There’s Not Much You Can Do, but Go On —–Monday, February 25, 2019

(Pete and Francis wedding photo) 

My paternal Grandmother, Francis Dorsey Shipley married Peter Edward Doyle on the 10th of September 1921….she was 19 and he was 31.   Gram said they were very much in love, although, her dad did NOT approve of the marriage. (That is another story for another time.)

But for this story and this time, I wish to write to you about my Dad.

Lester Allen Doyle was born January 1, 1926, in Brea, Californa five years after Gram and Grand married. He was the only child.

(Pete, Francis, Lester)

By the time Daddy was 8-going on 9 the family had moved back to Delta, in the Read area and started farming. (The farm now is growing houses and roads. Sigh.)

(Last photo ever taken of Pete)

Grams said it was an extremely happy time.  Daddy’s memories are much along that same line of thought.

Then when Daddy turned 9, that September his Dad died.

And the world turned upside down.  Gram sold the farm moved to Eckert and found a job.

(Ralph Holder, Francis, Charley, Tuff, Lester in the front of Francis, Jr. in front of Charley) 

When Daddy was almost eleven, Gram married Charles Albin Holder. Charley had lost his wife to a brain tumor and was raising three boys alone.

(Lester, Ralph, Tuff, Jr. in front of Ralph) 

Actually, this was tough times for my Dad, he never felt part of the family…ever. (See how he held his hands behind his back trying to not take up lots of space), although, Gram was more than thrilled with her new life.

(Lester, Ralph, Tuff, Jr. in front of Ralph)


At one point Daddy ran away from home, going to live with his Uncle Ott Doyle. Dad stayed with Ott and his family for a goodly amount of time.  Then one day, Ott took Dad for pickup truck ride and gave him a wee bit of advice about life:

(Lester and Francis) 

“Sometimes, Les” my Dad quoted to me one day,  “There’s not much you can do about what life hands you, but go on.”

After more heart to heart talk, Daddy went home.  Then when he just turned 17 he talked his Mom into letting him go into the Navy –it was WWII.

(Back row: Momma, Charley, Francis, Kay Jr.  Front row: Danny, Me holding Gary Holder and the little boy next to me is Randy Holder.   I wanted to be a nurse so I wore my Nurse uniform everywhere until it wore clear out. 🙂  )

Back home Dad married Momma, had Danny and I and we grew up living very close to both sides of our grandparents and Charley’s youngest son, Jr., and his family.

(Charley’s Mother Mattie, Charley Holder, my Dad, Me, and the baby is our oldest daughter, Shannon) 

Dad continued to always treat the Holder’s like they were his family.

Even after Gram had died, my Dad took care of Charley as if he were his own father, bringing him to stay a week at a time with he and Mom and taking Charley out to eat once in a while.

One day I asked Daddy why he kept on taking care of Charley even though things were always ‘sorta off’ with Charley.

My Dad looked at me very seriously and said: “My Mother would have wanted me too.”

My heart crumpled with that statement.

I look back at Daddy’s life, sometimes, and realize he sat a huge example for me.

I love you, Daddy.

From my heart to your world,



36 thoughts on “There’s Not Much You Can Do, but Go On —–Monday, February 25, 2019

  1. I started writing a comment and it swished away into cyber-space so I will try again. Loved the story about your Dad. The photos are great too. Your Dad had it tough after his dad died but he got through it to become a proud family man. Good for him and good for you too


  2. I enjoyed your family story …your dad gave you good advice and ,for sure, a good example! I’ve thought of putting some similar posts together, mostly for our kids and grands (and so on)…maybe someday. You really did it right. (And my sister, who is ten years younger than I am, recently FB posted a picture of me holding her as an infant…I’m in my nurse hat! Guess you and I had that dream in common) )


  3. Thank you Linda, for the story of your family starting quite a way back. Sounds like your dad was a very good man and definitely set a good example for you. If we could change the painful times in our loved ones lives, we would, wouldn’t we? Thank goodness the Lord gave us beautiful examples of Roses amongst a few thorns in our family trees!


  4. Thank you so much for sharing. I remember hearing that any man could be a Father, but it took someone special to be a “Daddy”. I think you had a wonderful one. What a lovely heritage. Bless all you you!



  5. Your quote from your father brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.
    One day I asked Daddy why he kept on taking care of Charley even though things were always ‘sorta off’ with Charley.

    My Dad looked at me very seriously and said: “My Mother would have wanted me too.”


    • It did me too. 😦 And it made it even more profound when (after Daddy died) I had gone to visit Charley and he informed he that he never liked my Dad and he had told Francis if they were to get married Lester had to go live with Pete’s people. I stared at Charley is stunned amazement that he would tell me ME that ugly truth.


      • Wow.
        I have experience with people of similar attitude as Charley expressed to you and it left me with the conclusion that we are given two options daily: Live our life better, or be bitter. We must choose to strive daily to live our life better and not bitter. People have a huge capacity to love, protect, care for and nurture. But at the same time, people have the capacity to hate, destroy and inflict great damage. Thank you for sharing the story of your dad who chose to love, protect, care for and nurture and heal when faced with those who chose the opposite path.


  6. I listened to the family stories told by my mother, her aunts, my grandfather. Many decades later I began piecing the stories into the documented facts of various family branches. So many losses and hardships! When a woman was widowed–or a man left with ‘motherless children’ practicality took over. As a cousin [a genealogist] noted, the bereaved person often looked first at the possible mates within the larger family group, often marrying a brother-in-law’s sister, for instance. ‘Blended families’ are nothing new, but not as today’s trend of dissolving a marriage on a whim.
    As I’ve assembled the details for my own family, for my husband’s family and for friends, I am humbled at the realization of tragedies survived–without ‘counseling’ or ‘grief management.’ It was about picking up the pieces as best one could and going on.
    Thank you for sharing.


  7. Wow. I remember reading this post awhile back, but it was still in my inbox so I wondered why and checked to see if I’d commented, as it was such a powerful post that I figured I had left it there to remind me. As I scrolled down and read through the comments I was stunned to read your follow up on Charley. I love your dad even more now.


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