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A Father’s Love
by Carolyn L. Primm
Father’s Day is just around the corner, and I guess I just as well tell you the truth. My father never told me he loved me.
My father was a man of integrity. Honesty was of first priority with my dad. A man was “only as good as his word.” Lying was unacceptable. When in trouble I was always told, “Tell me the truth. I can handle you doing something wrong, but I can’t handle you lying to me.” My dad never told me he loved me, but he taught me to be a person of honesty and integrity.
My dad paid his bills. Once, when we were getting gas at Cotton’s Service Station in Hurdland, my older sister shared how she had learned from friends at school that you didn’t have to pay for the gas when you got it. “You can just write your name on a ticket, and pay for it whenever you want.” My dad said, “This man needs his money as bad as I need mine. We pay for what we buy.” My dad never told me he loved me, but he showed me how to handle finances.
My dad made relationships priority. He had this soft heart that went out of its way to help others who were in need of support. He checked in on two bachelor neighbors until the day they died. He visited his own mother every week, and was considerate and supportive of her. Dad took time to build us a play house. In the summer time, he built stilts for us to walk on, and showed us how to use them. My dad never told me he loved me, but he showed me that people are worth your time, and that kindness is worth the extra effort.
My father loved my mother. He bought her gifts that he thought she would like, though she said that he didn’t need to do that. I remember the twinkle in his eyes, and the tears in hers, as she cocked her head sideways, to say, “You shouldn’t have” after opening her Christmas gifts. Dad always supported my mom in what she did. He helped her learn to drive, and waited, without grumbling, as she listened to her friends talk outside of church each Sunday. My father never told me he loved me, but he showed me how to love the one you marry
My father was proud of his children. When he would start up our old blue 52 Chevy, all three of us kids would run to get in that car and go to town with him. I knew by the way he stood and by the way he smiled that my Dad was glad to have the three of us beside him. My father let us ride along to pick up feed at the feed store. We would stand on those gigantic scales, and climb on sacks of grain. Dad would laugh when the other dust-covered men would tease us. My dad never told me he loved me, but I knew he loved having me, and my siblings, around him.
My dad was always there for us. No matter what work needed doing, or where he was, the five of us had supper together every night. We were never in a program without two faces looking with pride at us, one of them being dad’s. I realize now that I couldn’t have always performed well, but dad looked proud. Every single time. And, when the program was over, I would run and tuck myself under his arm. My dad never told me he loved me. But, dad made time with his family a priority.
Where we put our time and effort shows what we truly value. To be true to my dad’s teaching, I must be honest. My dad never told me he loved me. He showed me.