The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Birthday Present, Part 3

3/1/13
I love my dad.  Let me tell you about him.





My dad is English, born just outside of London in 1934.  After his mandatory stint in the army, he immigrated to Canada at the age of 20 with plans to become a farmer.  After some years as a farmhand, he realized that one didn't become a farmer by being a really good farmhand, so he became a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman instead.  He described this decision as coming out of discouragment, that if he couldn't have a good life by being a good person (working hard, providing something necessary and good) then he would get a good life by being a bad person (making a lot of money selling people things they didn't really need).  To round off this new persona, he decided he needed a religion - and the faker the better - so he became a Catholic.  In becoming a Catholic, he learned something about what it really means to have a good life and be a good person, so he decided to become a priest in order to teach people what he had learned.

Dad is top left
 
After about thirteen years in the Church, Vatican II took place.  Frustrated that the changes hadn't gone far enough, my dad left the church, meeting my mother in the process.  My mom was a Catholic nun who also left the church after Vatican II.  I was born in the first year of their marriage, and my brother was born eighteen months later.  Dad became a computer programmer in the early days of computer programming, and worked for the same company for thirty-two years.  I don't know if he always liked his job, but he loved the creativity and challenge of programming.



Because my mother had MS, my father played a larger role in my development than he might have otherwise.  He taught me how to throw a punch, bat a softball, enjoy reading, discuss books, be humble, overcome sorrow, and work hard.  He helped develop the voice in my head that tells me when I can do better and when I've done my best.  I get my giddy enthusiasm for learning from him.  He's also always said, "Go 100% in one direction until you find out it's not the right direction, then turn around and go 100% in a different direction."

My dad and I travelled through Scotland after I graduated from college.  We hiked up Half Dome in Yosemite when I was 30 and he was 66.  He babysat my oldest daughter two days a week for the first 3 years of her life.  He makes me laugh every time we talk.



My dad isn't big on gifts.  I don't think I've received a birthday or Christmas gift from him in over 25 years.  I never cared, as he's always given me an abundance of love and support and good conversation.  Out of the blue this year, he called me up and told me he wanted to get me a buttonhole foot for my old Pfaff (he knew I'd been searching for one).  I thanked him and told him that we'd just have to wait for one to come up on Ebay.  An hour later he called me back and said, "I've decided that I want to get you a new machine instead, one of those high quality sergers."  So now I own one of these:



This is an amazing gift.  I had dreamed about this machine, but didn't think I'd be able to afford one for at least another 10 years.  Now it's sitting on my sewing table, helping me with my projects, inspiring me with what it can do.  And my dad gave it to me.  He saw how much sewing means to me and wanted to support it, wanted to help me grow, wanted to put something out of reach into my hands.  Thank you, Dad.
15 comments on "Birthday Present, Part 3"
  1. beautiful ... thanks for sharing this Lisa.

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    1. Thanks, Candice. You still need to talk about SA with my dad sometime.

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  2. What a beautiful post, Lisa. It truly brought tears to my eyes - such a lovely relationship you have with your dad. I did too, and I miss my dad every day.

    And what an absolutely fantastic present! Enjoy your new serger!

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    1. Thanks, Gail, and I am so truly sorry for your loss. I dread that day.

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  3. so great to get a better picture of your father... he is such a dear man, and this just endears him to me even more... What a lovely story to share, and what a beautiful father. Can't wait to see what you are going to do with this new gift....Malinda

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    1. Thanks, Malinda. Maybe Dad should come along on our PA trip one of these years . . .

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  4. Wow. What a story! It's utterly fascinated to read about your Dad. And what a fantastic present.

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    1. Oops, I meant "fascinating"

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    2. Just wait until I tell you his love story . . . . maybe I'll save that one for Valentine's Day.

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  5. Wow! Very nice, and it sounds like he really pays attention. Otherwise, how would he know?

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    1. Yep, that's one of the reasons he is so fun to talk to - he listens!

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  6. Thats so lovely of your dad !! Really wonderful thought of gifting the best gift you ever wanted ! Have fun .. eager to see what you make .

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  7. I love hearing stories about parents who love, adore and enrich their children's lives. The best gift he has ever given you is a solid foundation of love and respect, not only for you, but for many generations to come. Such a beautiful story.

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  8. what a lovely story, you are a lucky girl to have such a wonderful Dad. Enjoy every minute with him.

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  9. This is a beautiful story, thanks for sharing. I hope you get much enjoyment from your new machine!

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