Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Father's Day Tribute To 3 Special Men

In 2002 I wrote a book about my life, my memories, the people I have known, etc, etc. It was a way to let my descendants know what my life was like in the "good old days". I want to share what I wrote about 3 very special men then -- and now. On Father's Day 2010 I felt it was fitting to share these thoughts. John and Lee have died, but I wanted to keep the thoughts as I wrote them when they were alive. I hope you enjoy the chapter on my special men.

"A chapter about "People I Have Known" would not be complete without a sketch of three very special men in my life. They are my husband, John E. Johnson, my stepfather, Lee P. Johnston and my son-in-law, Donald L. Lewis.

John E Johnson
My husband, John and I have been married nearly twenty years as I write this. It was the third marriage for both of us, and so we both had a lot of memories attached to us before we ever got started. Those memories caused us some difficulties in the beginning, but with perseverance we overcame them. Now, we are best friends and constant companions. I know of no other person that knows so much about me — and still likes me. That is the greatest testament to his patience I can think of. John is my greatest advocate. He encourages me to do things that may seem difficult at first. His confidence in me instills confidence in myself. Sometimes all we need is to know someone believes in us.

John and I can ride for hundreds of miles without a lot of chit chat going on. I once read that this was the test of how compatible people are. Can you ride in silence and be comfortable with that other person? We can do that. We have shared so many interesting and memorable experiences. On our many trips, on our Harleys, and in our ordinary every day living, we share each day. I really can't imagine life without him, and I am glad I met him and I'm glad I married him.

Lee P Johnston
My stepfather, Lee P. Johnston, married my mom in 1981. I had known Lee for many years, even before his first wife, Viva died. Many years ago I used to keep their Seed & Garden Store open when they left town. I feel so fortunate to have him in my family, he is an important part of all of us. He and mom are elderly now and they seem to be pretty good companions. Lee supports my mom in the activities she participates in, and she does the same. Even with the aches and pains of age, they seem to enjoy each other. When one is sick, the other one takes care of them and vice versus. Lee's sense of humor is something else. He is a master joke teller and loves to make people laugh. His gardening skills are known all around the Gering area. He loves to grow things, and starts his plants in his little greenhouse in winter. This way he is ready for spring when it finally gets here. I love to go over in August/ September to stock up on vegetables to dry for the winter.

Lee has been a good example of how to face life head on and keep going, no matter what. I consider it a privilege to know him and I am so glad he is part of my family.

Donald L Lewis
My son-in-law, Don Lewis is such a special man. He is the one that rescued me so many times. Either when my car stalled, or I needed to move, or when I needed repairs on this old mobile home I live in. Don genuinely likes to help people, and that is a great gift to have. His sincerity makes all the difference in the world. I remember when I first met Don, and I thought Cindy was very lucky to have him to love her. Then their two sons came along, and I saw him be the best father he could be to them. The fact that they respect and love him today proves that he did a good job. I can still see him getting down on the floor and letting two little boys think they were "winning" the wrestling match with their dad. I always admired the good marriage of Don and Cindy. Their open communication is possible because they have a strong confidence in each other. If there ever was any marital trouble, they sure did keep it to themselves. My memories of Don go back thirty years, and I have seen him face so many of life's struggles as they came along. I used to worry about him when he was out of work, but I learned that Don is one of those people that always land on their feet. At least he makes it appear that way.

If I had ever had a son I could not have wished for a better one than Don Lewis."

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