Things My Father Taught Me

I know it’s a bit early to blog about Father’s Day. I hope you’ll bear with me since I won’t post again until after Father’s Day . . . . .

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Image courtesy of TCJ2020 at freedigitalphotos.net

I’m fortunate to have a father who I am close to. Poor man, during my childhood years, he shared a house with four females and one, count it, one small bathroom. In spite of the testosterone minority in our home, he was a leader and a man who taught me to love in my growing up years.

Most of his childhood was spent without his father in his life. In spite of that, when I came along, he learned well how to wear and embrace the mantle of fatherhood. He was not a perfect father, but he was the perfect father for me. My dad taught my two sisters and me what love looked like—in how he loved my mother, how he loved the three of us girls, and how he loved others in his life.

Summer vacations found the five of us road-tripping somewhere. My sisters and I piled into the backseat of our car, my mom in the passenger seat, often serving us crackers and that squeezable cheese (does anyone remember that?), and my father behind the steering wheel. We had activity books, pillows, laughter and songs. He taught me to spy out and write a list of license plates from different states. I still play this game when we travel.

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Image courtesy of imagery majestic at freedigitalphotos.net

Friendships and people are important to him. We drove countless miles to visit friends or aunts and uncles. Up and out early, when the mists snagged the first rays of sunlight, we watched the miles pass behind us as we neared our destinations.

My dad works hard. His work ethic taught me much about the value of pouring myself into a project and giving it my best effort. We walked through lean times, but we always had food on the table. Not always fancy, but provided by my father and prepared with love by my mother.

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Image courtesy of photostock at freedigitalphotos.net

He accepted childish drawings, our love offerings, then hung them proudly in his home office. He’s always expressed his pride in us, and affirmed us with a smile, a hug, and the right words at the right moment.

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Image taken from the Takenaka’s wedding album

My father has made mistakes like all fathers have. But I thank God for him, the memories he’s given me and all the invaluable life lessons he’s taught me. I know not everyone has these kinds of memories of their father. As thankful as I am for my earthly father, I am even more thankful for my heavenly Father who loves perfectly and completely. He’s filled in gaps in my life that my earthly father couldn’t.

What about you? Do you have fond childhood memories that include your father? If your father isn’t in your life, is there someone else who fills that role?

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11 thoughts on “Things My Father Taught Me

  1. aboutproximity

    I love this. We had squeezable cheese :) good stuff! Anyone who has an earthly father who models our heavenly one is so blessed. It helps us see who God is more deeply. My Dad was for sure that to me.

    Reply
    1. Jeanne Takenaka Post author

      Lisa, you truly are blessed. My dad didn’t walk with the Lord during my growing up years, but he was, and is, a wonderful father. And you’re right, we see God through the model our fathers give us, don’t we?

      Reply
  2. heatherdaygilbert

    Ah, road trips! I think they used to be more stressful b/c the kids could roll around in the back seat, sans seatbelts! I have good memories of our vacations while growing up, too. And I have a great dad. I was born on Father’s Day and my b-day is on Father’s Day again this year–an extra reminder of how I love my Dad. My son was also born on Father’s Day. So it’s a special day for many reasons here!

    Reply
    1. Jeanne Takenaka Post author

      Awww, Heather, happy birthday a little early! What a great day to be born on. :) I was born on my mom’s birthday and my cousin’s son was also born on that day. Isn’t it cool how that goes in some families?

      Road trips, the affordable way to travel back in the day. I remember the no seat belts cars too. When my parents wanted us to nap, we’d have two girls stretched out across the back seat and have pillows arranged to create a space to lie down on the floor of the back seat. A little Dramamine helped draw us into nap-land.

      I hope your Father’s Day/Birthday is wonderful!

      Reply
  3. mwfinchwren

    What a beautiful bride! And now I know why you LOVE those road trips!! :) Ah, the joys of road trip food……for us it was grapes, hot dogs (cold) with bread wrapped around them, Dr Pepper and…..yes, squeezable cheese!

    Reply
    1. Jeanne Takenaka Post author

      I guess our parents figured out the key to “easy” food on road trips, eh Mel? :) We weren’t usually lucky enough to get “pop.” We usually had water, and sometimes juice. I think. Have a great day!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Things My Father Taught Me. | That Coffee Wench!

  5. Jenidactyl

    Aw, squeezable cheese was the best! Your father sounds like a wonderful man, and I’m happy you have lots of great memories with him. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    1. Jeanne Takenaka Post author

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Sorry it took me a couple days to get back here. :) Fathers always leave an impression on our lives, don’t they? I hope you have a wonderful week!

      Reply

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