Another thing I don't normally do, is actually include the song whose title I use to name my post. In another break from tradition, when I came across the title, "My Daddy is Only a Picture", I had to include the lyrics too. I've never heard the song but it was written by Frank Loesser ("Guys and Dolls") and recorded by Eddie Arnold. I don't know when it was written or recorded, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was out of the WWII era. But it doesn't need to be about a soldier, any child who has lost a father at any time can feel the sadness in the same way. It's pretty maudlin, but it touched a chord in me, and I thought it might touch you too!
(Intro:)Isn't that sad? I was a lot older than 3, but I know just how the little boy felt.
I asked a little boy to call his daddy
He said he couldn't and sighed
And when I asked him what was wrong
here's what the little boy replied
My Daddy is only a picture, in a frame that hangs on the wall
Each day I talk to my daddy, but he never talks at all
I tell him all of my secrets and all of my little plans
and from the way he smiles at me, I know he understands
The angels took Daddy to heaven, when I was just goin' on three
But I'll bet they never told him - how blue and lonesome we'd be
I try to cheer up my mommie, when the tears roll down her face
My daddy is only a picture, but I'm tryin' to take his place
It has been 33 years since my dad died. Like everyone he had strengths and weaknesses. He was kind of a lost soul in that he never really discovered a purpose in life. He was just a man trying to get along, support his family, and enjoy the people he loved. He wasn't the greatest dad in the world by any measure you could name. He never played with me that I can recall, except for an occsional board game. For most of my growing up years he worked evenings or nights, so he missed just about all the school events or church things I might have been involved in. We never spent a lot of time together by ourselves.... no Daddy-Daughter dances, no going out to dinner, just the two of us. Our conversations were at the dinner table, with Mom and later, Little Sis, then Mikey, and Ratchlet in attendance.
Back then, I never thought much about whether he was a good dad or not. We didn't think much about those kinds of things when I was growing up. He was there, he loved us, he was working, his salary supported us, we could make him laugh, he could make me mad. He was my Dad! That's all.
But now all we have are memories and even they are fading. That's hard, I miss my Dad, and without the memories, all I have left of my Dad are a very few photographs. So just like the song, "My Daddy is Only a Picture."
Now this photo came from a slide which has been badly damaged. With a little manipulation of color and exposure, this is about as good as I can get it. I'm sorry it is so hard to see. Obviously, it is my mother, me, and my dad. I was about 13. Normally, I would NEVER show this photo to anyone but family, because I am in my bathrobe, my hair is uncombed, my mom's hair looks funky, yada yada yada....
But if you look at my Dad's face. He is looking at my mom and me with a big smile. I look at him and I see my Daddy, who was so proud of me....and I miss him.