn’t there for some of my favorites:

  • the blizzard in which two cars struck in an intersection, and my father held one of the injured women until the ambulance could come
  • the stranger in the Alps who stood in front of a little house and said, “Why not stay here?” when our family was cold and hungry and could not find a hotel late at night
  • the way my parents struggled in helping my brother find a path after High School, and when my father was out driving in the country came to impassable road after impassable road, until he arrived at the farm of an old friend who ended up giving my brother a job
  • the way that a heart surgeon was able to direct his tools, after struggling for hours with an angioplasty, when the patient cried out for guidance

imageThese stories and more are included in a little book my father has published. We wish to give five of them away, we’ll send them internationally if so desired, with the hope that you will be blessed in reading them. They are a testimony of my father to our Father, in gratitude for the things he has done. Please leave your name below should you wish a copy.

And, Happy Father’s Day to all the men who have stood with their children, teaching them, loving them, and sharing their own stories of encouragement and strength.

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20 comments

  1. Now I know who you resemble with when it comes to writing posts as small stories with a life of their own 🙂 Knowing you, I would be honored to read what your father has written!

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  2. Our family has a copy of this inspirational book and I remember the story of finally ending up at the farm which gave hope to the family then vicariously to us. My husband and I also have had the privilege to know Eldon and Madeline’s generosity and count them as friends. What a lovely tribute Meredith

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  3. This sounds like a wonderful collection of stories, Bellezza, and a perfect way to honor your father on Father’s Day weekend. And what a great surprise this was to this reader! Thank you for your generous giveaway.

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  4. Wow, your father has had some interesting experiences just reading through this post! It sounds like he was good at being at the right place, at would could have been the wrong time… But it was the right time for the people he was helping. 🙂

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    1. I can think of so many times that he has helped people by being in the right place at the best time. Once we were in church and a man fell in the aisle unconscious. There was my father kneeling by him, and after this man was carried out my father said, ” I didn’t want him to die alone.” It takes so much courage, along with compassion, to help others. When I was younger I was afraid to “get involved” but now I see how necessary it is.

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  5. What a wonderful way to honor and remember your father, reading the stories he had written and you heard before, “nothing was more entertaining than hearing a story told by my father.”

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    1. I miss the days before so many gadgets and electronics, when people were better story tellers and better listeners. It doesn’t seem we have the same skill set anymore, and I should be glad we have so much technology at our fingertips. I am, I guess, but I also miss the old ways. The oral traditions.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your father with us! I also miss some of the older generations who were good storytellers…. maybe some of my children will develop the skill as they get older. I don’t think I have it, because I always take too long to get to the point!

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    1. I think you have a marvelous way of telling stories, if that is similar to how you write. You evoke a mental picture which is so lovely to hold in anticipation of what’s coming. That is part of the storyteller’s, or writer’s, craft.

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  7. I meant to comment on this earlier, but you know how that goes.

    What a lovely Father’s Day post and a great way to honor your father, whom you obviously adore. Those are such sweet photos of the two you together! And how special that he has a collection of stories that will live on long after he’s gone. My grandmother used to tell the best stories and I wish she had written them down. It’s a dying art, I’m afraid.

    xo

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    1. It is indeed a dying art, made all the more clear to me after reading Fahrenheit 451 which described people in the 50s being stuck to their televsions; how much more is that true now that we have iPods and iPhones and iPads and so much information at our fingertips that we never “need” to talk to anyone again. fortunately, we can choose to put the gadgets down, we can choose to listen to one another, or even take the time to respond on blogs as you so faithfully do. xo

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  8. Your emotional and beautiful post resonates with me. Your father sounds larger than life, so gentle, kind and considerate. The stories sound unforgettable. What a beautiful book to a wonderful man. I would treasure this book. Storytelling is an art and my mother used to regale us with her life stories many years ago.

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