My father only had one biological son. I have heard a rumor over the years that pilots, more often than not, have daughters. It has something to do with G-forces and their (the pilots’) reproduction system. I don’t know if this is true or not because my best childhood friend’s father was also a pilot and he had 4 boys and 2 girls.
But, my father had 3 girls and finally, a boy. Interestingly, my brother, an Air Force navigator, has 3 girls and one boy, too. As the youngest and the only boy, my brother was adored by all of us and, of course, my father.
My father died January 19, 2013. This post and others (High Flight, Dance Me to the End of Love, Remembering Grandpa, The Family Man, Daddy’s Girl) are dedicated to him in loving memory. I’ve had a great need to share tidbits about my father over the last several days; I’m sure it’s the grieving process and how I am managing my pain – the pain I feel from losing him and the giant hole now permanently in my heart.
Having spent the years between 12 and 16 years of age in a prison camp during World War II (see my earlier post, Perspective: December 8, 1941), my father didn’t know how to play sports with his son. Plus, as an Air Force pilot, he was often deployed. But, my mother did. My mother taught my brother how to play sports, throw a ball, catch a ball (whether baseball or football) and hit a baseball with a bat. During football games, she would run alongside the field screaming and yelling as she followed my brother down the field – a sight to behold.
What my father taught my brother was a love of music, art and flying. Plus, he taught him how to build things, work on cars, fix things around the house, work on mechanical things, etc. He taught him to be honest, fair, compassionate, loving, generous, to work hard and to find wonder in life. And, he taught my brother the joys of being a father and having a large family.
My father only has two grandsons – Ryan, my brother’s son and Kyle, my sister’s son. And, he has one great-grandson, Dylan. All the other grandchildren and great-grandchildren are girls. He loved them all.
He had several sons-in-law and though several are no longer, technically, a part of our family because of divorce, my father had good relationships with all of them and always made them feel a part of our family.
His longest son-in-law relationship has been with my husband, Charlie. My father shared a 25-year relationship with Charlie and loved him very much. They enjoyed many special times together and a few beers.
Here are some pictures of the Sons of My Father and their special times together…