Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tammy's Father # 1

I wanted to say a few words about the fathers in my life on Father's Day. First of all I wouldn't be here without my father, Ralph Barr. Even though he wasn't in my life much I spent most of my childhood idolizing him and wanting to spend more time with him. Since I didn't know him all that well, I think I idolized the father image of him in my head. I know that he loved me but he made decisions that made it so that we didn't see him much or get to know him that well.

Here is a photo of my father, mother and me. I'm sure that my parents had the same dreams that we all have when we hold our precious children in our arms. I am sad though that they didn't back them up with actions. Parents are so important in the shaping of children.
I do love my father but am sad that I didn't get to spend my childhood with him as I wanted to in my imagination. I also realize that I would have been a different person if I had. Who knows? More on this in the next post.

I love the song by John Mayer "Fathers Be Good To Your Daughters." I think the words to the song say it all:
I know a girl She puts the color inside of my world
She's just like a maze Where all of the walls all continually change
And I've done all I can To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see Maybe it's got nothing to do with me
Fathers be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers be good to your daughters too
Oh, you see that skin? It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left Cleaning up the mess he made
Fathers be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers be good to your daughters too
Boys, you can break You'll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without warmth from
A woman's good, good heart On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl You are the god and the weight of her world
So fathers be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers be good to your daughters, too So mothers be good to your daughters, too So mothers be good to your daughters, too

Tammy's Father # 2

My second father was my grandfather, John (Chris) Sorensen. He and grandma took us in on and off throughout our childhood. Finally when I was 11 they gained legal guardianship of us and we lived with them most of the time. They changed their lifestyle to raise my sister, Jerri, and I as they prepared to retire. All of their children were out of the house and yet they started over with us. My sister and I were pretty easy but we were teenagers and hormonal.
I remember the security I felt at night when I would hear them in their room talking each night. They made decisions together and then would let us know what THEY had decided. They were together on pretty much everything. Nothing could straighten us up more than to see disappointment in my grandfathers blue eyes. My grandparents didn't argue in front of us, they took their discussions to their room.
My Grandfather loved to travel so we would pick him up after work on Friday's and we would travel to visit family, go fishing, or sightsee on weekends. Grandpa loved to take the back roads and stop at every Dair Freeze for an ice cream cone. We also stopped at all Historical markers to read and enjoy history. My Grandfather taught me to explore and enjoy life. We have family movies that we all love because Grandpa would always do a little hula or dance when the camera was turned on him. I remember that my Grandpa loved to people watch. When we went to the mall he would just sit on the fountain and watch people go by. There was nowhere more soothing than sitting next to Grandpa while he watched people, nature shows, boxing, sports or even fishing. He loved to fish and taught us the fine art. He knew how to make us feel special. He taught us how to clean fish - and boy were we good - and made us think that this was a coveted skill and job. It wasn't until we got around other fishermen that we figured out that it wasn't quite their favorite job. We didn't care, we felt special because of Grandpa. Grandpa Sorensen is the one person that I consider my "Father." He did what it took, made the sacrafices and spent time to help mold my sister and I. Because of him and Grandma, I believed in a good marriage, learned how a woman should be treated and trusted that their were other god men in the world. He was responsible, loving, mischievious and fun. Thank you Grandpa for teaching me. You are a huge reasosn that I have become who I am today. You and Grandma molded, trained and loved me into all of the good things that I have become. I thank Heavenly Father every day for both of you.
Here is a picture of Grandpa & Grandma Sorensen with Ryan on his blessing day. They look a bit serious, they were both a bit shy around groups of people but not shy at all around family and friends. They were very happy and lots of fun. My children knew their Great-Grandparents and Great-Great-Grandparents. My Great-Grandfather Hixson was a wonderful example to me as well. I loved how he would sit on the couch and hold Grandma Hixson's hand. As she got older her eyesight was waning and she couldn't see to do the things she needed or loved to do. My Grandma Hixson loved to do dishes (I know this is strange and I didn't inherit this anomoly) but she couldn't see the dirt still on them with her eyesight so Grandpa would put Grandma to bed and then quietly go out and redo the dishes so that she would never know. To me that was one of the greatest examples of love that I have always remembered. I always wanted to marry someone like my two Grandfathers and thanks to Bob I have.