Friday, June 17, 2011

remembering my tato on father's day

Tato is dad in Ukrainian. I have always called my father tato even when I was married with my own children. It was probably my first word spoken since Ukrainian was spoken in our home along with Polish and English. 

My parents met in Germany during WWII, both working in the same labor camp. I wish I knew more about how they met and fell in love but they didn't talk much about that time in their lives. They were more concerned about the future, providing their children with a better life than they had—and they succeeded. For that I am forever grateful to both of them. 

I have many fond memories of both my parents—far too many to list here but I wanted to share some things about my beloved tato.
Everyone loved him—young, old, neighbors, friends and even strangers. All my friends loved hanging out at our home because he always made them feel welcomed.

He was always polite, helpful and generous with all. He would give you his shirt off his back or his last dollar if you needed it—no questions asked.

He absolutely loved this country and thanked God everyday for the opportunity to live here. You wouldn't dare say anything negative to him about America! 

There was not a prejudice bone in his body. In his eyes everyone was equal and this is something he passed on to his children.
He loved to paint and was always changing the room colors in our home. He even went as far as painting the molding around the ceiling in our living room two different colors. I loved it and the fact that he wasn't afraid to take a chance with trying something different. I force myself to do this in my design projects! 

His education stopped at the 8th grade but he knew five languages and was very good with money. He paid off his mortgage early and paid cash for everything, even his cars—all on a steel worker's salary!

His garden was the envy of all his friends and neighbors with the blackest and richest soil—he was composting before it even became the right thing to do.
He loved his family, especially his grandchildren and was so excited when I told him I was pregnant that he went out and bought me a maternity top! Of course, it wasn't anything I would have picked out but I wore it proudly because it was from him. 

What are your fondest memories of your dad? Please share!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! And remembering my tato with love...

1 comment:

  1. A very sweet story to remember your Dad! I can see now where you get your artistic side and love of colors!