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

  1. Awesome…your Mama has such a store of wonderful memories.

  2. thanks for sharing that lovely story of your father and Mama

  3. Mic

    What a beautiful tribute to your parents.


  4. Yes this is true with my mama as well, she is my daddy’s all loyal fan and it is something remarkable that after 61 years together he can still make her laugh and smile. Thank you for sharing a piece of your parent’s life so I could appreciate my parent’s life too! 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this touching tribute!

  6. This is absolutely lovely. Best wishes for both you and your mama — it sounds like you’ve got a very special one. This post inspired me to nominate you for the Freestyle Writing Challenge. Please participate if you’d like but there’s no obligation! http://riddlefromthemiddle.com/2015/06/22/freestyle-writing-challenge/#more-2704

  7. Pingback: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy… and Mama | Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper

  8. Yep, Father’s Day; smiles through the tears. This is wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  9. Your ability to draw me into your stories in uncanny! I’m usually just stopping by and inevitably, I end up staying. Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

  10. Andrea Finch

    Reblogged this on Dakota Sparkle.

  11. A Poignant post.. Wonderfully written..

  12. I came by to introduce myself, I am nick, say hi and thank you for the follow. Stopping of course to read some of your words… Most excellant! thanks nick

  13. This is such a great story! I love reading Dad stories, you have such a great way with words and grabbing my attention and making me wonder. I the line about your dad be unique and your mom supporting his uniqueness. That was great! Definitely good advice for anyone in a relationship, getting married, or already married needing a reminder. Good post!

  14. Love love love this one, Stuart!

  15. You’re great at tying things together/bringing them full circle.
    I look forward to your next post.

  16. So beautiful, I pictured them perfectly!

  17. this touched me deeply. And I shared it on both Facebook and Twitter. This is for the book – Essays on Life and Other Lessons.

  18. such a touching story, it remind to keep appreciating those that are still around, never takes people for granted.

    Thanks for the beautiful story there Stuart 🙂

  19. I love this story,thank you for sharing. I love the part-Daddy was free to be Daddy because Mama was Mama. Really touched me. I feel that way with my husband. We are so close,so in love,get angry at each other,laugh together,work together on every thing,raised 4 children and have 9 1/2 grandchildren,and we are in love with watching one another grow and be ourselves.

  20. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

    Just a beautiful post Stuart! And thanks for stopping by my blog. Not sure which one? But I also write, author, and blog about books & fine authors on my other blog! https://anAuthorandWriterinProgress.wordpress.com
    Come by anytime! 🙂 Loving my visit here, and nice to meet you!

    Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂

  21. Great story! I especially liked your opening line. A great woman is always behind a good man. At least that’s my belief.

  22. Gave me goose bumps…and a lovely read.

  23. Hi.. I wanted to thank you for stopping by, reading my blog with appreciation and for following it too. This blog is so simple and beautiful that one can almost picturize it. I lost my father 2 years back and each time on Father’s Day am just left numb and wondering his absence in my mom and our life..

  24. I’m sure “It ain’t easy” is an understatement:).

  25. Beautifully written, Stuart, And heartfelt. Wish I’d known your dad. Thanks for following my blog, which brought me here. Looking forward to reading more…

  26. Beautiful- is all I can say. Thank you.

  27. That is the most beautiful story! Thank you so much for not only writing of your memories so beautifully, but also sharing them with us all.

  28. Dr Ken Romeo, MD AM FIAMA

    Excellent read. Thanks

  29. This was so beautiful. I can relate to this so well, both my parents being ill and invalid at this age, and me dealing with their issues and idiosyncrasies every day, thank you for sharing.

  30. I missed this last week but it’s Father’s Day Week, right? 😉 Thanks for this charming tale with a perfect ending!!!

  31. Wow, posts rarely make me cry, but this one did. You must have had a great dad, or I should say great parents, because I guess the pair did make them each so great.

  32. I am plodding closer to getting married with every passing year and your insightful sentence “Daddy was free to be Daddy because Mama was Mama” has a profound impact on me, Stuart. I have learnt something very deep and important about marriage when I read that. Thank you!

  33. This is such a beautiful tribute to your father! I hope one day I am blessed to have a marriage like your parents. Thanks for sharing.

  34. TAYLA


  35. Darrell Curtis

    Reblogged this on The Lightning Bug & the Lightning and commented:
    Stuart M. Perkins has written a wonderful Piece for Father’s Day…

  36. Mummy M

    “It dawned on me over the years that Daddy was free to be Daddy because Mama was Mama.”

    Beautiful. I wish this to always be true of my own marriage.

  37. Pingback: Blogs I Love | Scribbles to Compositions

  38. Great post, you are a tribute to, and a reflection of, your wonderful parents. It oozes out of your writing. You are very fortunate indeed.

  39. Ruth Nulph

    I loved your story Stu we recently visited with your mama and enjoyed our visit very much she still has her beautiful smile and sense of humor. It was nice to see Donna again also. And your dad was always cracking jokes and teasing us.

  40. Mom Sees All

    Loved the story, Stuart…it’s a heartwarming memory to share. Thanks!

  41. Lovely story about your dad. So sorry for your loss. Great Fathers’ Day tribute!

  42. Sixty years of marriage, WOW. What a beautiful thing!
    My grandfather passed away two weeks before his fifty fifth wedding anniversary to my grandma. She couldn’t stop talking or thinking about him for the longest time and when his birthday rolled around, she couldn’t make his favorite cake anymore. It hurt too much. Now , I bake it every year for her in his honor.
    I enjoyed your story emensely. It brought back fond memories of my grandparents. Thank you. Thank you for sharing.

  43. monie127

    aww man… made me cry! Such a sweet tribute to your parents!

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