Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Daddy, My Hero!

Today is Father’s Day 2010 and I am feeling so many emotions from reading the various comments on my Face Book page. Personally, I was blessed to have my father in the home growing up and he and my mother celebrated 54 years of marriage in January 2010. My daddy, Ollie Lee Jr. was the hardest working man for his 4 girls, son and wife. He did not allow his lack of education (7th grade) to prevent him from working 3 jobs at once to support his family. He was a strict disciplinarian and someone who you knew expected nothing but greatness in your appearance, delivery, presentation and overall life.

He supported me, my sisters and brother through college and one through graduate school; never complaining ALWAYS working. He was a stickler for having immaculate credit and taking care of business as it was required. His consistent demand that we be disciplined children has made me who I am today. He lived in my middle school as the nuns always knew if they called Mr. Lee, Edith would straighten up and fly right. His attentiveness to our education has taught me to do the same for my daughters.

When he was tired of the children in public schools wanting to fight my sister and me, he enrolled us in a catholic school. To this day, I give him much respect for caring enough for us to change our environment even though there was a hefty cost for tuition. BUT HE DID IT!

When my dad was a young man, he was an exceptional baseball catcher and was being looked at by professional teams. He was offered an opportunity to go play with a team, but turned the offer down to stay home and work helping to support his family. Through the years, my mother has raised many, many children in the neighborhood, and my dad never once asked her why are all these kids here? lol. He just very quietly made his way to his bedroom and continued providing for not only his biological children, but for every child that ever crossed the threshold of our home. Oh and it wasn’t just the children…the pets were all treated like part of the family too. There was never a stray dog that we bought home that he said had to go.

Family is very important to him; he gets a great kick out of watching his 3 year old twin great-grand daughters. They give him much joy as they come into his room to steal bubble gum from the gum ball machine he has there. They love their granddad and anytime they are there, they will both just go in his room and sit on the side of his bed with him to watch TV or to jibber -jabber to him. This is truly something to behold.

Of course he was human and had his issues, but my daddy is my hero. Ailing now with the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, dementia and other health issues, I had a chance in May 2010 to spend with him a good quality afternoon, just he and I talking. We reminisced, laughed and talked so vividly about family times. I praise God for the opportunity to have had the father I have and I pray that he knows how much his being in my life has made a difference to not only me and my sisters, but my children and the Lee generations to come. So that he will know, I plan to read this to him over the phone today as he lives in Pittsburgh, PA and as far as my recollection goes, I’m only aware that he has traveled out of the state one time, and that was for his sister’s funeral.

I love my dad and I know that his genes are strong in all his generations. So we who are his seed have NO excuses. His love for us inspires me to persevere even when quitting is an option I would love to choose. His love and support is sufficient enough for me to run on all in the name of his love, discipline and high expectations. I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day!

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