Lesson 1233 – Fair winds, Dad

Last night my father died. It’s what we were all praying for – a peaceful, quick, and painless release.

But it still leaves a gaping, ragged hole in my heart.

My father was a good man. He served our country during WWII when at the age of 17 he became a tail gunner in the United States Navy. His job was to shoot down other planes, while at the same time the enemy tail gunners had the job of shooting him down.

That’s some courage.

He was widowed with 2 children when he married my widowed mother who had 4 children. He went on his honeymoon knowing that when he came home, he would be the father of 6  young children (and then a 7th was soon added.)

That’s some courage.

As a parent, he was not afraid to let us know when we had strayed from the path. We knew the value of food – don’t leave the table until you’ve eaten everything on your plate – in a large family food was valuable, you didn’t waste it, much as I counsel my 6 children today.  We knew the importance of being accountable to others – the last one in at night had to cross their name off the list and turn the lights off.  We knew that with so many kids in the family, resources were sometimes tight, we learned how to share and look out for each other.

My dad knew the importance of giving us independence and freedom. He let us do what we wanted, but if we did something wrong it was quickly corrected. I can’t tell you how often when I see some children’s behavior these days, I remark that “boy, if I *ever* did that, my father would have killed me.” I would never even THINK of behaving that way.

That’s not such a bad thing. That’s not such a bad thing at all. It’s what forged my compass and made me who I am today.

There is a Naval blessing of “fair winds and a following sea.” The full version is “Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw!” This phrase mentions the ideal conditions for a mariner and is considered a blessing as well as a farewell.

Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw, Dad.  Thank you for your support, love, and guidance. I’ll miss you.

jack on beach

Jack_Lyons_gunner

 

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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13 Comments

Filed under Personal, Recipes, Teaching kids, The Family

13 responses to “Lesson 1233 – Fair winds, Dad

  1. Kristin

    What a loving tribute to your Dad…sending thoughts and prayers for peace and love for you and your family…

  2. Laura

    If there is any consolation, your dad, his spirit and values clearly live on through you. That is the greatest testament of all. Blessings, Wendy, and peace.

  3. A beautiful message of love for your dad to take with him to the other side. I’m so sorry for your loss❤

  4. Stephanie Tilton

    Beautifully said, Wendy. As painful as this is, that’s a wonderful send off and beautiful blessing. May your compass continue serving you well. Hugs!

  5. Wonderful. You have given your dad a beautiful send-off.

  6. Dear Wendy, My heart goes out to you and your family. What a beautiful, heartfelt blessing you wrote today. May you be well.

    >

  7. Josephine Howland

    Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss. My father was a pilot in WWII, flying a P-51 mustang out of Fowlemere Eng. He passed away in 2005. I know just what you mean about not even thinking about misbehaving growing up. We were brought up with manners and learned the golden rule. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessed be..

  8. Beautiful tribute, May God Bless…

  9. Steve Prickett

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers and condolences to the entire Thomas family. God bless you all.

  10. That’s a beautiful farewell blessing, Wendy, and a lovely tribute to your dad. He was an amazing man, willing to take on 4 more children for life! His war training must have made it look easy! God bless you and your family as you go on without him. It’s so sad to lose a beloved parent, no matter what your age.

  11. Condolences on your loss, Wendy. Losing a loved father certainly does leave a big ragged hole in your heart.

  12. So sorry about your father…and I am glad he didn’t suffer. Remember to take care of yourself during this time. Hugs to you and your family.

  13. Emily Otterman

    Wendy, wonderful words for a man who left quite a legacy. I am sorry for your loss and your family’s loss. Thinking of you.

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