Thanks Dad

     My father would have been ninety-four this past week had he lived. The following poem cannot relate the some-what strained, relationship we had during my early teenage years. Being a smartass kind of kid, who thought that I could get away with anything that I wanted to do. And if the other kids were doing it….So was I!! The problem with that was; they either had permission, or parents who were somewhat ‘nonchalant’ about certain things. However, there was nothing nonchalant, about my parents, and if they said no, to something, all the, “the other kids are going/doing it,” did not make one iota of difference. That was usually followed by the “if the other kids jumped off a bridge” speech, that I’m sure you have all heard at one time or another. As I mentioned, I thought, that I could get away with anything….I WAS WRONG…Always!!! I would get caught every single time. Even my dog “gave me up” one time when I had skipped school. He found me, my mother found him, and I found out what the inside of our yard looked like for about two weeks, that time.. I had longer sentences for various “infractions” of the rules of the manor, that I will not go into at this time.

     What I would like to say is; my father arose for work every morning at 4 am, and didn’t get home until around 6 pm, that’s a long, long day, driving a truck in, and around the city of Boston, and I am positive now, the last thing he wanted to hear was what I had done. For that, I can only say how sorry I feel for my behavior, but how happy I am that I had him for my dad!

     He died at the age of fifty-one years old, leaving behind a FAMILY. Love, committment, and dedication to each other, is his (and my mom’s) legacy, impossible to forget. Thanks dad!!


Thanks Dad

 Yes, I was spanked,

but, never was beaten,

and banished from the table,

without having eaten.

And I saw my father’s wrath,

at my defying,

of a punishment earned,

for my straight-faced lying.


But, I remember the laughter,

a hundred times the tears.

A good and fair man he,

I’ll respect all my years.

A husband and father,

and a hard-working man.

Devoted to family,

but, for just a short span.


Gone to the Lord,

at just fifty-one,

his work here complete,

his job here, well done.

The years now long past,

since I was that lad,

and the man that I am,

I owe to my dad.



Jack Downing

Sept. 2011



In memory of Frederick W. Downing




About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Americana, children, demise, dog, Family, fleeting time, God, history, honesty, in my opinion, iron hand, Liberty, life, men, mischievious, mourning, old days, pride, reflections, thoughts, truth, women. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Thanks Dad

  1. Jan Delaney says:

    Just beautiful, Jack. He would be so proud of all of you. Love, Jan

    • Thanks Jan, I’m so glad you commented on this because I have written another poem inspired by the trip to Colorado Springs I am posting it today, so I hope you will read it and send me some feedback okay. I hope all is well with the family it sure looked like you guys had a great time with great people.

  2. Beth Ann says:

    Wahhh….that made me misty!!! He was so young! I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad when I was 34 and I thought that was bad ! There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. Your family sounds like a great family to grow up in. Your dad gave you gifts of love and discipline that I am sure you have carried with you through your life. Lovely tribute!

    • Thanks Beth Ann after I finished writing that last night I had a “flashback.” When I was about 3-4 years old we were walking downthe sidewalk of a busy commerciallyzoned street, my mother had my hand and I spotted some family friends across the street. Without hesitation, Istarted to runacross the street to go see them, my fatherdove to grab me as a car drove past. He saved my life I believe. And I never thanked him, as I was so young and yet now I think of how lucky I was in a multitude of ways. Thanks for your kind words. Jake.

  3. Father will be 88 Nov 29. As hard as he worked he always found time to lie on the floor with me with crayons and paper and took me to the play ground and hobby shop and sent me to college so I could earn a living “with a pencil not my back” as he says. My pension check comes today and I owe him $100. I owe him a lot more than that, eh?

    • God bless him and you for acknowledging his love. I’m going to publish “Wishes of a Lifetime” again soon it’s a look at what I should have done. Have a safe Saturday and say hi to your dad, Jake.

  4. adeeyoyo says:

    Lovely, Jack. My dad tried to be a dad, but gave up the struggle. We saw less and less of him.

    • I am so sorry Denise, it sounds as though you’ve had it kind of rough in your life. But, your poetry reflects an inner calm and an “at peace with yourself” message. I hope that I have correctly interpreted your work. Thanks again for your support. Jack.

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