Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remembering Dad

This week is the second anniversary of my Dad's going to Heaven. Dad was also a veteran of the Korean War, so it is appropriate to honor his memory for his bravery and sacrifice. Dad's funeral was on Veterans Day (Nov.11) 2006.

Omer Eugene McDannald

Mom and Dad on their wedding day- September 8, 1948

Here are some of my memories of my Dad, Gene McDannald.

He loved to laugh. He loved to make others laugh. He enjoyed a corny joke just as much as an intelligent joke that you had to "get". I think I inherited his love of the former. Throw in a good pun and you've got coffee going the wrong direction out my nose.

Dad usually had a joke or funny story to tell his family around the supper table. It was always a joy as a child growing up, to tell Dad a joke because he would laugh like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. It built our confidence, and telling Dad humorous stories continued into our adulthood. After hearing something funny, as an adult, I would look forward to calling Dad to repeat it to him, and hearing his laughter.

He worked in the factory for 39 1/2 years. Around the evening meals, made so lovingly by our mom, we heard the names of Dad's co-workers that we would remember all our lives, and would meet some for the first time, in person, at his visitation. I was touched by their kind words and deep sorrow that they shared with us. I have no doubt that Dad talked to each of them at some point about their relationship with Christ. He didn't keep his a secret.

Here are some things about Dad (in no particular order).

Loved our mother.

Loved his children.

Loved his grandkids.

Loved and showed respect to his parents.

Read his Bible.

Loved his church family.

Could fix anything--car, lawn mower, washer, dryer, fridge, bicycle, doll...

Loved to hunt and fish-especially with his kids or grandkids. I wonder how many fishing lines he untangled over the years?

Loved Beagle dogs.

Enjoyed growing a garden and the bounty that was harvested.

Watched cartoons with his kids on Saturday morning--especially the Road Runner.

Helped people in any way he could.

Never complained when he found legos in his shoes.

Did complain when he found rainbows made from a little oil in a mud puddle or his screwdriver hammered into the ground.

Said, "Oh, well looky there!" when he opened up a Christmas gift of a screwdriver from one of his kids year after year. We just thought Dad could always use a screwdriver. (and apparently then felt free to pound them in the dirt!)

When I was a junior in high school, a dress that I had saved for and ordered had not arrived from the catalog on time. Dad took off a half day of work, surprised me by picking me up from school at noon, and took me shopping for my first prom dress complete with elbow-length white gloves.

He also made sure he got home from work early enough to take me to the Home Economics sponsored "Daddy Date Night", when our class prepared the food and planned the evening. We didn't have a dance- we played volleyball:)

When Mom and Dad drove me to begin my freshman year of college, I remember standing there and bravely waving goodbye, when all I wanted to do was to get back in the car with them. I smiled and waved and so did they. As I turned away to walk back to the dorm, it was hard to control the tears.
Mom told me years later, when I was in my 40's, that Dad had to linger at a stop sign up the street and wipe his eyes, too.

This is the only picture of our family that I have in the computer. It was taken at Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary -about 20 yrs. ago. (Mustaches must have been popular that year:)
Seated: John #6, Tom#5, Loyd#1
Standing: Steve#3, Melissa#7,Mom,Dad,Linda#2,Wayne#4

This is not, of course, a complete journal of his life. Just a peek into it- to share him with you as I remember him.

We miss Dad, but know that he is with his Savior and we will see him again.


Dan and Jess said...

that's a beautiful tribute to your dad, linda. he was so well loved! so glad that you will be able to teach sam all about his great-grandpa and the heritage of his family.

Elena said...

This is a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing it. I lost my mom 20 years ago. Her and dad were married in 1950 and had 5 kids. Like you I was raised in a loving Christian home. I still miss her very much!

Lisa Collier said...

these are such sweet memories, Linda. he loved the Lord and that was very evident when i met him. he also enjoyed some good 'ol johnny cash--and that was fun because then your mom danced around the kitchen and taught me how to two-step while we listed to johnny cash. i am so glad that we will be able to see him in Heaven some day. love you!

Ben said...

great memories Mom, thanks for sharing the story of the dress! We all have wonderful memories of Grandpa, and the more stories I hear the more I understand how great a grandpa we have!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post in tribute to your dad. What a wonderful godly heritage he left to his children and grandchildren.

Heather said...

this was a wonderful post to read. your dad sounded like a lovely man. great photos to share with the story.