For this week's "What's In A Name?" I thought I'd introduce you to my dad, Joseph Kent Marshall, Jr. As I've mentioned before, I came a little later in my parent's lives, and one might say I was a little spoiled [I wouldn't, but...]. Anyway, I remember when I was young [probably abt. 6 yrs old], my mom bought me this t-shirt. It was pinkish with red trim, and on the front in glittery cursive rainbow letters it read, "Daddy's Little Girl" [and I was]. I absolutely had to wear that shirt every day, and my mom indulged me through that phase. I'm really glad she did, because even to this day, it's a vivid memory of mine of my dad. He used to call me his "little buddy," and I used to follow my dad around everywhere always asking, "Watch ya' doin'?" Now that I'm a parent, I can say that I'm pretty sure he became tired of that question, but he never acted like it. I was right there when he built the deck in our backyard [remember Runaway Bunny?]. I was there when he built a parakeet aviary in our backyard [a story for another time]. I was there when he built his remote controlled airplanes and flew them. I was there when he worked in the yard [although I quickly learned to not follow him around the yard because then I had to pick up all the debris...]. I literally followed him around everywhere, and he took me everywhere with him.
My dad passed away five years ago from kidney cancer, and I really do miss him. For my dad's funeral, my siblings and I were asked by my parent's priest [and family friend] to write down what we learned from our dad so that he could include our words in his eulogy. Each of us wrote essentially the same thing [except that it took me more words to get my point across...go figure]. Here is a portion of what I wrote about my dad:
"I learned so much from my father. I remember when I was very young, my dad asked me to do something, and I replied, 'I can't.' He promptly told me that I should never use the word 'can't' because it's a bad word, and if I ever used it again that I'd been in 'trouble.' He told me that I can do anything that I set my mind to, and he certainly lived his life by that philosophy. Dad also taught me how to fish, how to hunt, how to clean birds, how to ride a bike, and how to roll my "r's" to speak Spanish. He even helped me to memorize the 23rd Psalm..."
I've included here some pictures of my dad's life. In the last set in the top right hand corner is a picture of my dad holding me with my mom. We were in West Texas on our Big Bend trip. It's kind of hard to find pictures of me and my dad because I came later in their lives and because dad was always the one taking the pictures. Also, in this last set of pictures, I included one of him and his camera in Italy in the top left hand corner, and below that is one of him in Acapulco, Mexico. The one in the bottom right hand corner is from when my parents went on a cruise to the VIrgin Islands, and the one in the middle was taken right before he became real sick.
So, what's in a name? Well, family stories, of course. For me, behind the name father or dad is a loving, caring, adventurous man who taught me I can do anything.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!
I love and miss you.