Papa I hardly knew ya……a rememberance of my father.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the father lately, probably because today is Father’s Day.  I only saw my father on one Father’s Day, and that was the first time I ever saw him!  He and my mother divorced when I was still a baby, and I didn’t learn of him until I was seven years old.  My mother’s mother, who I was living with at the time, told me that the man who I thought was my father was not!  This was quite a surprise to a seven year old.  Then my curiosity was getting the best of me, I really wanted to know my “real” father, who was he, where was he?  I finally got to see him for the first time when I was ten years old.  I was on a trip with my grandparents to California and grandma knew where he was so she took me to see him.  It was a big surprise to my father as well.  She took me to the church where he was singing in the choir, Hollywood Presbyterian, and told him his daughter was outside!!  What a shocker.  So here is a picture of my meeting my father for the very first time.

Then I wasn’t to see him again until I was married and went to live in Illinois in my old hometown.  My father’s parents lived in Rantoul, only 10 miles from Champaign-Urbana.  I had developed a lovely relationship with my father’s parents from the age of eleven.  I saw them on a regular basis, but I wasn’t to see my Father again until I was in my early thirties!

I did get to have a couple visits with him over the next ten years.  One I remember very vividly as he took me to lunch and we sat and talked, just the two of us, for over two hours.  It was wonderful.  I learned that he still had a very special place in his heart for my mother.  He said he would never forget her.  I didn’t want this day to end needless to say. 

This is the last picture of have of my father, taken at my house the summer of 1985.  He passed away in 1987 in his early sixties. 

I only saw my father about six times in my life.  He will always have a very special place in my heart.   I remain close to my step-mother, Margurite.

Happy Father’s Day “Papa”………

7 Responses to “Papa I hardly knew ya……a rememberance of my father.”

  1. Beautiful post, Di.

  2. Must have been very confusing for you as a child not to see your Father regularly. The photo of your first meeting him makes me a little sad, you look so awkward, like trying to prove that you’re a good girl and with your Grandmother trying to tame your hair and make you look your best for him.

    My life was similar in regards to my Mother with her not active in my life and only seeing her on occasion. Her absence was due to mental illness, though, which eventually took her life when I was only 8 years old.

    I’m not sure if it is more difficult to have lost a parent as a young child or have a parent wander in an out throughout your life. Both have their challenges, I suppose.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Tina Marie Says:

    I want to comment, but I cant stop crying…xoxo to you

  4. I think I got to meet him once or twice but I rally can’t remember him. I do remember the visits to Rantoul..:-)

  5. I have the biggest lump in my throat, Dianne! It must have been very difficult to understand all this as a child. It sounds like you have no resentments though.


  6. Your story is a happy yet sad one. It’s interesting how your grandmother saw the need in you to know your father and helped you to achieve that dream. I’m glad you shared your story with us.

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