(Another) Haiku for Dad, On His Second Birthday in Heaven

My dad was born 80 years ago today in West Texas as the Great Depression was coming to an end in the shadow of another Great War in Europe, a time before regular Americans realized we’d be involved in that war.

With that backdrop and two incredible and resourceful parents, Dad was raised to be frugal, honest, fair and humble. To use his wits, respect people, and figure out a Plan B for everything. To find the humor and bright side in everything, even if you had no money and had to wash your clothes in the sink. The second of four kids, Dad worshipped his older brother and protected and respected his younger sisters.

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Around 1942, the Harvell family when it was only the two boys; my grandmother’s dress was hand-sewn
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1953/4/5-ish, the whole family
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A band and baseball high school letter jacket and the male version of a Mona Lisa smile

Graduating high school in 1957, Dad attended the University of North Texas for a semester or two before realizing that he’d need help financing that dream of a college education and enlisted in the Army. He was innocent, idealistic and somehow, cool. Check him out with his trumpet in 1958; he called this picture Frank Cool.

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Dad with his trumpet looking all Joe-College cool; a year or two later he burst a lung playing and had to put it away
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Dad in his Army uniform looking very official

Dad met my mom on a blind “coke date” and they married soon after, even though they said later that they initially didn’t like each other!

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I joined Mom and Dad just a year later as he was finishing his service in the army. And then my brother Steve came along.

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That Firebird was my mom’s pride and joy; don’t we all look like we’re in an episode of Mad Men?

We were a close family. Steve and I were always going to write a book called Surviving a Happy Childhood. Maybe I still will.  Dad was my role model, rock and mentor. Lots and lots of years, happy times and memories later, after Mom and my Steve each took their last bows, Dad and I grew even closer. He was immeasurably important to me.

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Dad and me, Thanksgiving, 2015

Then Dad went over the rainbow in June of 2017. The grief was breath-taking, harsh and immediate, and yet…there aren’t words to express my gratitude that he was born into this world on October 16, 1938, and that I was born to him and my mom. My life has been incredibly blessed, parent-wise.

So sadness and grief take a distant second place today as I celebrate Dad’s second birthday in heaven. Happy memories take center stage, and this haiku and photo from last year’s Dad’s-Birthday-Post still seem just right.

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just a normal day in my childhood with the best dad ever, circa 1968

Haiku for Dad

you nudged me into
everything I’ve ever done
you believed in me

Happy birthday, Dad, and I’ll see you on the other side.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

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