Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ms. Bear on Her Father's 99th Birthday!

Milton Lars Erlandson was born on January 26th, 1917. Today, he would have been 99 years old! Melissa asked me to do a guest post remembering “Pops” as she always called him.

When I think back to my childhood, my dad was always kind of a larger-than-life figure. Literally, he was a big guy, over 6 feet tall, and to me, as a little kid, he always seemed so big. I lived back in the old days, where mothers stayed home and raised kids, and I remember being so impressed that my dad was able to earn so much money to give us such a wonderful life. I always wanted to know how much he made, but people back then were very closed-mouthed about money matters!

My dad was a man of the Mad Men era. He went to work looking spiffy in a suit and tie every day and had long lunches in nice restaurants on the company dime. He would arrive home promptly at 5:45 every day, and on the rare occasion that he was late, my mom would sit down at the piano and play a song because that always made him pull in the driveway!

Growing up, I never felt that I knew him too well. His politics and mine were in stark opposition. This was during the era of the Vietnam War and dinner table conversations would sometimes get a little heated!
When I left home and would call my parents, my dad would say hi and ask how I was and then always said, “Wait a second and I’ll get your mother for you.” It wasn’t until after my mother’s death that I really began to see my father as a person, learning about his deepest feelings and simultaneously realizing the depth of his love for my sisters and me. For you see, for all the masculine bravado, deep down, my dad was an old softie, with the same feelings as the rest of us. I am so thankful for all the years I had to get to know him after my mother died.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad and smile. For I know, wherever he is, that he is just as proud of me today as he was my whole life. It’s too bad that I didn’t really realize this earlier. So, today, if you still have parents living, take a moment to call them up and ask them some questions before it’s too late to really get to know the person inside that larger-than-life figure that you call mom and dad!


  1. What a beautiful post Ms. Bear. You look like your Dad and have his smile. Family never leave our hearts even when the pass away. Happy birthday to your Dad as you reflect on his love ox


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