Danny’s Dad

“Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16th. It’ll be a happy day for some, sad for others. The following story is fictional in composition. It easily could have taken place in any town or city in the U.S.”

Danny’s dad wasn’t a sports superstar in school. He wasn’t athletic at all. Tall and wiry as a child, Danny’s dad was mistaken by many as sickly. Some parents would not let their children play with him.

Contagious disease was not a problem. Danny’s dad ate as much as most kids, yet couldn’t put on weight. Doctors said his dilemma came from an inactive thyroid. One horrible year in grade school, a slightly plump teacher told the child that having such a problem was good. For Danny’s dad it was a social nightmare.

In his early teens, students nicknamed Danny’s dad “Bones”. That didn’t upset him. Danny’s dad was use to cruel words going way back. Girls would not give him a second look; all but one that is. Danny’s mom fell in love with his dad at church camp. She told closest friends back then that he reminded her of a homeless pup.

When Danny was born his dad was the happiest man in the world. The proud papa carried his boy everywhere. Danny’s dad took him fishing, or to a little ice cream store up the street. Danny’s dad made sure to attend every school play or little league game his son was in.

Sometimes that meant taking leave from work and suffering the consequences. Money didn’t mean as much to Danny’s dad as time spent with ‘the boy’.

When 18 year old Danny graduated from high school, his dad wiped salty tears from both eyes. You see Danny’s dad never made it past 11th grade. He dropped out of school, helping take care of his mother and two younger sisters after their father developed lung cancer. That meant accepting a lowly laborers’ job at the local brick plant.

Meager pay at the brick plant didn’t bother Danny’s dad. The young man made ends meet by not spending a cent of his small paycheck on personal desires. He knew his family needed every penny.

On the creative side, Danny’s Dad could make scrumptious apple pies that were second to none. Danny’s mom showed him how at the age of nine. Danny was taught by her and dad, that women and elders were to be treated with upmost respect.

When Danny needed wheels for college, his dad traded a family heirloom for an old pickup. Danny’s dad had the vehicle up and running within weeks. After Danny obtained his law degree, dad and mom cried again. No one from the family had ever attended college other than Aunt Sarah. She went to beauty school but never graduated.

After Danny married and had children of his own, Danny’s dad was the proudest grandpa around. The man loved his grandchildren. He’d have them laughing hysterically by making strange clownlike faces.

Danny was on assignment in Washington D.C. when word arrived that his dad was terribly ill. Hopping on the first flight, he barely made it home in time. Danny’s dad died the following day. It was hard for Danny to take, because he’d just buried his mom two years previous.

At the funeral there was but a handful of people in attendance. Danny’s dad had been so busy scraping out a living, he found little time for socializing. A few folks that knew him from work and church came to pay their final respects.

Instead of flowers, a table on each side of the coffin held apple pies. Danny’s dad would have laughed at the sight. He probably did from high above. When Pastor Blake offered attendees a chance to talk, no one stepped forward.

At the last second an older businessman rose. A rich man, Bill Williams, owned the brick plant where Danny’s dad worked. Everyone in town knew him. They also knew the busy  entrepreneur had neglected his own son while building an empire.

Deprived of attention at birth, Bill Williams’ boy suffered terribly both emotionally and physically. For the past several he’d been in and out of trouble. Experimenting with drugs, the young man died of an overdose in the driver’s seat of a Porsche.

Finding it hard to walk, let alone talk, the stooped old man stared straight ahead as he limped to the podium. For several minutes he said nothing. Bill Williams finally looked at Danny with a solemn face before speaking,

“If I could’ve been like your dad, my Danny would still be with me!”

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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