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Little Blue’s Daddy

Little Blue’s Daddy

Paula shares memories of her Daddy

by Paula Deen

Father’s Day has never been an easy time for me. Don’t get me wrong, my daddy, Earl Hiers, was the most marvelous man God ever put breath in. He had a big, beautiful, bright smile. And everybody that met him loved him, but no one more than I did. I can remember having to prepare him for my report card, which wasn’t good at all. I said, “Diddy”—that’s how it would come out—“I failed algebra again.” And he’d just smile and say, “Blue, honey, that’s alright because pies were always round to me, they weren’t never square” (he took to calling me Blue because my hair was dyed so black it was blue). So he and his Blue would have a good laugh and not worry too much about that algebra.

You see, Daddy liked to laugh in spite of what the world threw at him. He lost his leg at 16 after he was hit on his bike by a car. It was amputated above the knee. Afterward, he told his momma that he was glad it had happened to him and not one of the other kids, because he could handle it. And that’s just what he did. Everyday he wore this huge, heavy wooden leg and never complained one time. I can still see it standing up in the corner of the bedroom, his pants still on it. Sometimes he’d pretend to get angry and stick a pocketknife right into his leg, just for a laugh. That about gave people a heart attack. In the summer, he would swim with us at night after everybody was gone, so he could take that leg off without frightening anybody. That’s the kind of man he was.

No, my Daddy was a loving father; the problem is I had him for such a short time.

He died in 1966, two days before Father’s Day. He was just 40-years-old. I was 19 and a new bride, certain that I had everything in life all figured out. I had just picked Daddy up one of those silky, white nylon dress shirts that was so popular at the time and was gonna wrap it up as a gift. But he passed away before I could surprise him with it, before he could ever know how good it would feel against his skin. Daddy was buried in that shirt.

They said Daddy had rheumatic fever as a child and that’s what damaged his heart. He survived a valve replacement surgery at Emory University Hospital, but a few months later a blood clot traveled to his brain and killed him. It was the only time I saw him without a smile and mine left with his for some time. After his death I started battling agoraphobia, fearing for my own life at every turn.

It took me years to admit that he wasn’t perfect. You know, he was a dad when it was a man’s world. Momma ran the house, did the discipline, everything. Nothing was required of him but to make a living, and then he did as he damned well pleased. Daddy was governor of the Moose Lodge and he’d stay there late and then go play cards with his buddies, sometimes not coming home until the next morning. Momma never said anything about it, but I know it caused her a lot of heartache. She’d go looking for his car in the middle of the night, just to make sure he was alright.

Even so, my Daddy taught me the importance of family. I remember when I was just married and working at the bank and I went a whole week and didn’t visit my daddy. When I finally came to the house, Daddy sat me down and said, “Blue, honey, I’m gonna tell you something right now. Don’t you ever go one week without me seeing you.” So I didn’t. Today, I hope he can see me ‘cause I sure miss seeing him.

So here’s to all the Daddys out there like mine who thought their children hung the moon. I wish y’all the happiest Father’s Day.

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Reader Comments:

 

Paula, your daddy reminds me so much of my grandfather Cecil.  Its like they are cut from the same cloth.  I can remember my mom and aunts almost idolizing him and doing all they could do to please him.  Believe me, I did too.  Its a shame that so many people these days do not see what family really is.  They take if for granite and never really get to cherish what they have or could have.  Being 1000 miles away from my family, your shows, and blogs and such, bring me right back home and give me so much comfort.  Thank you for just being you Paula.

Greg Kantner of Tampa Florida on June 14, 2010 07:55 AM

Paula,I know how you feel about your dad, I was in the front of the line when God was giving out dads. I still have mine and I thank God I still do, I LOVE HIM VERY MUCH. Thank you for being the down to earth person that you are, and letting people see the kind and caring heart that you have.

Kim Bostic of LaFollette Tennessee on June 14, 2010 10:55 AM

Beautiful story Paula.  I lost my dad two years ago today.  The way it fell was it was the day before Father’s Day that year.  At the time I was 29 & my little boy was only 9 months old.  My daddy was an amazing man & I wish my little one would have had the chance to know him better.  I was always a daddy’s girl & I have many stories to share with him.  It was nice listening to the story of your dad. Thanks for all you do Paula!!

Penny of Chatsworth, GA on June 14, 2010 11:38 AM

Uncle Bubba looks just like him!
great story about your Dad.
Happy Fathers Day to Jamie too!

Donna S of Martinez, GA on June 14, 2010 12:00 PM

Dear Paula,
I am sorry you lost your daddy at such a early age.  Your story was beautiful and I know you still feel blessed because he loved you to much.  I am so blessed to still have my father, he is 81 years old and you should have seen him when he found out about the RWOP.  He has put some posts on facebook that would make you cry.  He even said he was glad that he lived long enought to see this happen…now I’m crying…your story and then this…it’s so wonderful..  I love you Paula, thanks for making my mom and dad’s dreams come true for me too.  She is going to be 81 in July.  Isn’t it wonderful?  Thanks Paula..you bring so much joy to so many people.  I hope you get to meet them one day.  Love, Debbie

Debbie Fabre of Lehigh Acres, FL on June 14, 2010 12:06 PM

Dear Paula,

I also lost my daddy at a young age. I was nine and I just like you was devastated. When my daddy was home I was either on his lap or on his heel. I would not let him very far out of my sight. When I read your story I could feel all the same emotions that you felt and still feel for your daddy. I know in my mined he was not always perfect, but in my heart he was. Thank You so much for sharing your life with all of us and letting us share ours with you.

Annette Hornbostel of Campbell Hill,IL on June 14, 2010 02:14 PM

Paula, that was beautiful. Being your friend for so long, I remember him as well and you are right he loved you so much and you loved him. As you know I lost my daddy back in 2006, I love and miss him so much.  My daddy loved you as well. Readers if you still have your father, go and tell him that you love him now and give him a kiss and a hug.

Dianne Tedder of Cumming, GA30041 on June 14, 2010 03:28 PM

Dear Paula,I’m not sure how to start.I’m 58 and I still have my DAD, but I don’t,you see he has alheimers.It started with forgetting little things.As time has gone on he’s gotten worse.I tell him I love him and that I need a big Kiss. He calls me his oldest baby,I have two younger sisters. Anyone that still has their DAD needs to make sure they tell them over and over how much they love and need them.They could be gone in the blink of an eye.I know my sister’s and I are very luckey to still have both our parents here,and to know how much they love us.We have had a wonderful life and I’m thankful for that. I know they both gave up alot while they were raiseing us.Love and Blessings to you and your family.Thanks Mary

MARY2711 on June 14, 2010 03:52 PM

Dear Paula, I’m glad you had the courage & heart to share your story with us. I know God blessed you with such a great dad (the only one I call Father is our Lord Jesus Christ) I lost my dad when I was only 8yrs old, & I miss him more & more every day, but I know in my heart I will see him again when our Father comes to take us home.  I know that your dad was a great man just the way you talk about him, that brings tears to my eyes.  Paula I just have to say that even though this isnt anything to do with Father’s Day, I wanted you to know that YOU are truely the person that I ADORE, my 5 children & wonderful husband all ADORE YOU. And always remember you will see him again. May God bless you & your family!

Linda of Greeneville, TN on June 14, 2010 08:59 PM

Ms. Deen,
I hope this finds you well.  I am just one of the millions of people who email you daily I am sure.  I am coming to Savannah Georgia on June 16th with my son who wants to be a fireman down in Savannah so he is taking a test just to do that while we are there so say a prayer for him on June 18th at 8am. I read your blog on your father you are so fortunate.  Unfortunately I was unable to know my father.  We spent no time but a moment when I combed his hair during a visit I was maybe 3 years old, the visit was supervised by an orphanage he had placed us in after our mother had died.  I was the youngest and spent my first 5 years in an orphanage.  I so envy even your thoughts of a father.  I know your a busy women and am sure you may not even read this but just wanted you to know how reading this brought me back to that time. I am sure my father wanted to tell me I hung the moon, in fact I am sure of it.  I am so blessed today with my husband and 2 children.  A moment a brief snapshot in time but so important to me that combing of his bald head but will never forget it. Thank you.  Leaving on the 16th of June hopefully will be able to sit in your restaurant on the 17th and taste real cooking!! Linda Beliveau

Ms. Deen of Altamont New York on June 14, 2010 10:54 PM

Paula, this brought tears to my eyes.  I was blessed w/a loving Dad who I could talk too about everything.  I was an only child and he called me “Babe” If he called be my name I knew I was in trouble for something.  He was in a nursing home last couple yrs.-blind, nearly deaf & very obese; I had 3 kids and worked full-time so couldn’t care for him-but saw him almost daily.  He wanted to live to 90 and he did, plus a 2 mos.  I still miss him terribly.  I remember once when Mom was in hospital and we thought she was dying;(I was in my 40’s)I fell on my knees at his feet and cried “Daddy, I’m so scared”  He said “Babe it is ok I’ll never leave you’.  I believe he is w/me and will be in a special way until we are all reunited in heaven.  Let’s all cherish each moment w/ our Dads with & without their faults.

Margaret Wisler of Clearwater, Fl. on June 15, 2010 08:12 AM

What a beautiful story and I know how you miss him. The last time I saw my Dad alive was my wedding. I was 18 and he had a heart attack while I was on my honeymoon. My mother left when I was 5 and my Dad never remaried.  He raised me and my 2 brothers.  He loved children and I am so sad he never got to see mine. My brothers died at an early age from birth defects, so my children would have been his only grandchildren. I know he is looking down from heaven on them and me.  I love you Paula, and your wonderful family.  I cherish the times I have met you in the early days of your cooking school.
Margaret Williamson, Talladega, Al.

JUSNANA of TALLADEGA, ALABAMA on June 15, 2010 01:50 PM

Paula,
You were blessed to have your father’s beautiful SMILE. What a wonderful looking man.
Thanks for sharing your personal story.  It makes me miss my father even more.

Donna Fletcher of Aliso Viejo, CA on June 15, 2010 01:51 PM

Paula:
Oh, how your words about your father touched me.  It’s plain to see that you have his lovely smile.  I’m certain he sees you and your beautiful family and is full of love and pride.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and reminding us all how important it is to cherish those we love while we can.
Regards, Kelly

Kelly Walker of State College, PA on June 15, 2010 01:54 PM

Paula, I lost my father in 1966 as well.  He had also had rheumatic fever as a child and died from heart trouble at age 45.  I was only 20 and just graduated from junior college in Mississippi.  I was lost without him for many years.  I am now 64 and still remember how much I adored him.

Pat of Sugar Grove, IL on June 15, 2010 01:55 PM

Lord knows I miss my daddy! I also lost my daddy way to early in life and sincerely feel your sadness… it’s an aweful feeling to go through life without daddy being there. My story goes like this, the day my daddy went home was the day the Lord answered our prayers and healed my daddy. He died on May 21, 2005 of lung cancer and suffered 3 long years and not once do that man complain! We both loved the movie forest gump. We would watch it all the time together. In the beginning and at the end of the movie there is a free-falling feather… when daddy was laid to rest and I said my goodbyes graveside 5 years ago, a feather fell on me. To this day I still have random feathers fall my way. I hope and pray that feathers fall your way this father’s day… in the beginning and in the end. Love to all..love you daddy xoxoxox Jenny

Jenny of Clearwater, FL on June 15, 2010 01:55 PM

Paula, I know what you mean about finding out that your Dad may not have been perfect. I am the oldest of 6, my Dad will be 82 in Oct.  And I’d rather have him here as imperfect as he was then not here.  And I am my Daddy’s daughter - he was raised in Brooklyn, mostly during the Depression, spent 35 years in the Marine Corps and taught me how to stand up for myself.

Mel of Harmans, MD on June 15, 2010 01:56 PM

OH Yeah - You have your Daddy’s smile

Mel of Harmans, MD on June 15, 2010 01:57 PM

I lost my daddy 12 years ago to the exact same thing that happened to your daddy except the clot went to my dad’s lung.  Horrible.  But I was blessed for 40 years with a daddy who managed to laugh in the face of difficulties too.  He passed that along to me.  I thought you were called Blue b/c of those baby blue eyes of yours.  Precious story.  Thanks for sharing.

Debbie in Hollonville of Hollonville, Georgia on June 15, 2010 01:58 PM

Dear Paula, I am 55 and I lost daddy in 1966.  I was 11 and he was 48.  He went to work one day and never came home.  It was one of the most horrible moments of my life.  I too held him on a very high pedestal which influenced my relationships with men most of my life.  It has only been in recent years that I could admit that while my daddy loved me more than anything, he was not perfect (although close).  I still miss him to this day.  How I wish he could have met his grandchildren - my youngest son has his nose, my oldest, his mouth.  Oh, how he would have loved his granddaughter!  Thank you for sharing and blessing to you and yours.

Billie Brown of Jacksonville, FL on June 15, 2010 01:59 PM

It’s hard to believe my own father has been gone for 26 years.  He passed a month before my daughter was born and my child never got to meet her grandfather.  She has been blessed with all the stories from my immediate family of 7 children and the grandchildren who did get to know him.  On Father’s Day this year, if your daddy is no longer with you, take a few moments of private time, sit back, close your eyes and visit with him.  Remember all the laughter and love.

Kathy Jackson of Morgantown, WV on June 15, 2010 02:01 PM

Paula,
I know what it is like to be without your father I loss mine at a very young age. Thank you so much for sharing this very special moment of your daddy with us all. I was looking at his photo and you have his smile, so you see you are never without him because everytime you smile he is smiling with you. So you keep on holding on to those special moments and thoughts of your daddy and you keep that beautiful smile, because you are bringing that smile and joy to an entire world of people and right now the world needs that smile. God Bless.

Barbara Acosta of Culpeper, VA on June 15, 2010 02:10 PM

I can relate to your story but I was fortunate enough to have daddy till he was 88 years old but seeing him die from lung cancer was not pretty but I would call daddy every single day sometimes 2-3 times just to hear his voice and say if I every had any problems, coco he would call me this too shall pass. He was a true man of God. My mom died of Lou Gehrigs disease and my brother bruce from heroin addiction, He died memorial day 2003 and mom two months after I was married in 1980. Always remember Ms. Paula that all the dads in heave are truly rejoicing that we turned out like we did. Love you and your website. As dad would say every day Peace be with you. And he loved givin hugs and one hug a day to one person how much better a world would we live in if we all did this? Peace always

Laurel Larison of manassas, Virginia on June 15, 2010 02:10 PM

Hi Paula,
I have my dad still with me and appreciate him more with every passing year.  I remember the times that he had to sacrifice for us as his family because the doctor bills for my mother was stacked to the ceiling.  She would save the newspaper to put in his shoes when he had to walk during the rain to the bus stop because we didn’t have a car until I was 9. 

I also remember how little was required of him after he got home from work and how we couldn’t disturb him while he watched the news for 2 hours and read his newspaper.  I guess it was his way to escape from the presure that he was under.  Whenever my brother or I had a problem, he would always tell us to file it.  Then one day I asked him, “What happens when the filing cabinet gets too full?”  My mother roared and told him that I had just passed his thinking ability. 

That cabinet suggestion always made my brother and I angry at him.  We just wanted him to listen, but I found out years later that his father wasn’t there to listen to him as a child.  His father was too busy being a drunk.  My dad never became an alcoholic and neither did his brothers.  I guess they learned that the alcohol never solved any problems for their father, but only made things worse. 

The older I got, I dragged more and more information out of my dad, and it really has brought a lot of inner healing to me.  It has been worth the effort and time that it has taken.  Those valuable lessons that he has learned over many years that have been stored in his filing cabinet has come out for viewing because I have dared to find out more about my dad and his life.  Yesterday, we made plans at the funeral parlor for his viewing.  People will only see his body laid out there, but I will have so much more to see if we ever lay the man to rest!  I think he is going to live until he is 100.

Love you,
Diane

Diane Hayes on June 15, 2010 02:13 PM

Dear Paula,

I love your story and photos of your dad. I lost my dad 2 weeks before he turned 78.  He died the morning after Fathers Day 1993. I was born and raised in Savannah and lived there until I was 29.  My parents still lived there, as did most of my family.  I saw my dad the week before Fathers Day and was unable to go back on Fathers Day weekend. I sent him a card and when I called him on Fathers Day, he told me he didn’t get it yet.  I was so disappointed.  It didn’t come in the mail until the next day, after he had already passed away.  He never got to read it.  I miss my dad so much.  There are so many kids today that don’t want anything to do with their dad.  They need to reconcile, before it is too late.  My dad knew he was loved.  I wish he was still here.  Thanks Paula for being such a sweet and caring person.  Maybe I’ll get to meet you one day. Take Care and God Bless.

Jeanette Bryant of Macon, GA on June 15, 2010 02:20 PM

Paula, I lost my biological father when I was 4 years old to ALS. My two older sister’s say he was one of the best Dad’s a person could have had. When I was 6 my Momma remarried and even though he was a tad bit younger (13 yrs.) and some said it wouldn’t last he’s been my Daddy for 52 yrs. He’s done so much for us it’s amazing.  He LOVES to do and then talk about it! Ha But really ... when I divorced I moved back home with my daughter.  Now in our house is my ‘Daddy’, me, and my grandson.  He has never quit giving. He claims 3 girls, 12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 8 great great grandchildren. We are so lucky that my Momma had the good taste to choose him!

Debbie of Missouri on June 15, 2010 02:23 PM

Paula,  My Dad passed away in December of 2000 and I still miss him so I know what you’re feeling.  I was a grown up but my Dad’s death, 12 weeks following my Mom’s death, left a big hole in my life.  He was buried in the Veteran’s Cemetary in Rhode Island and I can still hear the 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps now. 
But, the most vivid picture I have of my Dad is of him carrying our family’s large metal Coca Cola design ice chest that we would take to the lake to have a picnic and to swim.  There he would busy himself setting up the camp and putting the watermelon into the cold water of the babbling brook to chill for a treat later in the day.  Father’s day is a sad day for me because I no longer have a Father to celebrate with.  I saw you and Booby cooking krispy rice cereal pops last night and want to say God has blessed you with a beautiful new Daddy to celebrate with.

Kathy of Brockton, MA on June 15, 2010 02:27 PM

Paula, Thank you for sharing the story about your dad.  It was precious!! I see where you get your beautifule smile from now!!  It is infectious!  Thank you for being you.  That is why I enjoy watching you so much.  You are so real!!  May God be with you on this Father’s day and each and every day Amy Mosley   Silverhill, Alabama

amy mosley of silverhill, alabama on June 15, 2010 02:27 PM

Paula…I too thought that I had the best Dad ever.  I have so many fond memories of things that he would do for us.  He loved Panama City and carried us there often.  The trips always included A & W root beer and all the trimmings.  Paula, we also shared the memories of Jimmie’s Hotdogs in Albany.  Dad would buy bags and bags of them to feed his workers at his sand company.  Albany hold many memories for you and for me!!  We both went to Albany High School.

Shirley Musgrove Shockley of Albany, GA native on June 15, 2010 02:35 PM

This really made me cry. My father passed away in 2008. He was 85 years old I loved him. He saw me go to college, get married, and have a baby. I love and miss him so much. I really wish he was with us, but I know he is with iur mother in heaven. I am a strong woman because of my daddy’s strength.

Wanda of Georgia on June 15, 2010 02:35 PM

Paula—what a beautiful story.  I still feel very sad on Father’s Day each year.  My Dad died after a long illness in 1976.  He & I were very, very close—I was always “on his heels”. Life has not been the same without my Dad.  I still miss him terribly after all of these years.

Betty Daniel of Moseley, VA. on June 15, 2010 02:38 PM

Hi Paula,  Thank you for the great story about your Daddy.  I love to read about the love and admiration that others have for their parents.  I don’t have my Dad any longer and I miss him every day.  He was an amazing man and a more amazing Father.  I live in Sicily for the next 2 years with my husband who is active duty military.  We try to travel as much as we can and I always think of my Dad no matter where I go and wish he could be with me.  My father loved pigeons and was very active in the pigeon racing sport.  It always amazes me when I am roaming around Europe and thinking of my Dad a pigeon will walk up to my husband and I.  I usually say Hi Dad, thanks for stopping by.  To everyone that still has their Dad with them, please take the time to let them know how important they are to you.  Life is short and you don’t want to have any regrets.  Happy Father’s Day to all ~  Ciao

Dawn Dalessio of Sigonella, Sicily on June 15, 2010 02:39 PM

Miss Paula,
  Anyone reading your memories of your father surely will tear up. No matter if their father is still living or gone we all need to reflect on the love we all have. Memories are just more precious as time passes. My father is still living and is a Veteran. My heart just swells with pride for what he did in service and what all service men and women are doing today. It is just an added security in knowing someone you love or don’t even know will stand up for you to guide and protect. My prayers go out for all service men and women and their families. Thanks DAD for the memories and the LOVE.

MARY of Florence SC on June 15, 2010 02:50 PM

Dear Paula,
Losing your father so close to Father’s Day must have made it even more difficult for you, but at least you have your beautiful memories of him!  And just imagine how proud he (AND your mother) are of you and all you’ve accomplished!  You’ve made us ALL fall in love with you and your beautiful family!!

Ellen Lachow of Holbrook, New York on June 15, 2010 02:51 PM

It’s been 23 years since I lost my daddy to cancer. There are days when it feels like it happened yesterday. I too was blessed to have a wonderful and caring father. One memory stands out was when mom would feed all 7 of us kids, dad would wait until all our tummies were full and then sit down and eat whatever was left over which wasn’t much, but you never heard him complain. Even when we grew up and raised our own kids, he still would refuse to sit down until everyone ate. Could not break him of that habit.

Birdie A of Whittier, CA on June 15, 2010 02:53 PM

Paula, I’m so sorry about your losing your daddy. I lost my dad 15 years ago, but really began losing him 8 years before that due to dementia, horrible illness is that. I loved him so much, I was the oldest of 5, the oldest daughter. We also lost my mom suddenly three years ago. These holidays are painful to celebrate without them, but without them, we wouldn’t be who we are. Love to you and yours, Linda

Linda Looney of Grandville, MI on June 15, 2010 02:53 PM

Paula,
Bring a tear to my eye. I’m sorry for the loss of your Diddy at such a young age. My Daddy has a bum leg also. He was shot by accident in the back of his leg with a double barrel shot gun by his brother after hunting when he was just a boy. He almost lost his leg. They managed to save his leg, it was a miracle. The bullets blew his knee cap out. He grew up with a meddle plate in his left leg unable to bend it and it stunt the growth in that leg. He has to wear a special shoe on his left leg to equal out the difference in height between his legs. I’m still blessed to have my Daddy in my life he is a young 74. I miss him dearly we live miles apart I’m in Florida and he is in Texas. My nick name is Blue also not because of my hair but because of my eyes. My Daddy says I could just about always get what I wanted from him by batting my baby blues at him. I love you Paula and I have cooked countless recipes of yours, I have your books,magazines and dishes. I hope some day I will get to meet you. I’m coming to Savannah for my b-day July 4th. I will be taking the Paula Deen tour and will be eating at ” The Lady and Sons” I can’t wait! This will be my first time to Savannah. I know you were a Daddy’s girl just like I am. Your Diddy is your Angel now smiling and watching over you and yours. I know you have made him Smile. You have your Diddy’s smile. Lots of love…

Baby Blue

Baby Blue of N. Fort Myers , FL on June 15, 2010 02:53 PM

DEAR PAULA I’M THE OLDEST CHILD OF THREE KIDS AND MY MOTHER DID ALL THE DISCIPLINE IN OUR FAMILY. I NEVER KNEW MY DAD SO ON FATHER DAY WE DID THINGS FOR OUR MOTHER. MY MOTHER IS GONE NOW BUT THERE IS TIMES I REMEMBER HER ROUND CHRISTMAS TIME.WITH ALL THE FIXINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS….I UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL.

DONNA MARIE FETTERMAN of DETROIT MICHIGAN 48228 on June 15, 2010 02:53 PM

I know God truly blessed all 4 of us children when he gave us our daddy.  He is such a loving and wonderful daddy, grandpa & great grandpa. We are so blessed to still have him- he will be 81 in Sept. I love to hear him tell about when he was growing up and I love every Sunday to share in Bible study with him. Mother passed away 7 years ago and I always thought I knew my daddy, but he and I became very close after mam died. He is more precious than any silver or gold. I treasure each day we have him with us.

Angie Ellison

Angie Ellison of Norman, Oklahoma on June 15, 2010 02:54 PM

Paula,
I actually called my Dad “Diddy” too, and everyone would make fun of me because I couldn’t say Daddy!!!  He passed away at the age of 60, over 11 years ago.  I sure miss saying “Diddy” and I sure wish he was here to see my son who is 5 years old only knows him by looking at his picture.  He was a great man!

Shannon Chandler of Flowery Branch, GA 30542 on June 15, 2010 02:55 PM

Your Dsd sounds so wonderful. My father died when I was 14 months old. I never got to know him. Everyone said he was a wonderful father and husband. I can be thankful for that. I love your show and you and your sons. I am so happy for you in my life.

Jouce E, Scott of Iowa on June 15, 2010 02:59 PM

Paula

I so enjoyed your memories of your Daddy.  After losing my Mother when she was 49 and I was 19, it was just me and my Daddy as I was an only child.  Even though I married and he remarried, there was an extremely strong bond with us.  He was a florist and the last 15 years of his life we worked side by side every day.  I lost him last April and my life will never be the same.  A big chunk of my heart is gone but one day I will see him and my Mother again the chunk will be filled again.  Love to you and your wonderful family.

Rosanne Nabors of Cleburne, Texas on June 15, 2010 03:06 PM

Dear Paula,

Thank you for that loving tribute of your dad.  I lost my daddy two years ago August 21st and sometimes it still feels like yesterday.  Like you, know I my dad had his flaws just like everyone else on this earth, but that didn’t matter in the end.  I was fortunate enough to spend alot of time with him during the last 6 months of his life.  I will treasure being with him while he took his last breath for the rest of my life.  I’m looking forward to recognizing him and all the daddy’s next week. smile

Love,
Katrina

Katrina La Force of Houston, TX on June 15, 2010 03:09 PM

Paula, the story of your father touched my heart and reading the comments also makes me realize that I am not the only one with a heavy heart beat for my daddy. He died on my 13th birthday and 2 days later a package arrived from him. He knew he was dying, but did not let anyone know. He took my sister and I on a months road trip vacation to all the places that we visited and lived while we were growing up. On that journey, at 12 years old, he sat me behind the wheel of his little white Corvair and taught me how to drive. Peddle to the metal, hold on for dear life and away we would go as he would say looking out the back window “its not where you come from, Mikey (my nick name)it’s where your goin’ that matters!” He never leaves my side.

Lenore Nolan Ryan of Ft. Lauderdale Florida on June 15, 2010 03:15 PM

Paula, Stories like this bring you close to California.  I lost my father when I was 16 and in High School.  We were so close.  I am now 79 and don’t feel I ever really got over it.  This idea of “Closure” is for foolish.  There is never a “Closure”  All of you who still have your
father, keep him close…He’s more precious than you know…Thanks to you Paula and all those who
shared their stories.  God Bless…Dorothy

Dorothy Modglin of Jackson, California on June 15, 2010 03:26 PM

Paula, thank you for the wonderful story about your Daddy.  Yep, I know all about the “Moose Lodge”, and I remember those nights, sitting on front porch holding Momma’s hand, praying he was ok and would be home soon.  I lost her less than 2 ys ago and I just lost my Daddy April 7, 2010,TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, miss him so much EVERY day.  He always called my Susie-Q.  I was Daddy’s girl.
Happy Father’s Day to your Jamie, Michael and all father’s out there.  Do something special for him, gone in a flash.

Sue of Florida on June 15, 2010 03:36 PM

Dear Paula.  I too was very young when my Daddy passed away. I had just turned 21(I’m now 43) and was living 1200 miles away.  The night before he died I talked to him on the phone, unfortunately we had a bit of an arguement.  He wanted me to return home and I wanted to stay where I was. Needless to say it ended on that note of an arguement, something I regret to this day. He was a wonderful and loving father, one that I was proud to say was mine.  For those of you who still have your Father alive, let him know this Fathers Day how much he means to you.  Let arguements disappear and forget them, life is too short. You only have your Daddy once. Once he’s gone, he’s gone. Don’t wait till that happens to realize how mch he means to you.

Pam of St. Albert, AB on June 15, 2010 03:39 PM

I was a “Daddy’s Girl”, too!!  My sweet Dad is in Heaven now, and I still smile when I think I see his car rolling down the street.  Nothing like the love of a wonderful father that gave all he had for God and his family. Thanks for sharing your special feelings as we celebrate “Father’s Day.”

B.Howell of Sylacauga, AL on June 15, 2010 03:39 PM

Paula, I had tears forming as I read this.  You were very blessed to have such a special man as part of your life.  My dad died last May less than 3 weeks prior to his 67 birthday.  However, I feel like I lost most of him over 25 years ago when he divorced my mom.  He didn’t want much to do with us, unless he would benefit.  Anyway…thank you for sharing about your father with us.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers this father’s day.

Lisa of Greenville, MI on June 15, 2010 03:40 PM

Dearest Paula,
I loved your story. Loved hearing about your wonderful Daddy. My Daddy, Paul Campbell, was the only person that I ever knew that did not say one unkind thing about another person. Truly he did not.His grandfather, Rev. Dempsey William Ward, a Methodist preacher who came to Alabama in 1870 to Start the Methodist conference, taught his about never speaking unkindly about another person. Paula we are blessed by God, Himself, to have had such a fabulous father. Loved hearing your story. God Bless You, Martha

Martha Pullen of Huntsville, AL on June 15, 2010 03:58 PM

Dear Paula,

My Father passed away 19 years ago. He was a wonderful Christian man who loved his family.  He was a Salesman all his life and loved life to the fullest.  We always had guest over and Mom would cook a huge meal.  See I grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana.  People say that I’m the saleslady of the family like Dad was the salesman.  I cook like Mom and watch your show every chance I have. We recently to a trip to Virginia to visit our grandchildren and on the way back we stopped at the Lady and Son’s resturant.  My husband surprised me and what a wonderful treat.  Your Crab burger was great and had the most wonderful waiter named Thomas. My husband took my picture with him. Thanks for bring us down memory lane with our father’s. 

God Bless,
Elaine Green
Dallas, Texas

Elaine Green of Carrollton, Texas on June 15, 2010 04:04 PM

Paula,  I know how you feel about your father.  I lost my father when he was 43 and I was 9 years old.  Like your dad, he also had rheumatic fever as a child and had heart damage as a result.  He was a wonderful dad and I have missed him almost my whold life.  Thanks for sharing your story with everyone.  God bless you and your family.
            Pam

Pam of Dallas, Texas on June 15, 2010 04:07 PM

Dear Paula, I read your beautiful story about you Dad. I know you miss your Dad .My Dad is 83 yrs old and I miss him because he is living down Florida now , He is doing good and he is helping my mom in nursing home every day . I miss both of them and call them on relay service for Deaf people because I cant hear on the phone . I see them every summer and now we cant go there because my husband had heart attack 2 months ago . our annversary will be june 28 marry for 35 yrs soon bye love charlotte

Charlotte Leblanc of mass. on June 15, 2010 04:20 PM

I felt like I learned a lot about you daddy in your book, but this is so sweet. I miss my momma and daddy too.

Mike Hatfill of Illinois on June 15, 2010 04:26 PM

What a lovely and warm story of your father!  You are so blessed to have had such a father!

Angie Russo of Morgan City, La on June 15, 2010 04:52 PM

Hey Paula,

That was such a beautiful and moving tribute to your daddy. Thanks so much for sharing. Father’s day was always difficult for me as well because I never had the opportunity to meet him (long story). However, using the internet, I did locate his obituary recently and discovered I have two hslf-sisters and a half-brother. We’ve connected and through them I am learning all about my dad. Makes “Father’s Day” a little easier to celebrate. All the best Paula to you and yours.

Paul Lenhard of Brighton, MI on June 15, 2010 05:18 PM

Wow Paula, thats what I love about you…you are a real person. A person who is not afraid to tell people who you really are. To share how you truly feel. May the Good Lord continue to bless you and your family.

Ruby Wolff of Nipomo, Ca on June 15, 2010 05:26 PM

Dear Paula:  I lost my dad in 1998 and I miss him just as much this year as I have for the past 12 years.  My dad was my HERO and I knew that no matter how bad I would screw up as a young person, he would always forgive me and make things right.  To this day when I am in Texas and go to the cemetery, I begin crying as soon as I enter and all the while I am talking to him and my mother.  Everyone who is still fortunate enough to have their dads should tell them every chance they get that they are LOVED and APPRECIATED.  I wish I could still tell my daddy that I LOVE HIM…at least one more time.  Sherrie June 15,2010 5:10 pm

Sherrie of Alabama on June 15, 2010 06:09 PM

Paula, I lost my Mother 11 years ago to canser.  Thank GOD I still have my Dad.  He has remarried but she takes good care of him (thats all I ask for of her).  I talk to my Dad every day sometimes twice a day. We have lunch on Monday and Thursdays.  Since I’v been in the hospital so much and said I have MS, he worries so much.  Such a good man.  I’m 55 and he’s 80.  I don’t know what I’ll do without him.  He worked hard all his life, had his own business.  He never really drank, never smoked and did’t curse.  Lost his mother at 4 and helped raise 6 half brothers and sisters.  Raised on a farm up north until 16 when he had to pack a house and 5 kids in one small car and move them to Orlando. A good man.  Take care.

Debi Delay of Orlando, Florida on June 15, 2010 06:11 PM

As well; my daddy loved me so; He bought me my ow chair at age 4/5 and NOone was to be in t but daddy and I.  I remember at a young age holding onto the wires from the heart monitors keeping him alive shouting: If Daddy goes I will go with him!  I fell alsleep and the next thing I knew daddy was gone. So they told me he went on vacation. What an aweful thing to grow up believeing.  When I want to talk to him I just look for the brightest star in the sky and carry on just like he was next to me. What a beautiful story and Thank you For letting m remember their really are things to be THANKFUL for. Luv Christine

Christine Marie Fernetti/Donahue of Resaca,Ga/Atlantic City,NJ on June 15, 2010 06:12 PM

Paula, Bless your heart. I was the baby of eleven in my family.And I had my daddy for such a short time.He left when I was 5. Didn’t know the story.
Don’t want to know the stories. But I remember when he was there. He was a different type of peson..I have good memories. Going to church with him.The hugs around his neck.He came back when I was older and I loved him, that is just the way we were raised. I have some very good memories of him in later years.He was a religous man when he came back and a very good at heart person.And your story on the shirt brought memories..I went with my mother to pick out the last one he ever got in this lifetime.To me he was my daddy, I wish I could tell him that again today. My mom had her heartaches with him. But her feet never missed a beat when she walked to that coffin and bent over to kiss him goodbye. Yep, thank you for reminding me of that beauty of unconditional family love.

Sharon of South Charleston,WV on June 15, 2010 06:13 PM

Paula, that was beautiful - brought tears to my eyes.  Sounds like your Daddy was wonderful.  Thanks so much for sharing, & God Bless!

Sue of New York on June 15, 2010 06:13 PM

Fathers are special.  They let you do all the things your mother won’t let you do.  “Wait till your father gets home”...but it was never as bad as your mother would have given you.

My dad too died when he was young, 39.  I was only 8.  I don’t remember much of him other than what is in pictures and that’s sad.  I was blessed with a 2nd father who was wonderful.  He stepped in but didn’t take over.  He died 3 years ago and I miss him. 

I’m left with memories but most of all I’m left with lessons on how to be a great person thanks to both of them.

Shelley of Oakville, Ontario CANADA on June 15, 2010 06:17 PM

Fathers are special.  They let you do all the things your mother won’t let you do.  “Wait till your father gets home”...but it was never as bad as your mother would have given you.

My dad too died when he was young, 39.  I was only 8.  I don’t remember much of him other than what is in pictures and that’s sad.  I was blessed with a 2nd father who was wonderful.  He stepped in but didn’t take over.  He died 3 years ago and I miss him. 

I’m left with memories but most of all I’m left with lessons on how to be a great person thanks to both of them.

Shelley of Oakville, Ontario CANADA on June 15, 2010 06:19 PM

My dad was a great man, maybe not the richest or smartest but I loved him so dearly.  When he died at 91, his caretaker and many others felt the same way.  The night before he died, he asked me when was I coming to see him.  Needles to say, I didn’t get there in time.  I still miss him after 12 years.

Karen Snell of Clovis, NM 88101 on June 15, 2010 06:23 PM

I loved your Dad stories.  My Dad left this world in 92…he had just retired after working hard to feed and cloth six kids.  Mom stayed home and did just as you said; took care of the home and meals and kept all six of us in line.
Just yesterday I was talking about Dad, and told my friend a story about Dad.  After I finished the story she said, ” So that is where you get your good sence of humor.”  I stopped and thought a second….then… 
I just smiled as said, ” Yea, I guess so.” 

Your Dad is always with you Paula….he is in your genes…he is in you!  Now you can’t get any closer than that.  <3 <3

Grace of Texas on June 15, 2010 06:26 PM

My daddy was the same way, Paula!, the only difference is my dad hunted and trapped in the swamps around Manchac to put food on our table and then learned how to weld and had to travel all over the United States to do so.  Mom raised us four girls and told everyone at their 5oth anniversary that it was really their 25th, cause dad was gone half the time working to put 2 of us through college and 2 through business school. Anytime he made it home, we celebrated Father’s Day!!  He and mother are both passed now and one sister—but we still celebrate by putting his favorite flowers at cemetary——RED ROSES!!

Evelyn of Ponchatoula, Louisiana on June 15, 2010 06:32 PM

what a beutiful story miss paula.i come from a fam.of 9 other sibling’s,and very,very poor. my daddy had to take on 2 full time and 1 part time job for quite awhile.mom was a nurse and was barefoot and pregnant all the time(LOL)finally,in the early 70’s,dad was able to work just 1 job,he was a drinker,and not a very nice 1 at that.but he was my daddy,and u better not say 1 thing bad about him. i’d be all over u like white on rice.(LOL)mom retired and dad retired early,too.he got sick with prostate cancerback in mid 80’s or so and we lost him about 15 yr’s ago.he was 74.just lost our momlast july.and i miss them both both just as if it were yesterday.mom was 84.my daddy taught me alt to.and so did mom.all of us can sure see the love that’s in you’r family.what a blessing.we have all been blessed by u and you’r family.thax 4 sharing,paula.i’ve watched you’r show since it started and i adore u.god bless.

becky schoelkopf of tenino,wa.98589 june 15 2010 3'23p.m. on June 15, 2010 06:36 PM

Hello Paula,
    Had to write to you regarding your article about your father.  My father passed away about a year ago and I surely do miss him.  I believe that a person never really goes away.  He is still around, looking over me, my brother, and my mom.  By the way, my entire family love you.

Joe Jackson of Chatsworth, GA on June 15, 2010 06:38 PM

There is really not enough space to tell you how wonderful my Daddy was.  He died 5 years ago, at the age of 91, and I miss him every day.
He was a true southern gentleman who could do anything!  He was a wonderful cook, dancer, storyteller, handyman, and taught us that we could be anything that we wanted to be.  He was so much fun to be around and everyone loved Pop!  Even my friends still miss him as I took him to every party and event that I attended.  They still talk about him and miss him. 
He was such an inspiration to my children as well as to me.  They learned so much from him and were so blessed by being around him. 
Paula, I wish that you could have known him and his delightful sense of humor.  You, too, would have been blessed!

Tricia Thomas of Pensacola, FL on June 15, 2010 06:55 PM

I will be 39 in a fews days and I thank God that I still have my daddy. When I was little I didnt have much to do with him because I hardly saw him, he was always working so me and my brother and sister and mom would have what we needed. As I grew up I realized how wonderful he is. He knows so much about things all you have to do is ask him. I call him a JACK as in jack of all trades. He had to learn how to fix just about everything when he was a kid and a young man. My grandfather, his dad, left my dad his sister and my grandma. My daddy quit school to help my grandma make ends meet. He would do all types of different jobs to help pay the bills. After he and my mom got married and the children were grown my dad went back to school and got his high school diploma then went to night school for a while and got his journeyman in Electricity. He went even further when I was 25 and he got his master in electricity. I remember when he got his test results in the mail he was actually jumping up and down with joy. I gave him a big hug and told him congrats and jumped around too. Now he is retired from the city. He has also developed arthiritious. Its the kind where you have the knots on your joints. He struggles with it but he doesnt let it beat him. I still see him as Superman and he always will be. I know I can call on him for anything. He has taught me so much about life, home improvements, electricity, and about the person I am and want to be. I guess thats why I love him so much. Both of my parents mean so much to me. Hugs and Love to you Ms.Paula and your family

Cindy Wright of South Carolina on June 15, 2010 07:05 PM

Paula, it is sad to lose a Dad when so young.  However, look what he gave you-wonderful memories and strong family ties. I didn’t get to know my real Dad or see him until I was over 21 years old and decided to call and let him know he was a grandfather.  To say, he was shocked would be an understatement.  I did have a stepfather than I have come to appreciate in my later years and he is really a good man.  I have found a lot of my values and ethics come from this man who marrid my mother when I was 18 months old and adopted me at 8 years old.  I asked him one time, did he want the $75 that he paid for the adoption and he looked at me and said I was his daughter and no one would ever take me away from him.  How’s that for a Dad.  You know the old saying, anyone can be a “father” but it takes a very special man to be a “daddy”.  I think I was blessed and so were you.  Love to you.  Anna

Anna Hoppe of Wallace ID on June 15, 2010 07:36 PM

Paula, My family was friends were your family way from when you were about six months old. Your dad was a friendly and happy man. I know what you mean about missing him so much.  My dad died from cancer when I was about nineteen also and six months pregnant with our first child. I have five children now and he never got to see any of them. I was there alone with him when he died.  You and your family are very special memories for me.  I agree, Bubba looks a lot like your dad. You said it all. He sees you and is so proud of you! Love you….Frieda

Frieda Howard Randles of Orlando, Florida on June 15, 2010 07:40 PM

Paula, that is such a great story!  I am 46 years old and still have my dad who I call Harold (his real name is Cecil).  I have called him that ever since I can remember, and don’t remember how it started.  He is a wonderful man and does so much for others.  He is 68 and his health has not been good for many years, so I try to make the most of the time I spend with him.  I always know I can count on him for anything.  I tell him I love him every time I see him or talk to him.

Barbara Baker of Fort Worth, TX on June 15, 2010 07:45 PM

Paula, Well I can see where you get your beautiful smile from! My children can relate to you about the artificial leg, as I have two of them. Sounds like he was a wonderful man!!  Thank you for sharing this story and God bless you and your family!

Dorothy Free of Oneonta, Alabama on June 15, 2010 08:12 PM

Paula this is a beautiful story. Another reason, I love you so much. I am so blessed to still have my Dad, he is 87 years old and still has a good mind and good spirit.  I am a still a daddy’s girl and love my daddy!! wink
Thanks for sharing with us!!

Debbie Anderson of Woodstock, GA on June 15, 2010 08:30 PM

I didn’t know my father at all. He and my mother divorced when I was 3 years old and I don’t remember much about him except what my mama told me.  She stayed single until I was 15 years old.  Always told us she didn’t have time for a man-she was raising her girls(me and my 2 sisters). She married my step dad and it was a blessing. My “dad” came into my life at a late time, but it was perfect.  he loved and accepted all of us as his daughters.  He walked us all down the aisle when we got married. All the grandkids call him paw-paw.  One of the greatest sacrifices he made was when my husband let me, he took money out of his retirement fund so I could pay for a divorce.  He loves all of us and we do him.  It doesn’t matter his blood is not in my veins, he’s my dad.

Kathey of Birmingham,al on June 15, 2010 08:49 PM

Dear Paula,
I’m 63 years old and still have my Dad. He’ll be 92 years old in December. I lost my mom a year and a half ago, so I’m going to take good care of my dad. He’s been such a good father and friend. You have a wonderful smile, like your Dad’s. Thanks for this wonderful story.

Demetra Bowers of Linthicum, MD 21090 on June 15, 2010 09:48 PM

my dad was hard working, he worked in the coal mines. Yes I am a coal miners daughter. He lost part of his leg when I was a little girl in the coal mines. we were very poor and he would have to go in the woods and cut down trees and drag them home w/ a chain and then begin to saw up the tree. I loved my daddy so much still, he died when I was 18 and I still miss him ..Happy Fathers day to all the fathers and to my daddy to I love you Paula I watch you all the time. Even though I’m 67 yrs. old you have some good looking sons and i know you proud of them ..your show watcher..Emily Overton @mammaw58@hotmail.com

Emily H. Overton of Greenville, N.C. on June 15, 2010 10:01 PM

Paula,
I laughed and cried when reading your story. You see they use to tease me about the Pedestal I had my Dad on.  My mother had rheumatic fever when she was a child, and had the very first ever artificial aorta surgery in the mid 50’s. Well my Dad said he feel in love with my Mom when he was 12 years old and huckstered veggies for his Uncle from there farm.  He knew my Mom was sick and he married her because he loved and cared for her till the day she passed, and never once complained.  He would take care of my sister and myself, and did the very best he could to see to it that we never were without, even when the times were very difficult.  So when you shared how deeply you loved your “Ditty”, it made me smile because I know just how you felt, and when you miss him, know that sometimes missing someone is just our way of saying thank you for the best of memories, love, lessons, and laughter that could be shared by one man.  I hope you and your family enjoy the holiday. Sandi

Sandi Dopirak of Wall, Pennsylvania on June 15, 2010 10:18 PM

God made the almost perfect man when he made my Daddy.  He and my Momma were never heard to say a cross word to each other. I asked him one day why and his reply was, I told your Momma when we married that I did not marry her to fight with her so we would not fight, and they didn’t.  This man was the only man at every grade school, Jr. high and high school program that his children were in. There were four of us so he took off work many hours to be there for us.  Such a wise and honest man, and that is what he taught us to be.  Such a good example.  Several times he was called to donate blood directly and he always went.  You never tell them enough how much you love them so if you still have your Daddy tell him till it makes him holler.  I love you Daddy.

D'Ann of MWC, OK on June 15, 2010 10:53 PM

I am so happy to hear how much you loved your Daddy. Not everyone has that. You were very fortunate to have a wonderful family growing up. I think that is why I adore you so much. You are my stand in Mama. I love to watch you and Michael too. His smiling eyes make me smile. I wish I had a great set of parents like you had. But, like I said, you are my stand in. Keep up the good work and hope to see you in Austin soon. Thanks.

Sassakay of Dripping Springs, Texas on June 15, 2010 11:06 PM

Paula,
My Father also hung the moon. He was 46 yrs. old when I was born and I had him till I was 35 and that was not long enough. He also had his right leg off. But it did not stop him at all. He lost his when he was 79. And still drove and worked till he passed away. So we are very lucky to have the memories we have!!

Carol Goble of Old Town,Florida on June 15, 2010 11:06 PM

Dear Paula, Your story brought tears to my eyes. I just turned 42, I am so blessed to still have my ornery old Daddy AND I swear that I am still Daddy’s “doll baby” after all these years. That man can still wrap me around his little finger with those two words and he KNOWS it. My Daddy will be 65 this year and little does he know, he will be having a little surprise party soon.
Glad to have read your sweet memories of your Diddy, I am sure that he is smiling down on you from Heaven and thanks for the reminder to cherish “Grumpy” while he is still with us. I certainly do miss the happy Daddy of my childhood. But I will take him anyway for now.

Joanne Watson of South Boston Virginia on June 16, 2010 12:47 AM

HEY PAULA, I SO FEEL YOUR LOSS. I LOST MY DADDY ABOUT 14 YEARS AGO JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS. IT WAS SO HARD. I WAS THE THE ONLY GIRL FOR ABOUT 11 YEARS BEFORE MY SISTER CAME ALONG. I HAVE 3 BROTHERS. MY DADDY DIED SUDDENLY DOING WHAT HE LOVED TO DO AND THAT WAS HUNTING. HE HAD A HEART ATTACK. NEVER KNEW THAT HE HAD A HEART CONDITION UNTIL A YEAR PRIOR. OUR DADDIES ARE A BLESSING AND IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE ONES THAT ARE STILL BLESSED TO HAVE THEIR DADDY CHERISH THEM ALL YOU CAN AND TELL THEM EVERYDAY THAT YOU LOVE THEM CAUSE NEVER KNOW IT MIGHT BE THE LAST TIME YOU GET TO TELL THEM.

THERESA on June 16, 2010 02:08 AM

Hey Paula,
Thank you for your story about your Daddy.
I related in so many ways..not so much about your Daddy.
I wasn’t so blessed to have a loving Dad but I miss him just the same. For some reason either our family or the time or place I grew up my dad just didn’t seem to know how to show much affection toward an only daughter. I’ve dealt with it and forgiven him for my peace of mind. He’s been gone for 30 years now but memories live on.
I had to relate to the wooden leg and smile…my uncle, one of Dad’s five brothers, lost his in France during the war.  We kids played Hide n’ Seek and when we ran into his extra legs in the closet it nearly scared us to death! We’d scream so loud the mothers came running to see what was wrong.
Dad was a tough guy and difficult but I still learned so much from him. Your story brought tears to my eyes for many reasons.
Also, my big brother had rheumatic fever when he was a kid in the 50s…and died just a few years back from lung cancer and his heart that they always knew was weakened since childhood.
We girls who married at 19 seem to have grown up in a different world back in the late 50s.. early 60s. Nice to see your beautiful smile, listen to your great humor and such success now ( along with those good lookin’ boys) ...Thank you for sharing so much with us out here!
Blessings, Sandy

Sandy Bysinger of Macon, GA on June 16, 2010 02:27 AM

Paula I know just how you feel.  I lost my daddy young too, well we were both young, he was 47 and I was 16.  My daddy left me a very special gift of faith.  I watched him battle lung cancer for two years, but through it all he never got angry and through it he developed a faith in the Lord. He showed me that God loves and gives us strength to endure anything.  And now after a divorce and raising three children on my own I am trying to pass this on to my children and my grandchildren. God Bless all those wonderful daddies and God bless you too Paula. Love Stephanie

Stephanie Deahl of Versailles Ky on June 16, 2010 02:42 AM

Dear Paula,  You brought so many memories back to me about my “uncle” who helped raise me since my mom was a single parent. I lived with him, my grandmother and mom.  He was also a gentle giant to me (and he was only 5’7”).  I was lucky to have him in my life for some thirty years.  He help raise not only me but my sister’s four children when she died at age 34.  I never heard the man swear not matter what life thru at him he accepted and went on.  Reading about your father brought back many memories.  So to all fathers here in are hearts “Happy Father’s day”!

Nancy of Campbell, OH on June 16, 2010 06:39 AM

Well Paula, I am crying in my coffee as I relate to you and your story.  The photos are similar to mine and trigger memories.  You see I found my beloved Daddy dead of a heart attack when I returned home from school one day in 1961.  He was 43 and I was 13. Life changed from that moment on.  Thanks for sharing…love you!

Gloria Jimenez of Baltimore Md on June 16, 2010 07:50 AM

Thank you for sharing your Daddy story…I too had the greatest Daddy in the whole world..(I lost him almost 19 years ago, and lost my best friend!)He always had a solution to my problems! Never a day goes by that I do not miss my Daddy.
(I worked at Cypress Gardens with your Uncle Bobby, and could not help noticing how much he looks like your Dad(his brother)...Bobby was a great friend of mine and know your Daddy must have been the same wonderful person.)
Thanks again for your sincere story…Happy Fathers Day in Heaven Daddy!

Pinky Barbour of Clermont, Florida on June 16, 2010 08:55 AM

Miss Paula, your story is so lovely and touching. Last time I saw my father I was 6 yrs. old I’m now 52. My maternal Grand Father took over. I was his favorite of all the grand children, so he told me. He had the patience of a saint. He would tell me stories of (even though he was from Spain) his involvement in the Mexican Revolution. My Grand Father would take me for walks and would spend alot of time with me. He would always say to me “little one I’m so proud of you”. To me he was a giant, not because he was 6’ 1”, but because he knew so much about life. He went to be with the Lord on his 100th birthday, three weeks before my 12th birthday. For 11 years I didn’t celebrate my birthday because he wasn’t with me. I still miss him, but never missed him as much as when my son was born. You are blessed to have had your father for 19 years.

Maria of Southern California on June 16, 2010 09:13 AM

HELLO PAULA. I WATCH U EVERYDAY, WE GOT MARRIED SECONDTIME AROUND THE SAME YEAR. MY GRANDBABIES TELL ME I ACT AND LOOK LIKE U. I AM ORIG. FROM THE OZARKS AND FOOTHILLS OF OKLA.

MY DADDY WAS A LOT LIKE YOURS. HE PASSED AT CHRISTMAS WHEN I WAS 13. 1956. TOO YOUNG. I MARRIED A GUY WHO IS THE SPITTIN IMAGE OF MY DADDY. GUESS GOD WANTED HIM WITH ME LATTER ON. 

I LOVE WHEN U AND BUBBA COOK. MAKES ME CRY. MY OLDEST SON COOKS LIKE YOUR BOYS. LOVE HIM IN MY KITCHEN. GOD LOVE U CAUSE U ARE THE BEST.ROSIE

RoseMarie Herdman of Southington,Ct. on June 16, 2010 09:45 AM

hello paula, U and i got married second time around the same year. i lost my Daddy when i was 13, in 1956, he was too young, 56.Paula I am orig. from Ozarks and foothills of Ark. and Okla. I cook like u. my oldest son cooks like Bobby and Jamie. I love when u and your brother bubba cook, makes me so homesick and cry.

I married a man who is the spittin image of my Daddy. Even cuses like him, lol. Guess god knew I needed him later on.

my grandgirls tell me i look like u, my one Emmie love Foodnetwork, yes she cooks with her Daddy Michael.God love u cause u are the best.

Rosie

RoseMarie Herdman of Southington,Ct. on June 16, 2010 09:51 AM

Father’s Day is a bitter-sweet day at our house.
I lost my Dad from a heart-attack when I was 15.  My daughter’s husband, only 42, died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart problem leaving behind 4 children (the youngest turned 5 the week after his Daddy died) and a step-daughter who all adored him.  Less than 2 months later my husband and father of 4 died of pneumonia.  Thank you for sharing your memories of your Dad….it’s helped me to get a little different perspective.  For those of you lucky enough to still have your Dad, never let a day go by without letting him know you love him…..even if you are miles & miles apart.  As a matter of fact, tell all your loved ones how much they mean to you…..we’re not guaranteed another day to tell them.

Becky Showker of Virginia on June 16, 2010 10:26 AM

Paula, this ia a beautiful story about your Father. I enjoyed reading it and thank you for sharing it. I know you miss him immensely as I do my Father.  I don’t remember much about my Father since he died when I was 6 years old, but we all have a Heavenly Father, our precious Lord, who loves us and gives us the assurance that we will meet Him and our loved ones in Heaven someday if we know Him as our personal Savior.  God bless you and your family.

Phyllis Grubbs of Rural Hall, NC on June 16, 2010 10:31 AM

Dear Paula,  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your daddy!!!  I lost my dad 2 years ago on May 18th, just before I turned 53. He died of Alzheimers and congestive heart failure in the nursing home he was in for just under 2 months.  I had to make the tough decisions when he was in the hospital for 5 weeks and diagnosed with sundowners.  I loved that man so much that my whole world has been turned upside down.  I am still trying to find my way, but I know he wouldn’t want me feeling this way.  I too was a daddy’s girl and I know I have to get my life back so I can live it the way he wanted for me!!!  Thanks again for sharing.  Janie

Janie Adams Strand of Silverdale, Wa. on June 16, 2010 10:46 AM

paula i cried when i read your story . iam now 62 i lost my dad when i was 44 and it was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me .my daddy was never ever sick outside of a common cold and worked every day of his life but one day he came to me and said do you have any vitamins i feel so tired baby my daddy never took any kind of pills . so i noticed him breathing harder then usual i finally convinced him to go to my dr . and he was diagnosed with lung cancer that day i was so shocked and also in denial for some time they gave him 6 months and he was diagnosed on dec14th and died june 14th .i too crawled in to a shell did not wnat to be around any one would not even go out to get the mail but one night i had a dream of him paula and he was standing in my kitchen and i said omg daddy your here and he said baby get on with your life iam home now . and from that day on i have he will always be in my heart i still cry for him today we are blessed to have such great men in our lives paula so happy fathers day daddy i love you so very much love your baby

cheryl wilson of okeechobee fl on June 16, 2010 11:45 AM

Paula,
I lost my dad three years ago. A week after we buried him was Father’s day. I have had a hard time with this day ever since. I go out to the cemetary on Father’s day and place flowers at his grave and just talk to him. I really miss him. My dad was my “knight in shining armor.”  For all of you that still have your dad, give him a big hug and tell him how much you love him. We never know how long we have on earth, so don’t let a moment go by that you don’t tell those you love how much they mean to you.  Paula, thanks for sharing such a wonderful story about your dad. I know he is looking down with such pride on his girl! Who needs algebra anyway?
Kathy

Kathy of South Carolina on June 16, 2010 12:25 PM

Dear Paula, thank you for sharing your story about your daddy and so sorry you lost him at such a young age.  My daddy is still alive but unfortunately my situation is like Mary’s.  My dad had a devastating stroke and now he has dementia and lives in a nursing home in St. Louis. So he really isn’t there. It’s so very sad but I count my blessing because my dad taught me so many awesome things about life and we have wonderful memories.  And still when I go home to see my daddy….I still see the twinkle in his eyes when he sees me and he says “hi babe”....if just for that one moment.  Thank you for bringing such joy to so many people.  Everytime I make one of your recipes…my friends and family always have a smile on their face. Blessings to you and yours Paula.  Love, Debbie

Debbie Rockholm of Valencia, California on June 16, 2010 02:17 PM

Dear Paula,

Your show for Father’s Day with Little Jack was so adorable.  He is precious.

What does Jack call you?

Liz Webb of St Augustine, FL on June 16, 2010 02:44 PM

 

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