By Amy Kathleen Miller
Father’s Day has come and gone, and I am not going to let the week go by without telling you about my Dad — Douglas Wareing — and let you know all the things I appreciate about him.
Dad was very much present in his kids’ lives, and there were seven of us. I was the second to the youngest. My Dad is a very sentimental guy in the fact that he loves to have relationships with all of his kids.
The things that I have gained from my Dad and still carry with me to this day include my love for music, and the fact that I am a musician and enjoy singing and playing the violin and the piano. Dad was a music teacher in the public school system, taught many bands, orchestras, and choirs, and he loved them all. His joy was teaching kids how to make good music, and he did just that.
He loves jazz but he also loves classical music. Dad hates rock-and-roll with a passion, and some of that is in me but not as much as in him. He is even directing two community bands now, even though he is 84 years old. You can’t keep my dad down — he walks to keep his energy up and eats my Mom’s healthy meals, which keeps him healthy.
Another thing that Dad did that stuck with me is his gentle nature with all of God’s creatures. I lived on a farm that had about 100 acres, and we had horses and little critters alike. I learned how to ride horses, and to enjoy being around them. We had timber land behind our home, it was a very fun place to ride the horses. I miss that today.
There was one time that my younger sister, Karen, and I were in horse 4H. We were interested in learning how to ride English and ride over the jumping course. Karen and her Arabian/quarter horse cross were very good at the jumps. So Dad built us a nice cross-country jumping course down in the timber. He also hosted a horse show down there and it was a lot of fun. There were quite a few horse participants who came to the show. I will always remember that. I learned how to be nice to horses and very respectful of them and not be mean and cruel to them, for it is truly an honor that horses allow us to ride them.
Dad is not only compassionate to the horses, but to all little creatures. We lived in an area where there used to be public garbage dumpsters. The sad thing is you would be surprised how many people would drop off their unwanted dogs or cats at the dumpsters. We have saved many over the years. There was one dog Dad found who had his leg badly mangled. John and I took him to the veterinarian after Dad asked us to, and the vet examined the dog’s leg and told us that the leg was so badly infected that it would have to come off. Since the dog was a stray, the vet advised us to put him to sleep. But that was Dad’s decision, and he could not stand to just put an animal down who could live a good life. So Dad and the vet came up with an agreement about saving the dog, amputating the leg, and the vet would not charge for his labor but the equipment used. That was how we got Nugget the three-legged dog. He was named Nugget because he cost a pretty gold nugget.
There was another time that Dad came home with a puppy in his hands after he went irrigating his property. I couldn’t help noticing the furry thing he had and asked him how he found it. He told me that the dog had apparently been abandoned there. She was only about five weeks old and very tiny. It turned out that later we found two more puppies and even the mother dog. Reuniting her with her babies was really a sight to see. The mother dog was very excited when she saw all her puppies and she would smell and lick all of them and she tried to nurse them. But the one puppy that was found was something I would never forget. I remember that we had found one more and I noticed that Dad was out in a big field looking for something. I asked him what he was looking for and he told me that he was looking for another puppy. He couldn’t stand the thought of another one being out there and never being found. Sure enough, he found a third one.
Yes, Dad likes the little animals. Dad is also an artist, he can draw very well. He draws today for my Mom. They’ll be celebrating their 63rd anniversary next month, and Dad writes Mom cute little notes such as “Tea for two and you for me” with cute little drawings on them. He also draws cute little cartoons for her on sticky notes and puts them in different places in the house for her to see and remember that he loves her.
I remember a day after I broke off an engagement with a former fiance. I was depressed about breaking up with him, but Dad and I went riding with the horses in the timber. I remember him saying while we were riding that he could guess what happened, but he then asked me if I wanted the relationship to continue. I shook my head and told him I didn’t. He then said that I needed to move on and that there was a man out there for me who would treat me right. I met John two months later.
Another thing I remember Dad saying to me is that this life is not about him or about me but about how we live for Christ. In fact, one of his favorite sayings is, “One life to live t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” In fact, Dad gave John and me a plaque with that quote on it with both of our names on the bottom of it. It is in or kitchen over our desk.
I hope Dad had a great Father’s Day. Here is one of his kids who appreciates what he has done for me.
Dad loves his kids, his grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Editor’s Note: “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media
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