Tag Archives: fathers day essays

My Tribute to my Dad

As promised, here is my essay, written for my dad, Don Stepps.  Love you Dad, Dad-daddy-o!

Death Missions

At my grade school Halloween costume party, my dad was the guy weaving through the crowd of Catholic school kids and nuns shouting, “Adrienne!” Not only was he dressed as Rocky in his gray zipper hoodie, boxing gloves and fake shiner under his left eye – he was Rocky Balboa.  Dad always played the part, from his silly or scary folktales to the pranks he pulled with costumes or props. 

 

I adopted Dad’s sense of adventure and often joined in on the fun: in Tomahawk, WI where we vacationed with aunts, uncles and cousins, Dad and I finished up a day of fishing with a little “surprise.” I knocked on my Uncle’s cottage door and when they opened, Dad threw a very wet, very alive fresh-caught fish onto their kitchen floor then slammed the door closed. Off we ran leaving a wake of shrieks and screams as that poor fish flip-flopped on their floor!

 

 

Flash forward 20 years and here I am, Little Miss Big Eyes (as Dad calls me), mom of two boys who adore their Grandpa. Even at age 61, Dad still plays pranks, in the form of “death missions” with my boys.  Sneaking into the kitchen to “steal” more candy for their movie night or sending my boys to smuggle the toaster and waffles out to the pop-up camper for a midnight snack, all without getting busted by Grandma, is the essence of a death mission.

 

Adventurous, risk-taker, spontaneous and creative are all great traits for a dad or grandpa of young kids. But Dad’s knack for fun has also been my inspiration as an adult. As I take risks in my writing, be creative in my teaching and find the adventure in Mommyhood.  I only hope that the stories I tell are as memorable as Dad’s.

 

Words: 299

 

BIO: Mary Jo Campbell, married mom of two, is an award-winning published freelance author who has been inspiring young writers to reach their potential through writing workshops, classes and speaking engagements. She teaches for FRoG (Friends of the Gifted & Talented) through their Super Saturday Programs, hosts on-going monthly young writers’ workshops and was the key note speaker for the Chick Chat event sponsored by HGNA (Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence).   Mary Jo is also an Executive Board Member and the Secretary for Capitol City Young Writers.

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Filed under Creative Essays, emotion, Inspiration, Non Fiction, Perseverance, Voice, writing inspiration, Writing prompts

Father’s Day Essays: Honorable Mentions, Pt 2

The second Honorable Mention Award goes to…

Patricia Wigeland, for her essay entry on her “Pappy.”

Pappy
       Pappy.  That’s what we three siblings called our father.  Maybe not the most intellectual man I’ve ever known, but definitely the wisest.
      Once, when maligning myself for something foolish done as a teen, my father chuckled saying, “Every one makes a foolish mistake once in awhile.  If they say they never have, they are either lying or fooling themselves.”
      “Pappy, you’ve never done anything foolish,” I had countered.
      “I did.  Once I bought a treasure map from a man for one hundred dollars when I lived in Utah during the Second World War.”
      My father then bought a horse and rode out, map in hand, to seek his fortune.  Taking food and water for himself and the horse plus a pistol for protection, he traveled for five days, the map as a guide, but found nothing.  Turning back, he became painfully aware he had misjudged the needed amount of water.  The horse stepped in a crevice after a snake spooked it and broke a leg. Pappy had to shoot the horse.
      Wandering through the heat, he found himself followed by a vulture for two days.  Walking until he found a river, he followed it to a bend and a miner’s cabin.  The miner took him in, gave him shelter for a few days and a horse to ride home.
      “What did you do with the horse?” I asked, amazed by the revelation.
      “I brought him back,” Pappy answered, “because whatever else you do, you live up to your obligations. The miner saved my life. It was my obligation to return that horse.”
      His wisdom wasn’t about never making a foolish mistake; it was about the consequences and a person’s obligations to correct them.
      Pappy passed away at one hundred one years old.  I guess he had the right idea. 
* * *
BIO:  I’m just an aging country girl from Iowa looking to make a career change to writing before I get too old.  If all else fails, I will have at least added writing to my personal “bucket list”.
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I enjoyed Pat’s essay for its  story within a story format and the added adventure of following Pappy on his foolish gold hunt. Great lesson learned: fess up to your mistakes and do what you need to make things right.
 
Please come back tomorrow when I share an essay on my own Dad.

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Filed under contests, Creative Essays, emotion, Non Fiction, writing inspiration