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Pamela Loxley Drake is missing her dad, and the other father figures in her life, this Father's Day.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeWhen my parents had both passed, Mother's Day and Father's Day were difficult.

I walked past the cards and thought, "I cannot buy them another one."

It hurts. This missing, I mean. No matter how long we have a good parent, it is just not long enough. In fact, you get that rather ridiculous feeling that you might just get to keep them forever.

But my missing wasn't just for my own. No, it was for all the farm parents who loved me my entire life. Now that's a long time, since I had a birthday this week. And, as with my own, I lost them one by one.

Do not give up on me here. There is a brighter side to all this. I would not be the woman I am today without those precious people. In fact, even my difficult grandfathers added to the wisdom I would gain from those relationships.

I was loved. And, the older I get, the more I appreciate what I call the gifts of these relationships.

As with farm families, we lived in the same area all the years of growing up. It was no big deal to walk down the road and stop in to see a familiar face. If the kids weren't home, we hung out with the parents for a spell.

When I was grown with a family of my own, I always stopped to visit when we returned. This is what family is about, what farms are about, what love is about.

For this Father's Day, write a note or give a call to those dads who spent time with you. Those who back then wouldn't think of missing a ballgame or dance recital even if they weren't your flesh and blood.

Old age can be lonely. A smile from a once-neighbor is a cherished gift.

They were the givers, these fathers of ours. Now it is our turn.

Happy Father's Day. Dads, know that you are indeed very special.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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