Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gratitude Challenge ~ Day Four

Gratitude Challenge

This is the fourth day of the gratitude challenge being hosted by Brenda, at  The Homeschool Garden. Today I am thinking about how grateful I am for the time I had with my father.  (even the sometimes icky teenage years)

He's been on my mind a lot since my post on election day.  The one about our great freedoms.   Part of why I love this country so much is because I am a first generation American.  My father was not born here.  He arrived on Ellis Island, after a long boat trip across the Atlantic Ocean.   My grandfather had offered his service to the US Navy, and this allowed my father and his mother to escape the bombing blitzes happening in England.  They began their lives here with very little.  Their story was the true "American Dream".   I grew up hearing abut the early days in a Bronx tenement, moving up to the good life in Staten Island, and finally, marriage, children, and a house in the suburbs.   This made him very proud to be American.  He wouldn't have dreamed of putting a hyphen before the word.

In addition to great patriotism, he taught me about moderation, living within my means, the satisfaction that comes from delaying instant gratification and earning what I want.  By example, he taught me the value of integrity, honesty, loyalty, and charity.

I miss him so much.  He was very proud of his family.  He loved to just stop by and say hello, or to have people over for dinner.  The man could talk!!!  On the rare occasions that all of his children and grandchildren were together, he'd put us through endless photo shoots.  We groaned at the time, but we are all grateful for them now!  He was a firm believer in working things out as a family, celebrating as a family, and pitching in for the people we love.

This was his favorite time of year.  Crisp fall days, the World Series, political debate, hunting season, football, the holidays approaching, family get-togethers, and those last few days of sunshine to enjoy before winter.   Even though five years have passed, I still miss him every day, and I know I always will.

I'm glad I was given just the right father.