Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Father’s Day love in memories & greeting cards June 15, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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A greeting card from my sister and me to our dad, circa early 1960s.


AFTER MY DAD DIED 15 years ago, Father’s Day lost significant meaning to me personally. I had no dad to give a card to or to call.


The message inside the duck card, signed by our mom for her daughters.


I love giving and receiving greeting cards. But I’ve observed that fewer people send cards these days, choosing instead to text, email, call or simply ignore important personal days of loved ones. I noticed that with my birthday last fall. Birthday cards, especially from family, once stuffed my mailbox. No more.


The verse inside this card reads: “For being all that a Father could be/ Loving, gentle and good;/ For your patience and generosity/ In caring for your brood;/ For the happy glow of family love/ That other folks can see–/ Darling, for all of these and more/…A million thanks from me!” My mom signed the card, “Love, Arlene.”


Greeting cards, past and present, still hold a place of importance for me. I especially treasure the cards my mom saved through the decades. I have some of those, among them a handful of Father’s Day cards given to my dad.


Three of the four of us were old enough to sign this Father’s Day card to our dad. Two more siblings would be born after this.


I selected a few to share here because they hold a certain sweetness in messages, graphics and signatures. They are all vintage early 1960s.


Dad farmed, in the early years with a John Deere and Farmall and IH tractors and later with a Ford. (Photo by Lanae Kletscher Feser)

A photo of my dad, Elvern Kletscher, taken in 1980.


While I don’t have my dad anymore, I still have those greeting cards. And I hold memories of my farmer father who loved me and my five siblings deeply and taught us the value of faith, family and hard work. He wasn’t perfect—no one is. But he was a good man, an honest man, a man of the earth. And if I could, I’d send him a card today telling him how much I appreciated him and loved him.


© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “Father’s Day love in memories & greeting cards”

  1. Murphy's Law Says:

    This is a lovely tribute to your Dad Audrey. My own dad passed at the age of 64. He was my hero. Hard working, kind, always saw at least two sides to every situation. He had a terrific dry sense of humor and could really spin a tale. He believed in fair play and always gave the benefit of the doubt.

    Like you, I still send cards….with a hand-written note. I like sending “thinking of you” cards in addition to the traditional ones. A card that someone took the time to pick out just for you, then perhaps added a personal note, conveys so much more than a text or email.

    Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere, and especially to those dads who now live in our memories.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    • I would have liked your dad, Ginger. He sounds like a loving and compassionate man.

      I appreciate that you send those “thinking of you” cards also. I do the same. The thought in choosing a card and then writing a personal message can help a friend or family member through a rough patch, provide encouragement, congratulate and so much more.

  2. Beautiful 🙂 Now that I am older I am able to deepen and strengthen that bond with my loved ones and greatest someones, especially with us all living in different States. Life is a precious gift to slowly unwrap one layer at a time and to savor the opening of said gift. I truly believe that my loved ones who have passed are now my angels watching over me. It is about making memories and cherishing those memories. ((((((loveandhugs))))) Take Care My Friend – Be Blessed

  3. Cherish your cards and memories- how precious! I love the one with you and your sibs names carefully printed. Thank you for making me smile and remember my own memories

  4. OOO, Audrey,
    Precious. Priceless.
    I love that you saved these.
    And your dad’s face is kind like yours.
    The good news is that you will unite one day again…
    but in the meantime it’s quite difficult.
    I will share my daddy w/ you. xxx

    • I only came into possession of these cards several years ago when we went through my mom’s possessions in preparing for her move into a care center. There were more cards, but a sister sorted through them first and I got what was left. Still, I’m happy to have the ones I do. My mom was a saver, even maybe a bit of a pack rat. Clearly, these cards meant something to her.

      I save some of my cards, too, especially the Mother’s Day card my son gave me this year. He’s never before given me a card, other than those made in early grade school. Someone asked, “Does he have a girlfriend?” I laughed. Yup, that could be the reason I received a beautiful Mother’s Day card. It doesn’t matter. I displayed his card, along with the two from his sisters, for about a month.

      Yes, knowing I will see my dad in heaven eases his loss. Thank you for offering to share your daddy. I think I would like him. If he’s anything like you. 🙂

  5. Almost Iowa Says:

    AFTER MY DAD DIED 15 years ago, Father’s Day lost significant meaning to me personally. I had no dad to give a card to or to call.

    Hey!! But you are married to a dad, and from what I can see, a fine one at that. 🙂 I am sure he would appreciate a card.

    It is wonderful all those cards were saved. They are like a time-machine.

    PS: And one more thing, I have serious tractor envy.

  6. Don Says:

    I too have saved many cards over the years and have a drawer full of fathers day, birthday, and whatever day cards! I suppose I am a packrat too! As for the tractor, that picture sure brings back memories of growing up in rural Minnesota. Here in Fairbanks I have a good friend that flies Lear Jets for a living. He grew up on a farm in Iowa and he has an old John Deere tractor that he occasionally drives to work with, takes 2 hours one way and he gets many a strange look being in his pilot uniform driving that old cabless tractor. You can remove the boy from the farm but you cannot remove the farm from of the boy…………………

  7. valeriebollinger Says:

    Cute cards..
    I, too, lost my dad too early and miss him dearly. My husband, nor my two sons, ever met him. Father’s day is bittersweet…I’m thankful for my husband who has been a wonderful father to our two sons.

  8. Jackie Says:

    Audrey, I’m sorry you dont have your dad here anymore, I cant imaging the empty feeling you must have when “Father’s Day” comes around. The cards you shared were just so vintage and a perfect reminder of the Dad that you will always have good memories of. I can tell you loved him so much!

  9. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I love the old cards that you have shared. I have a few that I gave my Dad over the years. I agree, people don’t send mail as much as they used to.

  10. Bernadette Says:

    It is amazing how much those cards mean now — even more than on the day they were given. My mother too saved cards and we have quite a few treasures. Loved the picture of your Dad by the tractor.

  11. Bella Says:

    I love these sweet little cards and sentiments especially the duck one. You should consider framing your favorite one.

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