Nancy Roman

The Wonderful Side Of Never

It’s another Father’s Day.

My Dad was a family man.

I could also say that he was a war hero, a self-taught engineer, and a handsome, intelligent, and athletic man. He could swing a golf club and he could swing my mother around the dance floor.

But mostly he was a family man.

He loved my mother and us kids, and his own mother and sisters and brother and his cousins, nieces and nephews, and my mother’s family too. And later, his children’s families – our spouses and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When he would say, as he did often, “Let’s call everybody and have a party,” he meant, let’s call all our relatives and the friends whom he loved like family.


Last week I learned one small new thing about him. My mother and I were talking about movies as we ate lunch, and she said, “You know what your father’s favorite movie was?”

I thought she would say “Patton” – because my father and I watched that movie together and we loved it, and he told me about General George S. Patton and General Omar Bradley.  How much he admired them both. Patton for his fearlessness and genius in war. Bradley for his humanity. “Us soldiers were in awe of Patton,” he said. “But we would follow Bradley anywhere.”

But my mother surprised me.

“The African Queen,” she said. “We must have seen that movie 100 times. Every time it was on, your dad would say, ‘We have to watch this.’ Every time.”

So he was not just a war hero. He was a war hero and a romantic.

When I reflect on my father, it seems I always return to the things that he was not. The traits that were just not in his character.

Like how often he swore:  Never.

How he complained about his job:   Never.

How he would be in a bad mood:  Never.

How he lost his temper without provocation:  Never.

How he disparaged other people:  Never.

How he shirked his responsibility:  Never.

How he was rude to a waiter or salesperson:  Never.

How he missed Mass on Sunday:  Never.

How he told his 3 daughters that girls couldn’t do something:  Never.

How he told his son that winning was everything:  Never.

How he fought with my mother:  Never.

How he was unkind to strangers:  Never.

Dad died five years ago, at 88. A nice and happy long life. I don’t believe he had any regrets. He passed away with only my mother at his side, which is what they both wanted.

I sat with him the day before, though, and I rather knew it was the last time. He knew too, I think. When I rose to leave he put his hand on his heart.

“The African Queen” is my favorite movie too.

And my hand is on my heart.




  1. I miss my Dad, and it’s twenty years now. He was only 67. But he’s with me always, a memory, a photograph, an ornament, a poem, just about anything will bring him closer.
    Dads are Special People.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband lost his father 39 years ago, and he still misses him. We will always miss them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy, what a beautiful tribute to your Dad. How very lucky you were to have such a wonderful man as a role model & father.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am the luckiest person in the world with both my father and my darling mother.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful tribute to your Dad.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a lovely post. You’re so fortunate to have had such a wonderful man for your dad.


  5. Your heartfelt homage to your father is poignant. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Christine Cooper

    There you go again. Making me cry in the middle of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I love to make someone cry almost as much as making someone laugh. And I thought of two more things my father quite wonderfully never did, and added those in.


  8. ultrarunner2014

    Thank you. So beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your Dad’s legacy of loving relationships is everything that matters.


    • He made the world a better place for everyone around him, especially his wife and children.


  10. Lovely. Both your writing, and your Dad. I know you miss him, every single day. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, I guess. Thanks for writing this. It reminds me that Father’s Day is coming up and I need to write about my own Dad, gone now 12 years. They seem to be similar men. We were lucky, weren’t we.


    • We have wonderful memories, and they will be with us forever.


  11. npiper

    I did not know my father until I was 42. He and my mother divorced when I was 2. I was raised by an abusive alcoholic step father. Meeting my bio father at 42 helped me know there were good people in my life but I never knew a father like some people have. I am often envious when people go on about their fathers. 😢


    • I’m so sorry that you never knew your father the way you should have! This world is incredibly cruel to some… But you have the love of all your followers to help you heal and look at life as a beautiful thing 🙂
      Have a lovely day!


    • I understand your pain. I feel that kind of sorrow too, when people speak or write about the true joy of motherhood – a joy I will never know. But I am happy for those mothers too – I love to see happy children.


  12. What a lovely post to dedicate to your father!!! The void left by his passing on will probably never be healed but when you might see your daughters loving your husband just the way you did your father, you would thank the universe for bringing you in as your dad’s little girl 🙂 your father must indeed be proud of the little girl he raised who grew up to touch so many lives with her beautiful posts 🙂


    • I don’t have children of my own – but my sisters’ and brother’s children adored my Dad, and the first of his great-grandchildren remembers him too – he was well-loved.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Christine

    In addition to all those wonderful (and true) things you wrote about Dad, he also was a very funny man — and quite a tease. Once When I was in high school and was expecting a possible new boyfriend to call (back in the days of one phone per family) he got to the phone first and answered saying “Joe’s Bar and Grill.” But he did let me get to the phone first when the kid called back. Even in his final months, when he was confused sometimes, he would often imagine himself at a party with all his friends. I’m glad to say I am like him in at least one respect, because “The African Queen” is probably my favorite movie too.


    • I remember him answering the phone “Joe’s Bar and Grill.” He was the only one who thought it was funny!


  14. How fortunate you were, how lovely this is. I love that picture, it speaks volumes.


    • I was indeed fortunate. I grew up in the most loving home, with the most loving parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What a beautiful post! I have tears in my eyes – both at the story of your wonderful day and for the tenderness with which you describe him. What a blessing you were to each other!!!


    • Thank you so much. I was blessed for sure with both my parents.


  16. Pam

    Aww, Nancy, no wonder you turned out to be a gem! What a great tribute to your dad! What a great father he was and a great example for his children to follow! You are one lucky lady to have had such parenting.


    • Aww… thanks so much. My parents have been the best examples I could have of true goodness.


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