Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Important Lessons From the Unlikeliest Places

Dads. There's no one quite like them.

An animated series aired several years ago, to great praise and equally great censure.
Because of the negative and very vocal comments, I chose not to watch.
For three years.
One evening, while working in my office, next to the TV room, I caught a few snatches of conversation coming from the program presently airing.
Two older children were asking their father why there were no pictures of their third and last sibling.
"Didn't you want her?" one of them asked.
It caught me because I am guilty of snapping thousands of pics of our eldest. Hundreds of our second, and then, progressively (or is it de-gressively?) less as each child made an appearance.
I made up for it with the last, when we were back into the thousands, but those in the middle . . . lost out.
The premise intrigued me.
I went to check it out.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that what was playing was an episode of 'that cartoon'.
But I was hooked by the subject matter.
I sat with my teenagers to watch.
The father reassured his children that he had, indeed, wanted their baby sister. Then he proceeded to tell the story.
He had left a terrible job in a nuclear plant and had been working at his dream job in a bowling alley. His work was appreciated and made him, for the first time in his life, happy.
Then his wife announced that baby number three was on the way.
He knew that what he earned at his dream job couldn't possibly support another child.
He would have to go and beg for his old job back.
Have I mentioned that it was horrible?
That he hated it?
Well, it was.
And he did.
Moving on . . .
When one faced the front entrance of the nuclear plant, they were presented with two doors.
One for new workers.
One for returning.
The 'returning' door was small. So small that anyone entering through it was forced to do so on their hands and knees.
Thus, on their knees, they could beg for employment.
It made quite an impression.
I kept watching.
Of course he was given his old job back.
And, of course, humiliated with every step.
Finally, seated once more in his old office, he was presented with a plaque which read: 'Don't Forget. You're Here Forever.'
This was fastened permanently to the wall directly in front of his console, where he wouldn't fail to see it.
Back to the two elder children and their conversation.
"So why are there no pictures?"
And his reply, "Oh there are pictures, kids. Lots and lots of pictures. They're where I need them!"
And then you get a view of his office as it looks now.
On every wall and, indeed, all available surfaces, are pictures of the little girl, in every stage of development.
And they cover much of the plaque.
Which now reads, 'Do It For Her'.
I cried.
It made me think about all of the fathers who go, every day, to a job they hate, just to feed and care for their families.
They are our unsung heroes.
We need to do more singing.

11 comments:

  1. This made me cry, and with a lump in my throat I've asked forgiveness. My heart has been so hardened towards men because I've only known those who walk out on their families rather than sacrifice for them.

    Thank you for the reminder that all men are not made equal, and for softening my heart.

    God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Lynda. Now you've made ME cry. Thank you for your warm heart! God bless you as well!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, what a powerful post! Thanks for the reminder of the sacrifices made by good men.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great lesson that show taught the youngsters watching..that you give up everything for your children with a smile on your face because THEY are your reward. It will also, perhaps, make them reconsider their attitudes towards their own parents. We can only hope.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know the cartoon.

    And I know the feeling.

    We do it for them.

    Pearl

    p.s. Read the post on your father's speech. :-) I do the same thing and am famous in my family for asking for a peat of miece.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much Diane. This tribute to the hard working men in our lives is so perfect. I also feel a lump in my throat as I ponder the sacrifices by the men in my life. My husband will be eligible to retire from "that" job in just 3 years, but he has already said that if he can't find another job with health insurance after those 3 years he will stay and work there until our youngest son is home from his mission. That will be in 8 years - so that means 5 more than he has to. I love him so much! He is my white knight!

    Your stories always have such good life lessons in them. That's why I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  7. that's what true love is and a family the way it was meant to be.
    you become one and go through heaven and hell together.
    This is a real love story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A story and so perfect for me to read right now as my husband HATES his job but he goes every day so we can live in Europe. Fortunately this is a short term assignment so their is an end in site but I feel for him every day he laves the house:(
    Not sure what TV show you are talking about but is sounds like a great episode.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I greatest man I ever knew was my father. He went to work every day to a back breaking job.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am sending this post to Doc. He is lucky to have a job he does like--but his job (professor, researcher, manager) requires INSANE hours. Which he does in great part *after* the kids and I are in bed. He's up super early and in bed super late. But he always tells me *I* need a break from the kids at night. ... love HIM!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for sharing this story with NOBH!
    Stefanie

    ReplyDelete

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