Memories of my dad, and how to support Meals on Wheels
Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Queen, Rush. What do these legendary rock bands have in common? They all have album titles the same as their band name. Today my Blog Title will be the same as my Blog Name:
As we celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, this week I’ll talk about being a dad and my own dad. I’d love to hear your stories and what makes a memorable Father’s Day in your household! Please email me and I’ll be sure to give you and your dad a shout-out for Father’s Day. Email: Lynn@Tulsa-Rocks.com
I’ll also talk about the non-profit I’ve chosen to support this week: Meals on Wheels. They desperately need volunteers for tomorrow. To help call Tara Harris at (918) 921-3563.
My childhood was a bit unique, yet it wasn’t. In 1970, states began enacting No-Fault Divorce laws. Ronald Regan as Governor of California was the first. An explosion of divorces was filed and now, sadly, according to the census bureau, the United States has about 50% of married couples ending in divorce. That makes us one of the worst in the world. And my parents are quite possibly the same as yours, divorced. In fact, I am quite possibly the same as you, if you’ve ever been married, divorced.
So, yes, my childhood was not so unique in that I grew up with divorced parents. But what makes my child definitely unique is that my parents didn’t tell us kids until about 5 years later. I had a twin sister and older brother at the time, and I still remember that conversation like it was yesterday, but it was about 50 years ago. Mom called us kids out to the back porch. I had friends over to play but they waited in our driveway. I could see them through the windows of my back porch door, through the garage, and out the garage door window. They were peeking through wondering what was going on. Mom told us that she and dad were divorced. He lived 100 hundred miles away and was now remarried with two kids. Yes, I was 10 years old and had a surprise step-mom and a little step-brother and step-sister. Huh?
Confused, angry, and sad? Absolutely. Come to forgive all that? Wholeheartedly. Time heals all wounds. Is my dad flawed? Yes. Still a great dad? Absolutely.
The times I spent with my dad starting when I was 10 years old began with a two-hour (four hours for him) drive from Findlay, Ohio to Dayton, Ohio. The early days after my parents told us they were divorced were hard to adjust to. I hated making that long drive knowing that being gone from my mom and friends would be terrible. But make it we did. I always felt like I was missing something, Brunner was having a pool party, DeRay wanted to go to Cedar Point, etc. Sidebar: most of my friends and I always called each other by our last names. Did you do that?
Regardless, we left our mom (who always tried to not let us see her crying, but we knew anyway) kicking and screaming to go with our dad to Dayton. And to meet his new wife and kids: Nancy, Andy, and Angie. We eventually came to know and love them very much, but it was a rough road. Then, I made some friends in the neighborhood where my dad lived. So that helped with the “new life.” Then, we got to know some of the employees that worked with my dad. One, in particular, became quite a positive influence on me and I mentioned a couple of months ago during Mother’s Day weekend, Peggy Farmer. We are both left-handed and realized us left-handers gotta stick together! Lol. We still keep in touch through Facebook. Dad has his faults (as we all do) but he was and still is a GREAT Dad! I love him very much! In fact, we are going to visit him in Ohio for his birthday in August.
My dad taught me a lot. He was the executive director of the Montgomery County Community Action Agency. I tagged along with him a lot to big meetings in his office and to meet civic leaders out in the community. He introduced me to the Reverend Jesse Jackson many years ago. I still remember that, so to see Rev. Jackson in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago was serendipitous. My dad’s work in the 1970s took him to California to work with Ceasar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. I remember waving the flag at rallies when I was a little kid. Seeing my dad get up in front of a huge crowd of people to talk on the microphone inspired me. I had no idea what he was talking about but can’t deny that his love of helping people is a big reason why I do so much volunteer work today.
Being a dad is very rewarding and very difficult at times. I try to instill the same values I got from my dad (and mom) of giving back to those less fortunate to my son. He sort of gets it. He’s eleven so he’s all about Fortnite now, but he goes with me to volunteer many times. We have lots of Father/Son moments too. This Sunday we will be broadcasting my Tulsa Rocks Show on Facebook Live from Safari Joes H20. Joe Estes is having a car show that day, and both my son and I love cars, so it’ll be a blast.
My family always has fun there. The party starts at Noon so tune into my Facebook to check it out! Here’s the link:
If you’ve not been to Safari Joes H2O lately here are some pics:
SPEAKING OF CARS
This week I have partnered with Meals on Wheels to deliver food to some of their clients. We all know what they do, so no need to remind you of that, but here is the link (or call the number above) for info and how you can help.