Father's Day 2006
My father Wellesley Alexander was the best father a girl could ever have. He was raised by John and Elizabeth, two parents with stately confidence. John was an artist who started a cemetery monument business with his art ability and Elizabeth did well in the stock market, taking the boys back to their roots in Scotland... trips Dad never forgot. Dad had one brother Ian. I never heard either brother say anything unkind about the other. Dad worked in the family business most of his life. His health declined in his early 70's...heart problems, depression, and many other problems that my mother tried to cope with, using up her health. He spent his last years in three different resthomes. It will always haunt me how sad his last years were on this earth. In his bitterness, he lashed out at my brothers and sister, but never at me...I guess I wasn't there as often, living out of state.
He was human and made mistakes. He opened an Edsel dealership which was to be the downfall of his financial earnings and his greatest source of worry. Then he spent lavishly when he inherited money later in life. But he was always there with Mom...always faithful and someone I was proud to introduce as my Dad.
Before he died he bought himself some Father's Day cards. He told Mom he didn't think his kids would send him any as he had been so nasty to them. I slipped one into the lining of his casket the day of his funeral, with photos of my kids and professing my undying love.
I learned to have a heart from my father and to care about people...he sat and talked with so many people with losses in their lives and was a good listener. I learned that family and being proud of one's heritage was important...he cared so much for his honor and the family name and we felt we should live up to his ideals. He taught me to do the small things that let people know someone cares that they exist, hang the expense...Mom was horrified once that he brought home two dresses and two pair of shoes for me from an expensive department store because he felt sorry for me that I didn't have a date for the homecoming dance. Dad made us all laugh...once he made up a card game as we went along, which was much funnier than being told all the rules in the beginning. He wore an entirely matched golfing outfit down to breakfast Christmas mornings. He took us on family vacations and out to restaurants with linen table cloths. He drove beautiful cars and washed them more often than anyone I know. He smoked the best smelling cigars...the smell of a cigar reminds me of him still today. He loved sports and would often have a baseball game on the radio and another on the TV. He danced a dance he called the Gull Lake Hop. He called to tell me he loved my kids, after one Christmas and cried on the phone. He was always immaculate in the way he dressed and the care he took in his personal care. I can still feel the smoothness of his freshly shaved cheek against mine and the roundness of his body when I hugged him.
When I go to his graveside to talk I take him cigars, which I am sure the groundskeeper enjoys more than flowers.
I thank God for him and hope one day to see him once again.
I love you Dad and I always will.