Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

My dad. There have been few people who have lived life like he has. He was the oldest boy in a large family with an abusive, alcoholic father and a mother who worked as a nurse outside the home. Adversity is something he was born into. Poverty and dysfunction. He learned young to survive. He has suffered loss so many times. His brother, Jerry died when they were children and after that, it seemed like many people he felt close to died. Tragically and unexpectedly--plane crash, rifle accident...etc.
He made it through his childhood and went to college.  He was an adagio dancer for a while. ( Slow, athletic dance, with many poses like sculpture. Holding the girl over his head with one arm, etc.)He studied Art and Biology. I love his paintings and sculptures. And his knowledge of Biology made any outdoor excursion or camping trip so interesting. He can name all the trees and plants and animals and tell you all about how things tick.
My dad could write a book of all his adventures--good and bad. He was almost killed as a young man working construction when a crane hit a power line and arced a massive amount of electricity into his body, catching him on fire. He lived without amputation. His legs are covered with skin grafts. And as far as not being able to have kids...he had eight.

(I'm 15 here. Rad bangs.)

 My dad has always been a hard worker. And has worked a variety of jobs throughout his life. Fireman, forest ranger, ambulance driver, salesman, road construction... While I grew up he was a high school teacher. He was always good at mentoring the troubled kids. Because he taught school,we had great summer vacations as a family. Camping, driving, museums, fishing, and visiting relatives. He has always done art commissions on the side to supplement his income. I remember watching him sculpt or paint murals. And he would sometimes take some of us to help paint Christmas windows on stores. It was so fun making little white snowflakes around his lettering or a snowman, or trees. He was patient and encouraging whenever instructing and I really believed him when he told me I was doing an awesome job. (=

(snuggling grandkids)

 My dad is an interesting mix of "jock", artist, laborer, nature lover and homemaker. I remember watching him wash the dishes or cook and thinking that some men of his generation wouldn't be caught dead doing "women's work". How cool is that?
I'm grateful for my dad. Despite the hard road he started on, he has been an exemplary man. And I never have wondered if my dad loves me. He shows it in countless ways.  He is loving, courageous and spiritual. A damaged, but brave soul who just keeps going, trying to live a good life. And that has affected so many lives. His decision to overcome his beginning has made ours and our children's so much better than what he had.
(Parents, me and my siblings with spouses and kids... there are a couple babies more since!)

Dad has dedicated his life to his family and to helping others. Now that all of us are grown and gone, he and my mom will still come out to visit or help any of us when there is a need. They have lived in China and Chile doing humanitarion work and serving people as well as in their community at home. I admire that so much and really try to emulate their compassion.
 I have so many positive memories of dad. My earliest was when I was almost three. I was hit by a car out in front of our house and I have snapshots in my head of the wheel on my leg. Blood. On my back looking up, I saw my dad shouting and running toward the car that had struck me. Then a flash of being in the hospital. My dad held me in his arms. I felt like a big kid because my legs dangled too long over his arm as he held me like a baby, singing in his low, deep voice. Sunlight came in through the window and my leg burned, but I knew I would be ok because dad was there.
Thanks, dad for everything. Mostly, thanks for being there--I know that was more than your father could do for you. So glad I got you for my pop. I love you.

21 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

What a terrific dad you have - lucky girl :)

I love the family photo - great idea to have each group in their own coloured shirts. :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You have a wonderful father, I never knew mine, my husband was a wonderful father to our three.
Loved the photos.

Yvonne/

Margo Berendsen said...

What a neat story behind your dad. Surviving being caught on fire, wow! I loved the pictures esp. the big family one where immediate family members (I assume) are wearing matching colors. That's a smart idea!

loislane said...

What an awesome post about a great man. No wonder you're so cool.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What an incredible life!
And you have a BIG family. The color coordination was a nice touch.

Candyland said...

Awwww how sweet!!!

L said...

Thank you for posting this Jo. I had no idea what an amzing man your father was....only that he was a talentd and inspirational art teacher. I will never forget the tools he instilled in me perspective drawing skills foundation of so much who iam today. Thank you Mr Sable. Happy fathers day!!

Heidi said...

Amen! Really love seeing it in black and white. Well done, Jojo. He is truly a very amazing and wonderful man. He did so well. We were blessed.I'm glad people liked my t-shirt idea from the first reunion. I'll be using that with my mob in the years to come. Sensible. :)

Write Chick said...

Wow, what an amazing story. Your dad seems so cool. Great tribute.

♫ Sabrina ♫ said...

My grampa is the best grampa in the world! I love him so much, he's always been there and is always so much fun. I love hearing him tell stories or offer me good advice! He is such a blessing! :) Love ya gramps!

xoxo, Sabrina

P.S. Sweeeeeet, you got a pic of me! My fam is in the maroon T-shirts. :D

Lynda Young said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. He sounds like a very special person.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You did an excellent tribute to your father. What a lucky woman you are to have him still in your life.

I hope he gets a chance to see this loving post. Have a great week.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such nice words of encouragement. I do get down sometimes.

Today has used me as a chew toy, and I think my bruises have bruises! Roland

Reana said...

What a great post Jo :) I hope to oneday meet that awesome Dad of yours! Your parents must be great because they have such wonderful kids.
Love ya ;)

Claudine 'Nino' Parks said...

that's a novel right there - wow! what a family, what a dad and what a legacy with all those kids and their families.

very cool!

Maribel said...

I'm so glad Caleb gets to spend time with your dad this summer. He will benefit greatly from Grampa Seable!!

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. You're dad was a terrific person. Loved the story. Nice pictures...:)

Mark and Kiss said...

Ohhhh beautiful Johy....was sitting with Dad when mom read it to him, very sweet. Daddy HAS always been there, and I like to think he always will be, he loves us so much. We have good parents..life is good, I feel blessed.

The Urban Cowboy said...

What a wonderful and heart felt tribute to your dad. His story truly embodies what being a father is all about, and his family is testimony to to it as well.

angie said...

You are right. YOu totally rocked those bangs.

I loved reading about your dad. I knew that he had many talents but didn't know many of these things. It's no wonder that he produced such talented children.

Ann Best said...

What a well-written and touching tribute to an obviously wonderful man.

And the madness continues..... said...

I love your dad!!! You guys have a wonderful family, & I'm so glad to be friends with as many of you as I am!