Father Knows Best

Dear Dad,

Your birthday is coming up on November 8th (as you know). At this time of year, especially, I think of who you were, where you might be, and what you might thinking about so many troubling issues facing the United States today.

Last night, at a social event, which, had you still been alive, you would have attended, Mr. Griffin asked me, “Whom would Hugh have voted for?” Although you were a life-long Democrat, with great compassion for the “Little Guy” (now known as Joe the Plumber), I didn’t hesitate in saying that you would have voted for McCain. Your worries about terrorism and our nation’s security would have trumped the true excitement and pride you would have felt about the first African-American becoming the most powerful man in world. The Greatest Generation, of which John McCain, the first President Bush, and a handful of other leaders are members, is almost gone.

We are left with untested Baby Boomers, perhaps some of the most selfish and flaky personages to ever lead our country. We are also left with those who would play Robin Hood in an effort to make everyone feel good. We are left with the sardonic humor of David Letterman, whose mean spirited ego treated the war hero, John McCain, like a garbage bag.

When I left the event last night, I felt very sad. Not only are you not here to hug me and tell me I am the most wonderful person in the world (other than Mom), but also, you are not here any more to shoot the breeze and to discuss the world’s most pressing problems.

The other night, when Ron was out of town, and I was alone in my bed, I woke up suddenly. The ceiling seemed to be wavy; I blinked several times and a thin vaporous shadow seemed to move through the room. The dog didn’t bark; the alarm didn’t sound. Could it have been you?

Not likely. I must have been thinking of The Alchemist, in which a delightful old man with wisdom and magical stones, appears on the scene to bring a small shepherd boy vast knowledge about the way of the world.

You are no alchemist and my theology teaches me that ghosts do not visit.

This morning, the sun is shining and fall is here. Earth is still a wonderful place to be, and I am looking forward to my day, but I miss your perspective– your enthusiasm about capitalism, your support about hard work, your insistence about playing fair…all of that I miss.

Before long, those of us who work hard will be paying for those who don’t want to work, socialism will replace capitalism, and fairness will be determined by a governmental agency.

Thinking about our local, state, and national governments reminds me that we need less of them.

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in People and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Father Knows Best

  1. tsblock says:

    I wish I knew this man. When he died, I was only 10 years old. As the years go by and I get older, I hear new stories that help to paint the picture that is Grandpa Hughie. When I think about this man, I think about the morals and values he held, the accomplishments he achieved, and the amazing family he and Grandma Joanie created. These positive thoughts make me feel sad that this great man is not with us today to help guide and mentor us, both personally as well as collectively. But then I remind myself of the huge effect that we each have on each other’s lives. With each day we change, and with each day we change each other in very small ways that we can neither quantify nor qualify.

    I realize now that I know this man. He is in my mother; he is in my father; he is in my brothers; he is in my aunts, uncles, and cousins. While we miss his personality and those traits that made him a unique individual, he lives on through the lives of all the people he touched. I don’t have to look very far for to see the living, breathing morals and values that Grandpa Hughie espoused. This is what they mean when they say “eternal life.” I know this man now like I know my own Dad.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I recently started reading your blogs. I am glad i did. Indeed, sadly the generation of Americans whose stories we read growing up – on the other side of the earth, where Earth is equally beautiful and a bit more earthly – we rarely encounter in our daily lives. It is refreshing to hear of such people as your father.
    Having said that – i still find Americans like Greg Mortenson author of “Three Cups of Tea” reminding us of what the word “American” is supposed to mean for those who live outside the boundaries of this great nation.

    I have a different take on the U.S. politics – I think we will be okay if we continue to pass the values/lessons we learned from our fathers and mothers. I pray I am successful in passing some of the same values I was taught to my son and daughters.

    Thanks for sharing and writing. We need more of your writings – please keep them coming.

  3. The Sci-Fi Fanatic says:

    That was one of the nicest entries I’ve seen in a blog in a long time. If I wasn’t so damn hardened I’d have had a tear come to my eye. It was refreshing to see someone with such a sensible take on politics. You’re expression was so precisely how I feel about the current political climate leading to election day. Your Dad sounds much like myself and I am humbled by the fact you shared such a special feeling with us. I am worried for the future and my late father, a mailman, a veteran, were he alive today, would have expressed these very same feelings of troubled uncertainty on who would be minding the doors to our country. It is troubling how disrespectful this country has become in protecting its traditions. It is a special place and I fear it is slipping away. I’m glad you were noted so that I could find someone like yourself so like-minded. Take care.

  4. fahima says:

    My father died in 1956, when I was only twelve. He knew for three years that he was doomed because of congestive heart failure, so he taught me a lot of “lessons” ahead of the time he would have had he lived. I remember his instructing me in the great religions of the world, using the series from Life Magazine. When we got to Islam, he told me about the formation of the Egyptian Brotherhood and how it was likely to deviate into a developing radicalism and that it would likely bring trouble to the world. He taught me about Ataturk, kwho modernized Turkey and brought a secular government, now threatened by rising Islamist ideologues. He told me what it had been like to have a daughter born on Pearl Harbour Day, and what it was like to lose her three weeks later to pneumonia because there was no penicillin available. He told me not to hate, but to be practical minded about who I associated with, and to always look for people’s true values. So that is how I decided who to vote for this year. You see, in addition to McCain being a war hero, there was one vote in Congress that truly revealed his character. He stated “I’d rather lose an election that lose a war,” and he voted for funding for our troops that many Democrats were against because there was no definite timeline associated with the bill. Barack Obama voted against this bill because it had no timeline. We all see that Obama has since back-pedaled on his promise to get all the troops out of Iraq in sixteen months time. We all should also clearly see that Obama voted what he felt was “politically correct” for his Democrat Party and his status amongst likely voters. Obama revealed in that moment his true character: he will do what is best for Obama and the group of people he associates with, even if it puts our sons and daughters in dire straits during a war. I’m certain my father would have agreed a hundred percent with my decision, and that brings a smile to my face.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “socialism will replace capitalism”

    To quote the man himself: The US must be the only place where a tax relief for the middle class is defined as socialism ….

  6. Anonymous says:

    First congratulations to Cheri S. on her blog’s success and second, thanks for the article on our Dad-he would be proud and I think appreciate the attention; most importantly he would be pleased to know that he left his mark as a humble man, who lived everyday,not like it was his last, but because he truly enjoyed life, the ups, the downs, his wife, his family, friends as well as the stranger who he always treated with respect. He was a greatful man who I was blessed to have as my father.

    I have to admit, that even after 14 years, the ache I have for him and his memory is as fresh today in many respects; although the load is always lightened when I look at my family, wife and kids and know how blessed I am and realize that they are a tribute to his being and life.

    He was an involved man, who loved his community and this country; a Democrat who would be sorely disappointed in the politics of today. Dad was truly a public and private servant who did not think the world revolved around him. How refreshing!!

    Thanks Cheri.
    Love SAB

  7. BusyBeeSuz says:

    Your fathers ounds like an outstanding person. Good memories of family are the greatest…
    take care,

  8. 14/9/25 says:

    My dad, too, was a democrat back in the days of JFK but, he would be appalled by today’s democratic party. I lost him when he was just 36 and I was 9 and I often wonder where we would be today without life’s twists and turns.

    Let’s not give up on capitalism and the American way. Our forefathers were smart enough to anticipate these days when they established our government.

    God Bless You and God Bless America!

  9. dc64 says:

    Very gut-wrenching, and heart-warming at the same time. Beautiful writing style, and I love how easy it is to read. Your father was a wise man.

  10. Kelly says:

    What a beautiful way to honor your father’s memory.

    You know, if this election has taught me anything, it’s that politics is a funny thing. I’m a proud supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, but I certainly understand what you’re saying here. I wish more people thought like you.

    Congratulations on being today’s Blog of Note! Very well deserved–I’ll enjoy visiting again.

  11. dress.dyed.crimson says:

    My dad was no democrat nor politician. He was an average dad with vision and hope for his children. He didnt want to leave a legacy, he just wished world could be a better place with the smallest gesture of love, the old fashion way. Your father pretty much reminds me of him. His birthday is on Nov 8th too. =)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thought-provoking post. I will be following your blog. Thanks.

  13. Douglas says:

    Very thoughtful posting. It was clear that you loved (still love) your father and he would have been proud of you. It seems your opinions are not the stereotypical teacher’s and that gives me hope for your students and for our educational system. I think I will be following your blog.

  14. Lulu Maude says:

    I’m glad you loved your dad. I certainly loved mine. However, voting as your dad might have voted is a big mistake. Voting for McCain is a mistake.

    McCain is not a member of “The Greatest Generation.” His war was Vietnam… the GG’s was WWII. WWII’s challenges were clear. Vietnam’s were not. John McCain’s FATHER was one of those GG’s to whom you refer. McCain himself was a rebel who has re-packaged himself into a maverick. The rebel crashed six planes. The rebel graduated sixth from the bottom of his class.

    I have real sympathy for John McCain. He can’t even lift his arms without pain. He can’t comb his own hair. He and his compatriots at the Hanoi Hilton were a pawn in the game of people who use our troops to show how tough they are on whatever scares us at the time. But soldiers commit themselves to go in, whether or leaders are right to send them or not. They don’t get to evaluate the wisdom of the mission.

    We need someone who can move beyond the military rhetoric, past “victory with honor,” a phrase that Petraeus himself refuses to use, to some sense of what people are really out there.

    John McCain is a warrior with only one tool. As someone once said, When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

    Many, many conservatives are moving over to endorse Obama, who has the sense of nuance that we need now.

    Your dad might even have thought so.

  15. Lakeland Jo says:

    I really miss my dad too. He died in June 2001. There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t miss him and his perspective on things. I enjoyed reading your post and well done on being blog of note

  16. Solard says:

    Wow. I just checked out your blog because of Blogs of Note, and I have to say — Somebody Out There GETS it! I’m frightened for our country, and the direction in which we are going…and your beautiful tribute to your dad sums up those fears perfectly.

    I wish your dad was here for you, too.

  17. Deborah says:

    Great blog. I’ll be following.

  18. Leisha Camden says:

    socialism will replace capitalism

    Speaking as a Scandinavian: give me a break. This was a very well written and quite moving piece, but seriously, if you think there are any socialists anywhere that matters on the US political scene, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I hope Obama wins, but from where I’m standing, he and McCain both are a pair of right wing nutcases.

    IMO you should read up a bit on socialism before you start throwing that word around.

  19. phil beron says:

    Super site.
    Stirring post.
    You are truly talented.

    Glad I found you.

  20. corin says:

    So happy your blog was chosen yesterday. This post so reminds me of the feeling around election time that hits me about the loss of my grandfather, a town councilman for many years and a diehard republican. I would give anything to have him back for one day and hear his intelligent, common sense opinions on all of the issues our country is being faced with. When you’ve had the best of any relationship with a man such as this, the hole remains gaping for years. How lucky we are to have shared wonderful times. My birthday is November 8th and also, if you felt your father’s presence then he was sending you a message of love. Also very much enjoyed your relative’s first comment above. I hope my children can one day so eloquently describe their great grandfather, as being a part of us all.

  21. rubashini says:

    Cheri dear, congratulations on your wonderful blog.Your post on ‘Father Knows Best’ caught my eye.I just lost my dad,five months ago, which was when I decided to start blogging, to do something different to divert my mind.It is hard to get over with, but I am trying my best. When you mentioned on how your dad would be discussing on politics if he was still around, it reminded me so much of me.I do the same, wondering what daddy would have done if he is still here and what would he have said, and well that’s how I go on living, keeping him in our conversations all the time.Believe it or not, I had no liking for politics.I used to skip all the articles on politics when I read the newspapers, and I remember those days when dad will constantly ‘remind’ me to read them,which I obviously did not while he will faithfully read them.However when I lost him, is when I realized I missed him sitting on his favorite chair and going through the papers!Eventually, I started reading on politics, and always believing when I read through each page, he is around reading them with me.Anyway dear, keep up the good work! God bless!

  22. LaSweeney says:

    This was such a beautiful entry. It caught my eye because I was blessed with a great dad, who passed on Nov. 28, 2002. He, too, was a lifelong democrat and champion of the little guy, the disenfranchised, the invisible of the world. I feel so mixed about the election, I’ve worked in the inner city of NY for 20 years and found that we spend more and more time working to support people who don’t want to work. It’s not easy, and I really seek the balance of taking care of others as well as being able to provide for my family.

  23. F. Lee says:

    A great read on your dad…and how it segues into today’s political world. I couldn’t agree more with your last two paragraphs.

    All the best!

  24. Lyn says:

    this was a wonderful tribute to your father. I was however saddened by your last 2 paragraphs. Being Canadian, we are accustomed to the concept of “those who have” sharing with those who don’t. Canada is country where we care of the greater good and something my dad taught me was that the integrity of a society will be measured by how it treats its weakest, poorest members. Be not afraid.

  25. PCA says:

    Just stumbled on to your blog. Very well written and I agree strongly with your stated views. It’s baffling to me how a man who fought for this country and spent 5 years in a POW camp could be losing to someone who hadn’t even completed one term in the US Senate before running for President. It goes to show the power of the press in this country. Apparently, resumes don’t matter in our choice for President. A good smile and lofty words do.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your Wonderful testimony to your father. What a tribute you are to his memory. I also admire your courage in speaking truth. I have been so afraid to voice my opinion this election. The amount of hatred being tossed back and forth just staggers me. I am ashamed of our nation. Never thought I would say that ever. Gone are the days of kindness, and being open to freedom of speech. My blood pressure actually rises a few degrees when I watch the news, it is so biased and hateful. Gone are the days when War heroes and women who conduct themselves in the truest fashion like Ladies, are treated with the respect they deserve. I am truly saddened. I will cast my vote with pride for a dieing way of life. A life of service, to country and God. And all the while, weep as my Grandchildren will not know what a glorious country this was before A Pretty Package was more important than Honesty, integrity and the American way. Thank you for writing what a lot of us without voices feel. I hope that our votes allow us our speech that has been denied this last two years.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it a shame when we get trashed on blogs for stating our opinions and TRUTH? For the first time in my life I’m ashamed of where my country is headed. I applaud you for posting this and believe absolutely that your father would NOT vote for anyone other than McCain. If you want a successful life or one with money then go to work for it, people. I do and my husband does. I give more to charity than Kerry, Clinton, Obama and Biden put together multiplied 5 times. I help the poor and underprivileged. So next time you sad people complain about it then go get a job and GIVE. It’s the Christian thing to do. I feel truly sorry for those expecting handouts.

    I sign this anonymously because of others who have voiced hateful comments to us republicans who only speak truth. You are all pathetic – PATHETIC.

  28. swoozyQ says:

    Wow! I just read some of your blog for the first time and I think you and I are a lot alike. Like you I have wonderful memories of childhood and love to recall it in stories and apply it to my life now. I lost my mom to breast cancer almost 11 years ago and find myself thinking of her more lately. I think it’s because I feel the same way you do with this election and the way our country is going:( having her here would give me some security in a mixed up crazy world. Keep your memories alive and you will always have your father and the lessons he taught. I enjoyed your blog and will be back again to visit:) Take care!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Cheri dear, I have read your blog several times, and enjoyed it each time. Uncle Sam Especially liked the photo of his best friend. Congratulation again on the honor you received from Google. High praise my dear. We are so proud of you and of all you do. Bisou, Aunt Kayti

  30. Aika says:

    Hi Cheri! I came across this post in your blog and instantly I was hooked. My dad also holds a special place in my heart especially when I remember certain things he taught me about the world.
    I love your poignant writing and I wish I could write this way in the future!

    salamat po! (thank you)

  31. ShimonZ says:

    As a father and grandfather of grown children, some of whom I’m really proud of, and a lifelong citizen of a country half way across the world from you, I just wanted to tell you that you are certainly one of the most beautiful women of this world… and it’s a pleasure to read your words.

  32. Cheri says:

    Thank you, Shimon. Your comment is one of the kindest comments I have ever received in the history of this blog. I look forward to coming to Jerusalem this May. Maybe we can meet!

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