Happy Father’s Day, Daddy… and Mama

With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday I’d like to acknowledge the obvious individual…Mama.

She still laughs remembering Daddy’s funny stories. He artfully told his silly tales and endless supply of jokes to keep everyone entertained. Daddy could be truly funny and Mama was the first to laugh. After sixty years of marriage there’s no doubt she’d heard his material several times over but Daddy loved to see people laugh and Mama wouldn’t have him disappointed. She loved him and laughed hard at his jokes, chastised his colorful language, and coyly prompted him to repeat her favorites. Daddy enjoyed making others laugh and Mama happily served as the perfect straight man even if she occasionally found herself the brunt of his playful banter.

An aunt grinned and asked Mama, “How in the world do you live with him?”

“It ain’t easy.” Mama answered, shaking her head.

Daddy’s vegetable garden was perfection. His weedless rows were straight, well-watered, and produced profusely. He playfully bragged about having the first tomato, prettiest butter beans, or biggest peppers. Mama joined Daddy in the garden every morning to sweat alongside him ensuring enough was grown not just for her to freeze and can, but for Daddy to have some to give to others, which was a great source of joy for him. Daddy was proud of his garden. Mama, knowing what it meant to him, faithfully assisted. Ice tinkled in Daddy’s water glass as he rested in the shade and jokingly scolded Mama for missing a squash. She wiped sweat from her face and went back to pick it, playfully cutting her eyes at him.

A neighbor visiting at the time smiled and asked Mama, “How in the world do you live with him?”

“It ain’t easy.” Mama answered, shaking her head.

Daddy didn’t buy a lot but what he bought was top rate and built to last. When Mama needed a new washer it was a great one. A new dryer? Nothing but the finest. If Mama needed this or that then Daddy bought her the best. One Christmas he surprised her with a brand new car. The perfectionist in Daddy compelled him to give advice so Mama was reminded to keep the car full of gas, to let him know if it ever sounded odd, acted odd, or gave her trouble. She patiently allowed him to finish knowing it was how he showed he cared. She grinned and slightly rolled her eyes a bit when he was done. He grinned back.

My sisters and I watched their comical interaction and asked Mama, “How in the world do you live with him?”

“It ain’t easy.” Mama answered, shaking her head.

In all that Daddy did, and he did a lot, Mama was there to back him up. Daddy was a perfectionist but giving, rigid but generous, and a serious provider who enjoyed nothing more than a sense of humor. He and Mama were together for sixty years, raised four kids, and saw grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were a powerful pair when they needed to be, a comedy duo when the occasion arose, and always surrounded by family and friends. Daddy was unique and Mama supported that uniqueness. It dawned on me over the years that Daddy was free to be Daddy because Mama was Mama.

Daddy died almost two years ago now. His vegetable garden is no more, fewer friends stop by Mama’s for impromptu visits, and though we still laugh it’s not with the frequency or intensity it was when constantly bombard by Daddy’s zany tales. We all miss him, but Mama surely misses him the most. Friends and family do still visit Mama and inevitably they talk about Daddy and his garden, his jokes, and all he did for Mama.

One visiting friend recently asked Mama, “How in the world do you live without him?”

“It ain’t easy.” Mama answered, shaking her head.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy… and Mama.

Stuart M. Perkins

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246 Comments

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246 responses to “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy… and Mama

  1. Reblogged this on zyonchaos and commented:
    After reading this I cant stop thinking about my dad who passed away 10yrs ago. May right down some of the stories he shared with me!
    But enough about me get on storyshucker if you want some entertainment.

  2. sorry for taking so long to write you this note, I loved this story so much… I married a man very much like your Daddy…. so much so that I have often told friends that I am Gracy Allen and my husband is George Burns… he gets all the credit for being funny but really it is his love for his wife that made them a wonderfully funny couple together. I lost my Dad at 5 and have only had my husband to reflect what a good father is… so It was so pleasant to read about yours and know that some where out their in the universe is another woman like me who loves a funny man. Oh, and at our house Tom drinks sweet tea while working in the garden and farm… I have spent my life making sure that my husband always had a cool drink too!

  3. This piece is beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  4. Hiiiii, I’ve nominated you for the Quote Challenge so I hope you’ll check it out!

  5. So, so beautiful; thank you for sharing. My daddy has been gone for two years, too, and he was much like yours. I was fortunate enough to gain the love of a man just like him, though. He grows strawberries and cucumbers for his daughter; the tomatoes and peppers are tended to for me. Thank you for reminding me of the oft overlooked acts of love.

  6. dreamymichaela

    Thank you for a lovely, heartfelt story about your Dad and Mom and their extraordinary and enduring love for each other. I enjoyed the goosebumps of joy that I felt in the reading of it. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. Tears came to my eyes as I read about the relationship between your Father and Mama. It so much resembles the one between my parents. They are both gone now, but their love and support for each other shines brightly in the hearts of their children.

  8. Wow!!! That was beautiful…really moving and well written. 🙂

  9. What a wonderful tribute to obviously wonderful parents! Thank you for sharing with us ❤

  10. Wow, that is a perfect way to show appreciate and to write a post that hits home. Love may never have been written so beautifully. It couldn’t have been easy to write – but it sure read like it was. Wonderful.

  11. What a beautiful tribute to both your folks, and to that dynamic in so many parents, couples, who live lifetimes together. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Reblogged this on gameskidzplay and commented:
    This line is wonderful – ‘Daddy was free to be Daddy because Mama was Mama.’

  13. Terrific article! I reblogged it at Games Kidz Play

  14. Home spun and real – I loved it; made me wish my daddy were still here…

  15. Just too good, warmed my heart and that ain’t easy 🙂

  16. trE

    Peace and all the good memories that come along with it, to you.

  17. Your blog is just fantastic. I love this post as well as your most recent one (June 28). This one reminds me of my Dad and Mum. They both use to plant together and like your mom, my mother misses him terribly though it’s only been 6 months since his passing. Your writing inspires me to dig deeper and share more potently. Thanks.

  18. Reblogged this on Carolyn Kristy Correia and commented:
    This one tugged at my heartstrings…

  19. What a wonderful and heartfelt memory of both of your parents. Your words created a vivid recreation of your father’s garden, your mother’s new car and the playful banter they formed the essence of their relationship. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Pingback: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy… and Mama | The Divine Bandit™

  21. ceayr

    Terrific, just terrific.

  22. No I swear I’m not crying, there is just something in my eyeball…

  23. milciuszka

    That’s a really beautiful story. No wonder, I’m not the only one who cries. People say that they want to feel the love like one from the movies. But they should pray for truly love like from that story.

  24. I was about to comment and say this was beautiful, but so many others have said just that. It is a beautiful story and beautifully told.

  25. You have a beautiful way of knitting words together. I bow down to your writing skills friend! 🙂

  26. When the writer steals the reader’s heart in just one sentence ‘ How do you live without him’? 🙂 Wow!

  27. A heart-touching love story, beautifully told! 🙂

  28. Absolutely lovely tribute. I admire your writing tremendously!

  29. That was beautiful. Great memories of your daddy. Memories are what help keep us going. When you are like me and have lost both parents, those memories are a life saver.

  30. Wonderful article. Your Daddy and Mama are greatest in the world. Sorry that you missed Daddy on this Father’s Day.

  31. This was absolutely lovely.

  32. Just saw this. Beautifully written!!!

  33. I love this story so much. It’s make me crying… So touching … Thank you for sharing

  34. Amazingly well-written!
    I’m at a loss for words here!

  35. Reblogged this on bluemayhem and commented:
    Amazingly well-written!
    Am at a loss for words here!

  36. Lykke

    SO beutifull story about the one of the Best thing in life. Thank you

  37. Pingback: The Liebster Award: Go Meet Some Friends! | quirky and wonderful

  38. Great story! Lost my Dad in August and hope I can write something half as beautiful about my folks and their 63 year adventure!

  39. rudyhou

    i sincerely hope that we all get to find someone in this lifetime to go through life with, but have what your mum and dad had. it’s something worth envied for.

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