Monday, October 6, 2008


My dad was a builder.

He built houses, shops, jails, factories, churches, schools, stores, shopping malls and office buildings. He worked in northern Idaho, western Montana and eastern Washington until his retirement two years ago. I don’t believe there is a highway corridor in that area I can’t drive down and point to buildings and say, “My daddy built that.”

This is his legacy in concrete, wood and steel.

However, his most important building project was the house of love he built around his family. His wife and his four little girls were the lights of his life. Dad didn’t come right out and say “I love you” very often, but he showed his love in ways which were uniquely his. He built doll beds, deck stairs, roofs, shoe boxes, garages, curio cabinets, cupboards, treasure boxes, sewing machine cabinets, jewelry boxes, and toddler beds. He rebuilt engines, replaced windows and painted cars & houses.

When his little girls came of age and started marrying, Dad’s love expanded to encompass a larger family.

Each of us girls is married and Dad loved his son-in-laws and spent many hours with each/all of them. Under his tutelage each of them has learned something about carpentry, mechanics, hunting, fishing and life. Each of them has treated one of us girls well, provided for her and been a loyal, loving, caring husband; all that was necessary in Dad’s book to be considered a beloved member of the family.

Dad’s life was blessed with five grandchildren. My son, Liam, at 16 months, is the youngest of the bunch. The next youngest grandchild is 19 years old. In December 2006, when Chris and I told Mom & Dad we were going to have a baby, I got a real firsthand look at the joy Dad had in his grandkids. I’ll remember Dad’s words forever, “We thought we were all done with grandkids, and now we get to start all over!” Grinning fit to kill the whole time.

Two of the grandchildren have partners and our family is blessed with two great grandchildren as well. Dad’s love knew no bounds.

This is Dad’s real legacy. His love and all the memories of good times we have had as a family will live on forever. The blue sky is hard to see right now, but it will come. Our lives must and will go on, but all of us will be forever affected by the love of this man. The patriarch. Our dad.


Karen said...

Beautifully written Janie. I miss him so :(

maggie said...

Absolutely beautiful. Janie, you have such a way with words.

Thank you for sharing your dad here. It helps me know him, too. What a great legacy he leaves.

I love you.