Happy Father's Day

Today is Father’s Day, a celebration to honor the men who are there working for, and raising, their children. Happy Father's Day (my father, Don Marsh, Sr.)My pottery cup is lifted to you in respect. Being a father is big job. How do I know that? Because my father raised me, my brother and my sister when our mother walked out. He had some help from his mother and later,  his sister and brother-in-law. But when it was crunch time, Dad was the stablizing force in my life.

My Dad had passed away some years ago, but his influence in my life continues on. My Dad had a sentimental streak in him. I know this because he named me after a song, Cindy, Oh Cindy. He used to sing that song to me all through my childhood.

Dad often said that he was glad that I was born, first born, as a girl. He said he had wanted a little red headed girl, and he was lucky to get exactly what he wanted. I can remember him telling me this as far back as I can remember, so I think it was true. I didn’t realize until years into my adulthood what a wonderful gift my father had given me with those words. I’ve met women who seemed to be still trying to get their father to acknowledge their worth as a human being because they were not born male. I find that incredibly sad.

My father was quick with a hug and always told me, “I love you”. He was slow to anger. On the rare occasion that I was in trouble with him, he would sit me down first and ask if I knew why I was going to get a spanking. If I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, tell him, he would explain what I had done wrong. I’d get my spanking with a belt, and that would be the end of it. He didn’t like to spank his children, so it happened rarely.

Dad was an odd mix of old fashioned and modern in the 1960's and 1970's.

Here’s how he was old fashioned: When I was a little girl, he greatly admired a piece of art that I had done. This wasn’t the usual “nice job” remark parents often give in passing. I could see the spark of surprised interest in his eyes as he confirmed me as the artist of the artwork. Then he looked worried for a moment.  He then seemed to make a decision, and said, “Well, if you are going to grow up to be an artist, it is a good thing you are a female. You’ll have a husband to take care of you.”
Dad wasn’t always right. I spent many years NOT being “taken care of” by a husband.

Here’s how Dad was a modern guy:  Dad insisted that I know how to change a tire on a car and check the oil. When I showed some competence, he took that to mean that I had some mechanical aptitude. About that time, serial killer Ted Bundy was on the loose not too far from our town. Dad was worried about his little girl getting stranded by car trouble and meeting dangerous men. So Dad took apart a Beetle car engine, gave me the car’s manual and offered the car’s title to me if I would put the engine back together. Despite the inducement of a free car, when I saw all the grease and junk that lay around the garage I had no inclination, nor desire to do so. Poor Dad.
 I think my younger brother might have taken him up on the offer.

Dad is the one who first gave me the instructions on how to run a mail order business back in the early 1980’s. He had a small computer book club that he offered to me as a means of supporting myself and my young children.  Today, because of what I learned from my Dad, I understand mail order selling. I gave up the book club long ago. I sell pottery now. My pottery catalog is now on a website, and much of the work is done on computers, but the work of writing ads, taking orders, managing the paperwork, packing and shipping remains much the same.

Today, on Father's Day, I am wrapped up in my memories of my father. Despite not being the best, most attentive, daughter in the world, he always acted as if I were wonderful. He taught me love, he taught me that I had value, he taught me that my art was worthwhile. Dad taught me to be self-sufficient and to know right from wrong. He taught me to appreciate nature, he taught me our family lore. He taught me how to dream big dreams. Dad showed me how to be kind to other people with out judging their circumstances. Dad often said he only wanted me to have happiness. 

He was my Dad, and I still love and miss him.

If you are raising a little girl or boy today, and are giving your children your all, you deserve all the praise in the world for the big job you are doing. So go on. Hug your children. Tell them they are loved. And with that love returned, know that you are very, very rich. Happy Father's Day!

Below is a video made of the Cindy, Oh Cindy song my father used to sing to me. My father's voice was better, but Eddie Fisher's will have to suffice.