Father’s Day – The Calculator

Father’s Day

Dad and I around 2000

This is a short Father’s Day story about my Dad and the time I decided to do something special for him on Father’s Day. Before I tell my story, I need to provide one small, but important piece of information about Dad. He was fairly poor when growing up, but I don’t think he ever went without the necessities. Although his family had all they needed, they were not afforded many luxuries in their early life. They basically lived on the money that my Grandfather got from cutting and selling wood. My Dad, being the strongest of all his brothers ended up having to quit school in the 8th grade (I believe that is what he had told me)…so that he could help my Grandfather with cutting wood so they could provide for the family. Because of the way he was brought up, Dad was always able to get by without the “finer” things in life. To say he was SPEND THRIFTY was an understatement. All of his life and up to his death, (genes of which I never got from him) Dad lived a pretty simple life.

My Dad passed away a little over 13 years ago, but about 15-16 years ago I decided to do something special for him on Father’s Day. Instead of same old Father’s Day card and the traditional phone call to him, I thought I would FINALLY get him something that I knew he would USE, LOVE and APPRECIATE. I bought him a brand new digital calculator with the ability to printout the results on paper. Pretty danged fancy I thought. The calculator he was using was probably 20 years old, and while it did print out a tape, it used typewriter ribbon and had TOBACCO juice all over it…it was nasty as hell! Noisy as all get out, and basically just an eyesore. But that calculator was important to him and he used it EVERYDAY to figure bills and calculate earnings from his stocks.

The Gift

I went out to Walmart and picked up a pretty nice calculator for about $50. Dad was living in Cherokee Village, so when I got home I wrapped the calculator up and mailed it out to him in time for Father’s Day. I couldn’t wait for him to open it up and finally throw his nasty old calculator away.

On Father’s Day I called to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. He picked up the phone and I said, “Happy Father’s Day Dad”, and the first thing out of his mouth was, “What did you send me a calculator for, I got one…I’m sending this one back to you so you can get your money back”.

For just a split second I was taken aback. Then I realized who I was talking to…It was Dad, and I should have known better than to try and replace something he did not need. I do believe he appreciated the gesture, but sure enough…a few days later I got the calculator back in the mail.

I remember after he’d passed, we were going through his things at his house and when I came across that old nasty calculator…I just smiled and threw it into the trash. I’d sure love to give him that calculator again this coming Sunday on Father’s Day. I’m thinking about you and still loving you Dad.

Author: Wally

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