In search of story

June 19.22: Coping, but barely


Back when television was young, as was I, a commercial played this ditty:

“You’ll wonder where the yellow went

when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent,”

which my dad sang as

“You’ll wonder where the yellow went

when you brush your teeth with fresh cement.”

Along in those same years, I asked my dad why we don’t have an A in our last name. We spell it O’Hern but a whole lot of folks spell it O’Hearn and are ever sticking the A in our name as though it belongs there. So what happened to it?

“Our ancestors, “said Dad, “were horse thieves. In an effort to evade the police, they dropped the A from their last name.” The moral of the story being, I assumed, that our ancestors were horse thieves and halfwits.

Apparently slow of wit myself, I asked Dad one day how he felt the first time he held me. “Wet,” he said. So sweetly sentimental.

To dads everywhere, I wish all good things. It isn’t easy to be a dad. But know this: when you see your offspring rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at your stories and jokes, you know you have achieved immortality. Dad jokes never die. Happy Fathers’ Day!


The dad in the photo is my son,

whose offspring have indeed been known to roll their eyes.

Good work, Dad!

10 thoughts on “June 19.22: Coping, but barely

  1. Maureen, I LOVE your dad. Now I know where your sense of humor comes from…at least some of it. You’re right. Dad jokes never die, and neither do dad memories. Your memories are precious.

    Happy Father’s Day to all dads everywhere, including in Heaven, where I hope our dads will meet and exchange stories. The angels won’t know what hit them when they start crying from laughing so hard!

    • I laughed out loud as soon as I read “I LOVE your dad”! And I thoroughly enjoy the vision of our dads in the next life swapping dad stories. I am reminded of a M*A*S*H episode where Charles says to Hawkeye something like “You’re lucky you have a dad; I have a father.” I thought that was a nice distinction. All dads are fathers, but not all fathers rise to the level of Dad. Thanks, Ginger!

  2. What a lovely post on this special day, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘wet’ response. 🙂 Yes, offspring certainly roll their eyes, and you almost have to make yourself keep from chuckling right back. 🙂 Life – it’s certainly a journey, and it all goes back around in a big circle.

    • Thanks, Judy! Needless to say, I was thinking also of those moms, like yours, who had to be dads too. It’s a part of Fathers’ Day that many think about. Then there are the dads who have to be moms. God bless them all!

  3. What a nice tribute, Maureen. Your dad sounds a lot like mine. I think I would have liked him.

  4. I’m charmed by your Dad stories! He was a humorist and a story teller, and most definitely had a way with words (like father, like daughter). The Father and Son photo is pure magic: I love the body language… it’s a Norman Rockwell moment!

    • Thanks! Dad would be pleased to hear himself described as a storyteller! I love that father-son picture too. And I also love Norman Rockwell, so it’s lovely to think of it that way.

  5. A lovely tribute to your dad, your son, and all dads everywhere. I most certainly had a dad, not a father, for which I am duly grateful.

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