Remembering Atticus: A Tribute to Our Fathers (& You’re Invited!)

 

A Father’s Day Tribute

 

When I thought about writing this blog for Father’s Day, I wracked my brain to come up with that quintessential father-figure. People like Walt Disney & Abraham Lincoln came to mind, but when I remembered Atticus Finch, the humble hero of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, I knew I’d found him.

Scout & Atticus

Scout & Atticus

ExplanationsGrowing up I always loved the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, because of the charming characters, the fright I felt seeing Jem up on the Radley porch, and the purity of Scout’s love for adventure & people like “Boo”. But my very favorite thing about that film was always Atticus. I think I loved him so much because I had my own wonderful Atticus growing up. My dad always played with us and made us laugh, but I also remember knowing at a very young age just how wise he was, and I remember that making me feel proud of him. There is something about Atticus and men like him, these men that are ” born to do our unpleasant jobs for us” where greatness, security, trust and comfort lie. My father, a funeral director, is one of them and, like Atticus, has a sphere of influence that is far greater and further-reaching than even he knows.

Not all of us had an Atticus in our fathers, but in one way or another, there is probably someone in your life that has represented that figure to you. In documentaries made later about Gregory Peck’s life, there were over-flows of people that found in his portrayal of Atticus, the father figure they had always longed for.

my father

my father

In honor of our fathers, or whomever your Atticus may be, I want to extend the opportunity to you to share your favorite memory, story, trait or word that best captures  the spirit of the men that have guided you.

Help us to make today’s post full of wonderful words by contributing your comment & story below.

We want to honor not only your father, but also the spirit of fatherhood captured so truly and completely by Atticus Finch.

So please share your story, memory or word about your father in the comments below & be a part of this tribute to the great men that are Fathers.

Molly Keating

About Molly Keating

Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.
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  • Kari Lyn Leslie

    Molls,

    This is such a hard subject for some, and in a way, a part of the healing. You are so right about the description of your Dad. Having him an ever present part of my life for the last 35 years has been such a blessing. Just about six weeks ago, I called on Jeff and let him know that in the absence of my own father, I needed his guidance, once again. Of coarse he was there with an ear, a shoulder, and a encouraging words. Over the past 15 years since Bruce has been gone, I have discovered that there are men in my life who have become my “Atticus.” It’s never quite the same, there is so much I still miss about my dad. At times the pain is overwhelming. The heartache rushes in, and the tears come, and then I watch a movie like “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” or “The Family Stone” and I smile through the tears.

    Thanks for sharing your Dad with me. He’s a pretty great guy. I’m a lucky girl to work for 4 amazing men who are in different aspects a bit of “Atticus Finch”

    This was so great!!
    kari

    • Kari,

      You are a testimony to the legacy and Atticus-like quality that my dad carries. I’ve shared him with others since I can remember and it is a delight to my soul to know that other people get to experience the love, wisdom, care & compassion that he has for them.

      I knew that writing this blog there would be those without father’s to celebrate this Sunday and I can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak you experience over that very real loss.

      Your spirit amazes me, makes me smile through my own tears & I”m so grateful to have you in the family!

  • Karen Turner

    Dear Molly,

    This was so well written and so true. Your father has been an Atticus to more than he will ever know… and thank you, Kari, for your dear post. I have been so blessed to have married such a wonderful man and it has been a joy to watch you and Andy grow up under his tenderness, wisdom, and care.

    My own father was much the same… must be one of the reasons I recognized it in Jeff. He was a hard worker, a dedicated family man, and he loved my family and me. I learned laughter, good manners, and a love of history from him. He taught me the importance of respect. He was a man who never met a stranger. My father was a southern gentleman from North Carolina and is responsible for shaping me more than any one else in my youth. He died when you were just a year old and you and Andy never had the joy of knowing him, I am most sad about that. But he loved you, Molly, and he was thrilled when I married Jeff, and he loved me. I am honored to be his daughter.

    Thank you for prompting me to spend a little time with my dad, my hero, my Atticus. It feels good.

    Love you sweet girl,

    Mom

    • It’s so fun to read your thoughts & memories of Grandpa. Even not knowing him with my mind, I feel that I do with my heart because of the beautiful way you have preserved his memory in your stories & descriptions. You’ve kept him alive! Love you, Mom, so very much!

  • Neil O’Connor

    Hi Molly –

    My Dad has taught me about love & compassion. Even though my Dad can be bigger than life at times, he is a very gentle soul that loves God, Mom, family & friends. He has taught me so many valuable lessons, I will always be grateful for him, work hard, play harder, love life! XO

    • I can certainly agree to that! I love when your dad is here, his spirit is so booming and still, somehow, so gently & sweet. He has a rare quality about him. Thanks for sharing Neil!

  • Rob,
    What an incredible story. Your father’s kindness and love along with your sweet childishness brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story to share and a great tribute to the kind of father you had. I hope you have many more memories with him, he sounds like one of the best. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Christopher Iverson

    Molly,

    A great blog. My Dad was the ultimate sports Dad who made growing up and playing all sports in the 1960’s so much fun. I will always have great, pleasant memories of those simpler, playful times.