I Blame it All on My Dad by Marilyn Meredith

My dad bragged about me to everyone--told them that I could do anything. It wasn't true of course, but sure made me try. In later years, I know that thefaith he had in me, made me try all sorts of things that I might not have if I'd thought about it too long.

He thought I could water ski better than anyone. He made our skis--and the boat that pulled us--he was the one who could do anything--but I heard him tell people, "Marilyn can get up on those skis before I even start the boat."

Another time, after I was married and had kids, he told my nephew that I could swim better than anyone. My nephew was a teen and his family had a pool that he swam in all the time. I did swim in the ocean a lot, but not often in a pool. Dad told my nephew I could beat him in a race. Egads, I was horrified, but didn't want to let my dad down. The pool was half Olympic size. I swam like crazy never coming up for air--and won. 

This "Marilyn can do anything" thought carried me through many adventures:

Though I'd never done it before, I became the editor of the PTA newsletter--learned how to use the old fashioned duplicating machines and how to write the necessary news.

I served as almost every office of PTA including president of the grammar school for two years and two years as president at the junior high.

I became a Blue Bird leader, then Camp Fire Girls and on to Horizon Club. Worked with about 20 girls for nearly 10 years. Took them on all kinds of camping trips, even back packing, cooked great meals outdoors, including a turkey in a pit in the sand at the beach. Planned a 5 day trip to the Grand Canyon by Greyhound bus with my girls and another Horizon Club. We spent two years earning the money to go. (Turned out great.) 

I applied for a teaching job with developmentally disabled children even though I had no experience or a teaching credential--what I did have was lots of experience with and a love for kids.  I worked there for 10 years, and managed to get an AA degree in Early Childhood Education during that time.

Worked in daycares for disadvantaged kids (tough neighborhoods) and loved every minute of it. Tried all kinds of events and programs that no one had ever done before with those kids.

We moved and I got a license to be the owner-operator of a home for 6 developmentally disabled women--never having worked with this group before, but I loved every minute of it as well as the women who shared our home.

During this time I put together the training for others to become certified administrators and continuing education--not because I really knew how or had any experience--but because I knew I could do it. I did this for years.

I also helped raise some grandkids along the way. 

And in the meantime, I was writing--and getting published. I've also taught Sunday School from nursery aged kids to the group I do the best with 10 and 11 year olds, and I'm still doing it. 

For nearly 10 years I was the program chairperson for the Public Safety Writers Association--and no, I've never been a part of public safety, but helped this great organization get reorganized and I'm still working with them as the newsletter editor.

I guess I've proved my dad's point, I've been able to do most anything I set my mind too. 

Of course, it's not me--I believe the Lord gave me the abilities that I have, and he's guided me along the way.

At the age of 83, I don't expect I'll not have too many more exciting adventures--but I'm going to keep going until I no longer can.



M.M. Gornell said…
Wonderful tribute to your dad--our parents mean so much, I think. But I disagree, I think you have many adventures still ahead, and sure hope to share some with you! Your dad was a grand father, lovely and thought provoking post.
My dad was great. I hope I do have more adventures--but who knows.
mindprinter said…
Marilyn, your dad was right. You can do ANYTHING! I'm so proud to know you. It's great advice too. I wasn't that lucky. Had a single mom who loved and took care of me but I was never encouraged to excel in much of anything. Must be why I've worked so hard, at least in my opinion, to be as successful as I could be. Loved this post. Sharing. And love you, P and B.
Lorna Collins - said…
My mother thought the same of me, and I never wanted to disappoint her. From age 7, I had no father, but my mom believed in me.
Nancy LiPetri said…
You inspire me, Marilyn! Hats off to your dad!
Sharon Ervin said…
You are a perfect example of The Little Engine that Could. I, too, am a glass half-full person. Funny how that can rub people the wrong way. My brother-in-law, now deceased, complained mightily that I always thought things were going to turn out for the best. I said, "That's because they usually do." He said, "For you. Not for everybody. Not for me." I reminded him that success was often in a person's attitude. He always expected to fail and was surprised by his occasional success, and often downplayed them. I always expected to succeed, worked doubly hard to avoid failure, and whooped for every achievement. Your comments, however, reminded me that we all influence others. Sometimes smiling at a stranger when our buggies pass at Walmart can give someone a boost. You reminded me to give others a lift whenever the opportunity arises. Thank you.
Jackie Houchin said…
I love it!!! I thought you were going to say something BAD about your Dad. So glad to hear he was an encouraging Father!
Radine Trees Nehring said…
Oh my goodness, how unique and wonderful. I have learned, hearing and seeing childhood stories, past and current, how very different childhood experiences can be.
Thonie Hevron said…
What a wonderful inspiration both you and your dad are! I had a dad like that, too. He was a relentless cheerleader for my two sisters and I. We adored him. My only regret is that he never saw me publish.
What a wonderful post, Marilyn!
Terell said…
Wonderful column Marilyn. I will share it on my timeline when I get the computer on!
Thank you everyone for your comments. My dad was great and a bit on the crabby side--made me like crabby men. I knew because of my dad, most of them have a soft side. I had fun writing this and it brought up lots of memories.

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