Tag Archives: Father Daughter Relationship

Dad:Worst Enemy, Best Friend~Part 4

27 Jun

My Take 

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistFunny how many times I could have lost my dad, but didn’t. He was always there for me, and I had the deep security of knowing he always would be. I took him so much for granted, though, that I didn’t realize until much later that his caring for me in the ways that he did were the foundation for my trusting God.

Dad and I went more rounds over the years. We moved to Los Alamos where he became a courier for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

Then we moved to Albuquerque so he and Mom could continue to work for the government. Dad still traveled.



I ran away to get married, but Dad called the florist in faraway CA, to order an orchid for my bridal bouquet. He wasn’t able to attend because of the job.

We moved to Florida for Bill’s job at Kennedy Space Center. Mom and Dad never failed to visit us once a year, and we also joined them on their fishing vacations at Salton Sea (now defunct).* After Salton Sea came Marrowstone Island in Puget sound, then Sapinero-Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado. The vacations were memorable, but I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate them as much then as I do in retrospect. The living was rough, fishing was all, but Mom the kids and I could always go to town (except at Salton Sea which was out in the desert by itself.) And once we did some old-fashioned clamming. That was great fun!

All those vacations were good for getting to know each other, especially the children. I’ll always be grateful that Mom and Dad went to that much effort to stay in touch.

When we first arrived in Florida, the woods that border our home seemed scary and exotic. I’d heard so much about snakes and insects I didn’t want to go out there.


When Dad came, though, he wasn’t daunted. He started walking every day. Our dog and I soon joined him and we learned the way. We’ve been walking the trails in those woods ever since, first with our kids and dogs then with our grandkids. It is a chief enjoyment in life.

Mother always told me to have plenty of things for Dad to repair when they came so he wouldn’t get bored. The year we had no TV he threatened never to come back again, but we got one and he did. One job dad did was to put up a jar opener under a cupboard for us. He was having a lot of trouble with carpal-tunnel syndrome by then. I use that gripper now because I need it sometimes. I wonder, if he realized what a favor he had done for us by installing it.

With maturity, my grievances have melted away. I’ve realized that I deeply loved my Dad in spite of our lifelong battles. The first time I went to visit when he was in the nursing home unable to do anything for himself we both broke into tears. Dad was aware enough to ask, “Is this who I think it is?” Later, I sat alone with him and held his wrist in my hand so I could feel his pulse because I didn’t know how to talk to him as others seemed to do.

This year, on Memorial Day Sunday our pastor asked people to call out the names of their kin who had died in wars. At first there were only a few and then it became a chorus of jumbled names. I felt sad knowing how difficult it is to lose any member of your family. But I also had a halleluiah feeling that I did get to know my Dad for the rest of his life after he came home from WW2. He carried signs of what we now call PTSD. I believe that most families whose parents have been in the military during wartime do. Thanks Dad, for coming back and living a long life in which I got to know you and your true value.

DiVoran and Dad with coats


Read more about Salton Sea by clicking HERE





Dad: My Worst Enemy, My Best Friend~Part 1

6 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistI’m writing this post on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 the day when I finally knew how much I loved my Dad. In church the day before, our Pastor invited the congregation to call out the names of loved ones who had died for their country. There was a silence then one person spoke, another short silence and then someone else spoke. No one said the name loudly, but soon we heard a chorus of voices expressing grief. It was sad, but suddenly I had an epiphany. My dad was an infantryman in WW2. That means he did most of the war on foot. The difference was: my dad came home. That meant that I didn’t go through life without a father as so many children have done over the centuries. Sounds like I should have known how blessed I was, doesn’t it? But you see, Dad and I were at odds for most of my life and I developed some fairly hefty grievances because of it.

Ivan went to war when I was five years old and my brother almost three. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, and although he came back whole, I think there was an unseen part of him left behind. On top of that, Dad was a male and I happened to be born a female, something that dad took hard. Old story, eh, Dad wants a boy for his first born. This Dad knew little about girls because he just had one brother growing up, no sisters to teach him what girls were like. I guess you might say he did his best to make a real man of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like men. I’ve had one of every male relative a person can have and I liked them all pretty well, most of the time.

Ivan Bowers

Ivan Bowers, circa 1919

At the time we happened to be living in Crowley, Colorado where dad was a mechanic in a tomato factory. Mother’s job was to give the workers a big dinner at noon. We lived in a shotgun house, which meant that if you shot a gun through the front door, the bullet would go out the back door. The kitchen was at the back. We had a rooster, some chickens, and a Nanny goat for milk. When I got older, Mother told me that when we walked over go over to factory to visit Dad, we’d all go together in a line: Mom, Sister, Brother, our dog, and Chanticleer (the rooster), Nanny Goat and her kid, Billy. Billy would walk on tiny hooves trip-trap over the panes of glass that protected the tender, new plants from the elements. Mother said she held her breath hoping Billy Goat wouldn’t break any of them and he never did.

—–To Be Continued—–

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