Growing up I remember watching Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners. Years ago Ralph Kramden always reminded me of Dad. In fact we have a picture of Dad and Pop(his Dad) that comes to mind when I see The Honeymooners. They are standing side by side at the garage 'uptown' - I love that picture. I recall shortly after Dad passed away ... we buried him the week before Father's Day, seeing a segment of the show and realizing that the resemblance I saw as a little girl wasn't the same as what I see now. Oh, I can still imagine Dad saying "How sweet it is!" and meaning it; but the similarities would stop there. Indulge me . . .
Ralph was always coming home and saying, "one of these days Alice, one of these days." Can't say that I ever heard Dad say "one of these days Eleanor, one of these days." Nope, Dad didn't look to the future, because he was so content with the present. Dad loved life and the here and now. You never heard Dad comparing our lifestyle to others. You took what you had and you were content. Unlike Ralph, Dad didn't come home after work complaining that others had things we didn't. Hard work and sweat is what made you feel good and got you what you deserved. If you wanted it - you worked for it. That was the way Dad was - plain and simple.
I didn't think about it back then - but something else Dad had on Ralph - he had a family. Ralph came home everyday to Alice; but there were no pictures of family anywhere. Dad came home to Mom and us; family pictures on the refridgerator, walls, dressers, everywhere you looked. We were the reason he went off to work each day - and we were the reason he came home. Ralph came home complaining. Dad came home and enjoyed whoever was home and was happy to spend time with us. Plain and simple.
We become wiser with age - or at least we hope so! I now know Ralph had nothing on Dad. Ralph spent a lifetime of wanting what others had. Not Dad. He worked for what he wanted and he enjoyed it while he could. Dad didn't waste his time wishing or complaining. He loved Mom and he loved us. Plain and simple.
How sweet it is guys, how sweet it is! Dad had a great life and no one was more aware of it or appreciated it more than he. Mom deserves much of the credit because of who she is, but then obviously Dad knew a good think when he saw it and he went for it. Plain and simple.
Today is Father's Day; we will do some remembering and we will smile and some of us will shed a tear or two. Go ahead - just don't complain. Dad wouldn't have wanted it that way. Plain and simple.