Friday, July 1, 2016

Thoughts of my Dad

Sometimes things that I do will bring back memories of my dad, Edson Carl Beck. It’s not usually anything big, just small actions, movements, or things that I do. Yesterday as I stacked firewood, I thought of the way my dad could split wood with a double bitted ax. Time after time he would swing it high overhead and hit the same spot of the upturned section of log. It was my dad’s persistence and consistency that impressed me, not that I am that consistent, but it was the memory of him swinging the ax.
The memories may come in the way I move my hands. Mine have never been as work hardened as his, large calloused ones, but if I move something hot from the stove or the microwave and the handle is hot, it reminds me of how he would hold those hot things with seemingly asbestos fingers. If he did indeed feel something hot, he would swing his arm at his side and flick his hand. If he mashed a finger, he would do the same thing.
My dad was honest as anyone I ever knew. He would often walk back into the store if the cashier over paid his change. Once he returned a bag of groceries to the store when he found a bag filled with supplies beside his red and white Ford station wagon. The owner of the groceries sat the bag on the ground to read a flyer dad had in the side window of the upcoming Buckwheat Festival in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.
Dad didn’t tell anyone in our family “I love you,” but it was there. The consistency of working everyday to provide for us was the way he showed his love: food, clothing, a house. I do differ from my father in that while I provided all of the same things, I did say I love you and still do to this day.
When I left my father after a visit, I always said, “Dad, I love you” most of the time he would just smile and nod his head so I knew that he had heard me. I still tear at the memory of him saying I love you back, not too long before he died. It was another special thought of my dad.

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