Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fathers I Have Known

I have known four generations of fathers - the husbands of my daughters, myself and my brothers, my father and his brother, and my mother's father.

Being a father requires being --

* caring and protective - both a teddy bear and a grizzly bear
* nurturing and disciplining - children need both, and it needs to be consistent
* a role model - as a husband, as a worker, as a friend, as a citizen

I have written posts before about myself, my father, and my maternal grandfather. I will list them below:

1) Myself: I Learned from my Dad...

2) My Father: My Dad - Fred Seaver (1911-1983)

3) My Maternal Grandfather: A Wondrous Life

4) Pictures of My Father and his Boys

I did not know my paternal grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942), but I've heard a lot about him over the years from my father and his siblings. I wish I had known him. I would have loved to hear about his childhood, his education, his family life, his work, his baseball playing, his friends, his life interests.

I have written biographies of the fathers in each generation that are in my ancestry. That is one reason I am doing my family history research - to get to know my ancestors, to try to understand them, and to appreciate them - and to pass that knowledge on to my siblings, cousins and children.

But I do not "know" those older "fathers" in the intimate way - the daily contact, the sharing of life experiences, the attitudes and opinions - that I knew my father and my maternal grandfather.

What I do know is that each and every person in my ancestry is unique - there is no other exactly like them (with the possible exception of identical twins - of which I have none in the recent generations). Each was an imperfect person - as I am. Each had emotions, attitudes, views, tempers, etc. that their descendants may strive to follow or try to avoid in their own lives.

I appreciate and respect each of the fathers in my ancestry - for their caring and protection of their families, their commitment to their wives, the nurturing and disciplining of their children, for their hard work to support their families, for serving their country as a military man and as a citizen, and so much more.

Without the injection of the "spark of life" at certain points in time - in every generation from time immemorial - I would not be the exact genetic person that I am. My hands, my feet, my eyes, my ears, my voice, my hair (I know, what hair - thanks Charlie Auble!) and the rest of me would not be what it is.

So here's to all the Fathers in my life - past and present: Thank you for being who you are or were. May the memories of you be wonderful ones!

1 comment:

Janice said...


I enjoyed your article about fathers. Regarding twins (since I am one), even they are unique... they only look similar but everything else is different.

I'd love to see an article written by your daughters about you, and you can post it here.