Faded photographs are all I have to remember the man I once called Papa. After a long successful career as an overseas dredging captain, Papa, retired on a little island in the Pacific and shortly after, suffered a major heart attack.
The photographs, honestly, are a mixture of sweet and not so sweet memories of a man who lived a bit reckless but always with a generous heart that sometimes did not know the meaning of the word, limitations.
As a child and even today, I hold a hazy image to exactly what my father’s work involved. All I have are some faded photographs of odd-looking boat-like structures, big steel looking equipment and the memory of a few of his men, coming over to our house to “have-a-few (drinks),” as part of the drinking tradition among the dredging construction workers.
Papa was generous with his hard-earned money. Not only would he not hesitate to buy you the moon, had you asked, he would often host many of these, after work, have-few-drinks-on-the-house, as a regular social activity.
Naturally, his wife, our mother, would not be so happy with this type of generosity, although all his drinking buddies simply adored him. Now, you are probably wondering, why would I cherish faded photographs that remind me of my papa’s lack of sense when it came to his social entertainment.
I wonder myself, I mean what is so charming about a father having one too many drinks, then having loud profane laced arguments with his wife? She made the fatal mistake of pointing out that if his spending behavior did not improve, his family would soon end up on the streets. Okay, first, never argue with a drunk person because it never will make you a winner. Second, this back and forth confrontations went on for years but surprisingly, our family never ended up in the streets.
Papa always ended every argument with, “Don’t worry about anything; I was born with Lady Luck on my side.”
Well, this was good to know.
In fact, despite my father’s reckless spending, he always provided everything and more for his family. My mother never had to work outside the home; we always had a nice place to live and food in abundant supply.
In conclusion, my favorite memory of my papa is, I believe he belonged to a dying breed of men that worked hard to provide for their family and generously gave to life what they expected to receive from others, in spite of their personal failings.
Of course, I always will remember Papa as a winner; he had Lady Luck to guide him and left me faded photographs for me to remember him by.
Thanks, Papa! xoxo
Have you found cherished and favorite moments in your collection of faded photographs?
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