One hundred years ago today, July 24, 1914, somewhere in Massachusetts a baby boy was born. I don’t know much about his childhood or even his family. He did have siblings, though I was told they were much older and I only met one of his brothers once. The boy served in the United States Army during World War II. The young man married and the couple had five children, three boys and two girls. Then tragically the wife died unexpectedly when their youngest child was a preschooler. A few years later the young man married again and he and his new wife had two children, a boy and a girl. The family was complete with seven children.
The man had a variety of jobs over the years. He had his own television repair business when television was fairly new. He eventually worked for the United States Post Office. He retired from that job in the late 1970s.
The man and his family lived in NH for much of his life and then in 1968, he and his wife and five youngest children moved to the east coast of FL. The family grew with five of the seven children marrying and eventually the man had 10 grandchildren, and now a great granddaughter.
The man suffered with Parkinson’s disease for several years before his death in 1995 at the age of 80.
This man was my father, Norman Arthur Tibbetts.
I’m not going to lie or exaggerate and say that my dad was the greatest dad ever. He wasn’t. But he was a good dad and I knew that he loved me.
I really didn’t know my dad well during my growing up years. He was kind of a mystery to me. To be honest…I was afraid of him. But when I was in high school Dad had to retire after learning he had Parkinson’s disease. That is when I really began to get to know my dad and understand that he really had a dry sense of humor that I couldn’t understand as a child.
I have lots of memories of my dad doing things for me. One time after my fish died that I kept in a little bowl, he took me to the pet store and bought an aquarium and fish for me. I found a baby bird once that died a few days later and my dad let me get a parakeet. I remember going to get my new bicycle from a bicycle shop with him.
I can hardly believe that my father was born one hundred years ago, but I am thankful for the many memories that I have from the 32 years that I knew him.