Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-20-11
Gentle readers, we all should agree that dad’s are important folks. We all know that not every man is a good father or role model. The prisons are full of poor role models and they come from every part of our society and from every race. Those of us who were fortunate to have loving, caring and responsible dads can also agree they need to be honored.
In Texas and most southern states we call our dads, “daddy.” It’s just part of our culture. We never called our mom’s “mommy,” after age 6- to 8-years-of-age. Don’t know why that is, it just is.
I miss my daddy. He’s been gone 24 years now and I lost him to Alzheimer’s disease. Nasty stuff that Alzheimers. The thing that I remember most about my dad was his quiet manner and wonderful sense of humor. He did have a temper and it didn’t take a lot to get ole dad unsettled. In all my years I only witnessed him losing his temper on just three occasions. He was a mentor, a Sunday School teacher, an oil field worker, a devoted husband, many times under difficult circumstances, a tough man, but most of all an excellent role model for my siblings and myself. He was at every basketball, football and baseball game I ever played in until I went off to college and on occasion he was there for my basketball games.
I sat across the room from him not too long before he passed away. I had gone to Texas to see him as my mother and my sister had encouraged me to come as he seemed to be fading into oblivion. He and mom were living in a small apartment in Midland, Texas. My sister and her husband had come over to visit and they and my mom were outside as my sis was getting ready to leave.
“Did you know them?” my daddy ask me.
My heart ached as I replied, “Sure daddy, that’s Mary Lou, my sister and her husband Gene.”
“They seem to be really good people,” he responded.
“Yep, for sure they are daddy, for sure they are.” I answered.
Daddy had a really tough time with this disease. When he went into the bathroom to shave the man in the mirror was there to confront him and maybe even fight with him. He no longer recognized mom and thought she must be a maid or house keeper. Shortly after I came back to Colorado he was placed in a nursing home and only lived for two weeks. What a sad, sad ending for such a good man. I dwell on that often.
If your dad or “daddy” is still alive and is a good man. I hope you honored him this Father’s Day for one day he will be gone and you can no longer pick up the phone and tell him how much he means to you. Memories, just those special memories will be all you have.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya’ll, all ya’ll.
Miss ya “daddy” and I love you!
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