Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Remembering Dad


Thomas L. Cassells, Sr.
October 6, 1917 - March 14, 1972

Circa 1945


He was there for my first bath --GAVE me my first home bath. He took me for my first swim in the Detroit River, urging me to “just jump in and move your arms like this,” as he demonstrated the free-style stroke. Years later, he gave me driving lessons alongside that same body of water. My sophomore year, he couldn’t wait until Christmas so he surprised me with a portable typewriter one day in October when Mom was out shopping. He smiled broadly when my first daughter was born and said, “You did good.” When my second daughter came along, he was delighted again. 

As a teenager, I was mortified. His jokes were corny. He sang old-fashioned songs off key. The man wandered around the house in boxer shorts, wearing shaving cream on his face, as if waiting for his beard to grow! Getting permission to go out two weekends in a row was out of the question.

When I became an adult and then a parent, I began to understand him. His teachings, strict rules, and often stern demeanor were for our safety. He wanted us to become upstanding, respectful people. He loved us enough to be a parent instead of a friend. And, though he didn’t say the words much, we knew he loved us.

We lost Dad way too soon -- when Tom, ReeniĆ©, and I were just beginning to blossom into the young adults he’d primed us to be. But, he is with us every day as the lessons he taught us come to mind or we remember and quote some of his sayings. We often remark that he was a man ahead of his time, and today we know how lucky we were to experience childhood under his roof. Thanks, Dad.

~ xoA ~

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute to your dad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing your dad, but I have been blessed to have both you Annis, and your sister Reenie in my life. I see all of the wonderful lessons he taught you both in the love and compassion you share with family and friends. He was certainly a great teacher and you and Reenie were A+ students. I know he can hardly wipe the smile off his face as he looks down and sees the wonderful women he raised. I smile because you are both a part of my life and I believe I am the better for this gift of friendship.
    Suzan Buyck - Detroit, MI

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rest in peace, Mr. Cassells. And thanks so much for giving us the joy of your children in our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a beautiful tribute, Annis. Since I know you, maybe I have met a small part of your father. Susan C.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for your kind words, Kate, Suzan, Bobbi, and Susan. xoA

    ReplyDelete
  6. Annis as I read your blog I find myself remembering my dad. Thanks for sharing thoughts of your dad.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're welcome, Sylvia. It's good to remember. xoA

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a beautiful tribute to an incredible man. We were lucky to have him, at least for a while. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can feel the tears of love and gratitude roll down your cheek....you are so right...."it is good to remember" xo,M

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. When we were kids we would look at each other and one of us would say..."What does Mom see in him?" He wasn't funny, cool or hip to us back then. You were right he WAS corny and would tell the same corny joke over and over and over again. This is one of my favorite pictures of Dad and when I see how handsome he was I know exactly what Mom saw in him. Love NAY

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amina, yes we were lucky. And, he taught us to rejoice in the time that we had our loved ones in our lives. xoMom

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tears of love and laughter, M. Thanks. xoA

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nay ~ I was tickled when I found this photo, also one of my favs. Thanks for your sweet words and remembrances. xoA

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a lovely tribute, Annis. I'm coming up on the first anniversary of my dad's death. You've inspired me to do some writing about my memories of him. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank YOU for taking the time to comment. I've found that putting my memories in writing helps the grieving and healing processes. May you find peace and comfort in the memories of your dad. xoA

    ReplyDelete