No April Fool

First, I want to wish everyone a

It’s a bit unusual that the holiday falls on April First, which is usually when we play all the April Fool’s Day Jokes. I wonder how many folks will try to incorporate both. Will you?

I must say that the fun of April First and all the jokes lost it’s appeal for me some years ago when my father died on that day. I can still remember my sister’s exact words when she called to tell me the news. “This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke, Maryann. Wanted to be sure you knew that before I tell you that Daddy died.”

She didn’t really have to tell me it wasn’t a joke. I could tell by the tremor in her voice it was something serious. Daddy had been in a nursing home for a few weeks following a stroke, and I had just been down to Houston to see him. Before I left,  we all thought he would get better, so his death was a bit of a shock to us all.

Since then, I have had a hard time entering into the fun of April First and all the jokes.

This year, I’m thinking about my father more intently, as we who are Christian celebrate Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus. We believe that we all share in that Resurrection when we have lived a good and honorable life, and my father did just that. He wasn’t in a church pew on Sundays, although he did attend important milestones in my religious journey, and he sang all the hymns with heart and spirit.

Most of all, he instilled in me, and my siblings, a sense of integrity, compassion, a strong work ethic, and loyalty to family and friends.

The last picture I have of me and my father. We were at a Father’s Day celebration for him when he was 90.  That was two years before he died. 

 These are some of the things I shared about my father at his funeral.

It was my father who told me so many years ago that it is not so foolish to pursue a dream.

It was my father who told me that I should make choices in my life according to what would make me happy, even if the world doesn’t approve of my choices.

It was my father who told me to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage.

It was my father who told me to consider any stranger a potential new friend.

It was my father who told me that it’s not what you are that’s important, but who you are.

And above all, it was my father who told me that while he didn’t have much to show for his life; no big house, no fancy car, no grand retirement spot where he could spend his social security in luxury, he had us, his children, to stand as monuments of accomplishment. He considered it time well spent.

It’s no surprise then, that family is my greatest treasure.

Rest in Peace, Popso.

2 thoughts on “No April Fool”

  1. This is a lovely tribute to your father. It’s always hard to celebrate a special day when it is also the anniversary of a special person’s death. Your father was a wise and careing man.

    1. Thanks, Jan. As was your father. We were blessed to have such strong men to guide us through our growing up years.

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