Dad My Hero

John E. Kading VFWFebruary 11, 2020

I decided to begin again on this website and try my best to share the JOY of Millbrook, New York and the life I had been blessed to begin living my life!

This was written in my journal in the year of 2002 and just felt it was needed to post it finally onto this site.

Dad is doing well and will be reaching his 92nd Birthday in May this year and just wanted to get this posted to honor my dad as my True Hero!

Enjoy the Millbrook Memories!

Corner News Store

2002 My Dad As a Hero

The time of my childhood is a pleasant memory.

I was fortunate enough to have great parents that taught me right from wrong.

My parents owned a small retail store in the town of Millbrook in Dutchess County.

My Dad started it when he was 18 years old.

They sold it when it was 52 years old, which is a huge accomplishment keeping a business afloat for that long.

It was a struggle though that’s for sure.

I came aboard when I was around nine years old.

I believe that I went to work there because I just wanted my Daddy’s sole attention, without my two brothers or sister around!

So I remember dusting the merchandise, washing the windows, sweeping the floor, and just tidying up when I was just starting.

My dad assigned me a light blue time book that had my name on the front with my father’s writing in black magic marker ink-Diane.

I was to write in the date, time I started and ended, and the total hours worked for each day.

At the end of the week, which was Friday, I was to total my hours for the week and he would pay me at 25 cents an hour.

I learned a lot about money and working hard for it from those days at my parent’s store.

I distinctly remember when I had successfully worked four hours it meant that I could buy the new Monkee’s 45 “Daydream Believer.”

Boy was that exciting for me!

Well whenever I felt like it I would walk from school and work until closing, which was seven.

Dad and I would close up the store and go home where my Mom and the rest of my family would be patiently waiting for us to arrive so we could eat dinner.

I fondly remember those nights around that dinner table talking about everything from school to what’s on television that night.

We were the typical American family and yet I felt different.

I was the oldest of four and it isn’t that surprising that I became interested in the family business.

It was so easy for me to become interested in making money.

I guess it was just in my blood or something like that that prompt me to explore the business world early in my life.

I believe that I choose my parents because of the fact they were to teach me about business as well as be great parents to me.

Yes, you read that right!

I choose my parents and they agreed to be my parents!

The fact is that I was born to them as their first child and my life was almost abruptly taken from them at around five months.

They had taken a trip to have Thanksgiving with my grandparents and I had convulsions and almost died.

I was told this story ever since I can remember.

It went like this- my dad looked in on me to check me and found me not breathing, my skin blue, and my eyes rolling back in my head, so he quickly put his finger down my throat to get my tongue out-of-the-way so I could breathe.

I was rushed to the hospital and given many tests to find out what caused this to happen to me, and they couldn’t find anything wrong.

My parents were told that I would grow out of it, but always keep an eye on me until I did.

They did that and it happened a few more times in my life.

Millbrook Fire House I can’t imagine what it must have been like for my dad to see me like that!

Thank God he was on the Millbrook Fire and Rescue crew and trained on what to do.

If it had been my mother she wouldn’t have known and she would have had to call him into the room, which would have met more minutes and maybe the difference of my life or death.

Anyway I am alive today because of my dad’s quick action in clearing my throat so I could breathe.

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that he knew the rescue technique to save his own daughter’s life.

I believe it was meant to be that way and my life was in my own father’s hands during those critical moments

This May he’ll be celebrating his 75th birthday ( 92 years old in May 2020 )!

Maybe that’s why I had always felt different and not like anyone else.

I have a hunch that that remarkable incident in my life was the explanation why I feel like I do.

At times, I always seemed to feel like a stranger in this world, which I found so many others feel the same way as I do too!

I have fought it for many, many years and realize that I think I wanted to not continue with my life and it was my father’s quick action that I was saved from that decision.

Yes, I was only five months old and unable to make that choice, yet my Father did for me and I’m eternally grateful.

As the years went by and I continually worked at my parents store learning more and more about business, I realized that is why my life was saved that day when I was only five months old.

I was to work side by side with my Dad in this business and assist him in growing this business to its maturity.

Well I stayed with him until he reached his 50th anniversary of that business and I was proud of what he had accomplished in those years, and desperately wanted him and mom to retire.

Unfortunately he had other ideas that I didn’t agree with, and so I was asked to leave.

I realize that was to be one of the most difficult things he’s has ever done as my father!

Yet, even though I should have been deeply disturbed about leaving the family business after thirty years of my life, I wasn’t.

It was so strange that it felt like I almost knew that this was going to happen and I had completed a contract and now that contract was done.

I successfully achieved a huge task in my life to reach the 50th anniversary of our family’s business, and now I was free to live my life without the anchor of my family’s business.

I was now released to pursue the other assignments to be completed in my life, and to evolve into the women I was destined to become.