My Daddy was a life-saver more than one time in his life. Around Father’s Day each year, I get a bit reflective since Daddy has passed 12 years ago. What I have found over these 12 years, during my reflections, is how giving this quiet man was, in so many ways. My Daddy, Edward Rogers, was born March 21, 1923 in Oklahoma. He was one of nine children. My grandma and grandpa raised their family during the Great Depression and during the Dust Bowl years. Struggling was nothing new to this family. My grandpa was born in 1897 and came to live in Oklahoma from Kansas. My grandma was born in 1903 in Indian Territory before Oklahoma became a state in 1907. I was raised like no other kid in my class, but with roots I have grown to love and cherish over my lifetime. It was a pleasure and an experience for this Gen Xer to be raised by a man from the Greatest Generation; sometimes comical, sometimes frustrating, but always I was thankful for it. A wealth of knowledge and ingenuity was lost when I lost him. Some of the things my Daddy taught me include gardening, mixing cement, slopping the hogs, fishing, making sinkers, what it means to work and not be idle, a quiet strength that people find comforting, mixing cement, a bit of masonry, how to fix a toilet, how to shift a manual transmission when I was six because he broke his arm roller skating, the importance of watching a football game (Go Cowboys!), how to caulk a bathtub, how to collect the eggs without getting pecked, how to skin a rabbit (I’ll pass on that one now), how to beat Bowser’s castle, how to have fun and how to live life with a capital L, and did I mention mixing cement? That man was forever building something that required cement. I got real good at mixing the rocks, sand and cement mixture; I knew just how much water to add and what it sounded like when it was done. I even have the scar on the bridge of my nose to prove it! Important life lessons there. My Daddy saved me 37 years ago and we didn’t look back. I was adopted by my grandparents and became child number 8 in this mixed family. For that I am forever grateful. When I look back over the life that Daddy and I shared, I see a man that never told me no, held the same job for 32 years, quietly went about life because he knew what loss was and he knew what he fought for during WWII. We never did talk about the war, but he would let me look at his medals and the Japanese sword he brought home from a Japanese soldier he killed in action. He would let me, with my child’s curiosity, look at the scarring on his legs where shrapnel had to be removed and some was still embedded. Daddy didn’t want much in life, as a Gen Xer this confounded me sometimes. This is the man that was raised during the Depression, which meant we didn’t use the air-conditioning in the summer … in Oklahoma …when it was 110 degrees outside. We didn’t use the central heat in the winter. I remember it being so cold and I had to shower and get ready for school and I could see my breath! I would run to the kitchen and stand in front of the stove because it was acceptable to turn the oven on and open the door or turn the burners on for heat. Looking back, I guess I’m pretty lucky we had hot water!! My Daddy is my hero; there will never be a better man in my eyes. I sure do miss fishing with him, especially night fishing below the Keystone Dam on the Arkansas River. With the upcoming holiday on Sunday, June 17th; is this a time that you celebrate with your Dad, are you celebrated as a Dad, or will you spend part of the day in quiet reflection as I will … missing what you had but forever thankful for what you had at one time? Share your stories!