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My Dad – A Father’s Day Post

If you’re a regular reader of Nancy’s Point, you know I often write about my mother. I thought perhaps it was time to write a post about my dad. Since Father’s Day weekend is here, what better time, right?

My dad is and always has been a quiet and reserved sort of father. He is more of a pat-you-on-the-arm kind of dad then a hugging kind of dad. That was/is okay with me. He’s a man of few words (frustrating yes, but I long ago accepted this because he’s not about to change, nor should he necessarily), but when he does say something, it’s generally worth your time to listen.

My dad is without a doubt the most patient man I’ve ever known, and this quality undoubtedly came in really handy since he was a high school history teacher for years and yes, I did have him for a teacher too. I don’t recall seeing him lose his temper – ever. And I’m not just talking about in a classroom.

How many people can you say that about?

When I think about it, my dad most likely has always preferred the company of young people, even really young people. Some men shy away from handling tots and babies, especially newborns, not my dad. He’s always first in line to handle any new bundle of joy. He seems to have an uncanny way of connecting with kids of any age without words or a lot of fussing. Kids are/were naturally drawn to this quality in him; some sort of invisible genuine-ness they sense I guess.

My dad is incredibly smart and still astounds me time and time again with his extensive knowledge about historical matters as well as other stuff. He’s also truly wise. These two things are definitely not the same thing. I’m pretty sure we all know some really smart people who lack a whole bunch of qualities, including wisdom, right?

Of course here, too, when I talk about my dad, cancer gets in the way. Cancer really screwed up my mother’s life and therefore my dad’s too. He’s eyes saw much, as did mine.

I have often wondered how it must feel to be a man who witnessed his wife die from breast cancer and then two years later, see a daughter diagnosed with the same wretched disease. It must be a very painful thing, especially for someone who doesn’t easily speak of such matters.

Sometimes I worry that I am the reminder, the reminder of cancer, the reminder of great loss. I hate that role, no I despise it.

I could of course ask him about these things, but I know he’d rather I did not. He doesn’t often speak about my mother. He doesn’t often speak about breast cancer, in fact; he almost never mentions it. I think it’s just too hard.

He is and will always be a man of few words; one who keeps his feelings tucked deep inside somewhere.

His quiet ways continue and this is still okay with me, well most of the time anyway!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all men who love, nurture and care for/about children. And just as I said on Mother’s Day about mothers, the same is true for the men; you don’t even have to be a dad to do that.

What’s one of your fondest “dad memories”?

If applicable, how does/did your father react to your diagnosis?

How would you describe your father?


This was taken after my mom’s diagnosis, but before mine.



26 thoughts to “My Dad – A Father’s Day Post”

  1. Hmm, your post about your Dad reminds me of my own father, my brother and my husband. I see challenges and attributes shared between them in your dad’s experiences and quietness.

    My fondest dad memories would be watching Star Trek with him, something only the two of us had any interest in. I always appreciated that time together. It’s changed now that I am older and not at home, but once in a while there’s that lovely moment of connection. And those are my favorite things about him, when he lets us connect and just hang out. ~Catherine

    1. Catherine, I love that memory you shared about watching Star Trek with your dad. Those lovely moments of connection are nice to experience and then also remember aren’t they? And yes, the quiet men among us… Maybe that’s why you and I write so much! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Nancy, what a terrific post and tribute to your father! I love the picture of both of you together. I was especially moved by your wondering how it felt to have a wife die of breast cancer and then witness your daughter go through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    Unfortunately, when I was diagnosed, my parents couldn’t reach out to me. At the time I was so resentful because I was so alone. But now, looking back, I knew they weren’t capable of reaching out to me and that they loved me more than words can say. When my brother told them about my diagnosis (I couldn’t deal with telling them), my dad cried hard, saying I was his only daughter.

    I have a lot of fond memories of my dad. I remember his carting me and my teenage friends around via car. It must’ve been a lot of work to drive us everywhere. 🙂

    1. Beth, Yes, I do often think about how hard that must have been for my dad. It’s probably part of the reason he never speaks of cancer. I’m sorry your parents weren’t able to reach out to you when you were diagnosed, but I’m glad you’ve come to realize that perhaps they just couldn’t. Being a parent to someone with cancer must be really tough. And yes, one of the many parenting jobs is carting kids around here and there! Thanks for sharing.

  3. That must have been awful for your dad to go through breast cancer twice with two special women who he loves very much, not to mention losing your mom. While he’s quiet about it, it sounds like you respect and accept him as he is. I’m betting he has enormous strength. Thanks for a beautiful tribute to your dad.

    1. Eileen, Sometimes I have to remind myself about how hard all this has been for him – especially when he’s so quiet about it all! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. What a beautiful post about your dad. I also think it must have been terribly difficult for him to see your mom die of breast cancer and then after see you go through treatment with the disease. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Your father sounds like a wonderful man! My dad has always been a quiet man and was never one to show a lot of affection while I was growing up, although I knew he loved me. I am not sure what changed but as he has gotten older he does show affection and says “I love you” – it warms my heart to hear that!

    1. Sue, My dad has actually learned how to give and receive hugs as he’s become older, though doing so is still a bit awkward for him. He still doesn’t say “those words” for whatever reason. It’s great that your dad does. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing about you dad.

  6. You have a wonderful dad, Nancy, be blessed to have him around and cherish these wonderful moments!

    I recall how my dad would never get mad at us and he was so, so kind… He also liked to joke a lot, which was great for us kids.

    The only moments he was talking in a stern voice we knew we have to stop and pay attention bc it was serious matter.

  7. Such a beautiful story about your Dad Nancy, what a kind, gentle man he is… I hope you don’t think about being the reminder of great loss often, you are no doubt the reminder of great love, always…

    I have many memories of my Dad, I hold them all very close to my heart and think about him daily… I loved it most when he’d come over to my house to watch my two boys play in the back yard while he held my youngest, then a baby… (we lived a block away)… we’d share tea and just chat about nothing in particular. Dad was on home kidney dialysis at that time. I miss him madly… Family was the most important thing to Dad, then came his dogs (part of the family), and then his lawn. 🙂

  8. Such a beautiful story about your dad. He is so lucky to have you as his daughter. I know my comment is too late but I just wanted to share few things regarding my dad. He is very hardworking, strict at times but he is so funny!! He is the joker of the family, he wants us to be happy at all times, approachable and cool. 🙂

    1. Judy, Guess what – comments here are never too late! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing about your dad – approachable and cool – sounds like he’s pretty great. Thanks again for stopping by.

  9. A wonderful post about your Dad and so very true. I was about 9 years old when I first met him and thought he was just terrific.

    1. Betty, I’m glad you liked it. I love those old photos taken of you with him and mother way back then. You know him so well… Thanks for reading and commenting.

  10. Today is my first Father’s Day without my Dad. He lost his ten year battle with cancer on 6 December 2013. Such a sad day but I have fond and special memories. We can only honour his legacy in all we do. He was positive till the end. Astrid, South Africa

    1. Astrid, I am very sorry your dad died from cancer. It’s hard to face all those “firsts”. Life changes when you lose your parents, it just does. There is much to miss and the loss is forever. I’m sure you are feeling a lot of sadness right now, but I’m glad you have special and fond memories to help get you through. Thank you so much for sharing about him.

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