A Father's Day, Thought for the day.... - Posted by Ed Garcia

Posted by Paris Rehab on June 18, 2006 at 16:32:05:

Thank you, Ed, for the thought for the day. It really made my day.

I enjoy reading you thoughts and hope that some day I can meet you in person. You seem like the kind of person I would have liked to known a number of years ago; maybe things would be different now.

Again, thank you.


A Father’s Day, Thought for the day… - Posted by Ed Garcia

Posted by Ed Garcia on June 18, 2006 at 12:39:45:

Thought for the day?.

Since this is ?Father?s day? and a day we should spend time with or reflect upon warm memories of our father’s I thought I?d share this story with you. I?m sure we all have our own memories of our father. This is one I can?t remember where I picked up, but felt it was worth sharing with you.

The Pickle Jar.

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the
dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would
empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made
as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when
the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as
the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and
admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure
when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the
coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the bank
was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the
coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
hopefully. “Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.
You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold
you back.” Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins
across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.
“These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his
life like me.”

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream
cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk
at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few
coins nestled in his palm. “When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. “You’ll get to
college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,” he said. “But you’ll get
there. I’ll see to that.”

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.
Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and
noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had
been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside
the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few
words and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance,
and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far
more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly
pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more
than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough
things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar.
Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve
dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup
over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined
than ever to make away out for me. “When you finish college, Son,” he
told me, his eyes glistening, “You’ll never have to eat beans
again…unless you want to.”

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the
holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each
other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica
began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. “She
probably needs to be changed,” she said, carrying the baby into my
parents’ bedroom to diaper her.

When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist
in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and
leading me into the room. “Look,” she said softly, her eyes directing me
to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it
had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already
covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my
pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions
choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar.

I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into
the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions
I felt. Neither one of us could speak. This truly touched my heart…I
know it has yours as well.

Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count
Our blessings. Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks UP!

Ed Garcia

Re: A Father’s Day, Thought for the day… - Posted by Sam

Posted by Sam on June 20, 2006 at 22:15:32:

Ed, that was truly wonderful- thanks for sharing with all of us! It put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. Take care!

Re: A Father’s Day, Thought for the day… - Posted by Eric (MI)

Posted by Eric (MI) on June 18, 2006 at 22:37:06:

Made my eyes a little misty reading that Ed. Great story.

Even though the particular situation doesn’t apply to me the context does as I am sure it does to many people. My dad (and mom) both sacrificed a lot in order to provide a better life for my brothers and I than they had. Being a father of 3 myself (all 3 and under) I know that feeling from the other side as well. No matter how good one feels his life is we always want better for our kids.

My father is easily the most important man in my life. He has taught me much in my years and continues to do so. A lesson I am just now finally understanding though is how important it is to provide for your children even when situations that may arise make it hard for you to provide even for yourself.