What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 46...Dear Mr. President... Fathers Day and the gift of time...

Day 46                       

Dear Mr. President,

Happy Fathers Day, I hope you are able to take time out of your busy Sunday schedule to spend time with Malia and Sasha, because that’s the best present you can give each other… time.

You never know when you’ll lose your father, so each year is a gift that should be cherished. You realize that more than most people since your father was not present throughout most of your life, and that time is lost forever.

I was just 20 when my father died, and he was only 50… leaving my mom and 3 children still at home. My brother Charlie was just 13 at the time and he tried to resuscitate my dad, but the heart attach was so massive that nothing could be done. Charlie blamed himself for a long time, believing that if he knew more, and had done something differently, that perhaps he could have saved our father. My sister Laurie was 7 and brother Shannon was almost 4 years old. My mother was fortunate enough to remarry 5 years later, providing a wonderful stepfather for my youngest brother and sister. Although I never lived with my stepfather, he took excellent care of my siblings, and my mother until her death 13 years ago. I will be forever grateful to him for providing the stability and the love of a father that they so desperately needed.

The weekend that my dad passed away my parents were taking care of my 2 year old son for a few days while my husband and I went on a short camping trip. I remember when we dropped him off at their house, my mom and dad weren’t home from the train station yet. My husband didn’t want to wait, as he was anxious to leave town. We did pass them on the road and waved, but we did not go back, and for many years I regretted that decision, because I didn’t get a chance to say ‘I love you’ just one more time. And that’s the thing… you never know when you will see your dad for the last time, and you don’t get a ‘do-over’ in life… it keeps moving forward no matter how badly you would like to rewind the clock.

I can’t help but think about all those ‘dads’ that are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how much they would love to be home this fathers day too. My heart goes out to their children that may only see them via Skype, but can’t hug and kiss them the way I imagine Malia and Sasha do with you. I know you think of these things too, and wish all of the fathers, husbands, sons and daughters could be home this fathers day. I also know that great strides have been made in the war and there is talk of bringing even more troops home even sooner than expected… I hope with all my heart that, that is the case, and it will happen very soon.

Again, a very Happy Fathers Day to you Mr. President, and I hope that next year all of us will be celebrating with the fathers you bring home from these wars.

Most Respectfully,

Your Gadfly Granny 

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