Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Fathers Day

Hats off to dads everywhere!  So much attention goes to moms because we are the ones who endure 9 months of pregnancy, give birth and often considered the primary caregivers.

The importance of fathers has been under appreciated by history and stereotypes.  However, most of us know first hand how important our dads are in our lives. 

As life unfolds, we get older and they pass on.  Often it is only then there lingers many wise words and wisdom shared.

I loved my father's stories.  As his elderliness was settling in, he often repeated them.  Then there may have been concern for his forgetfulness and a hint of exasperation on having to hear it again.  Now I look back to realize each time there was  a golden nugget to cherish and learn from.  

I really miss my father.  Yes he was tough when I needed to be taught a lesson.  He certainly displayed strength in difficult circumstances.  I think of him as a hero, handsome man with such dark eyes that did seem to sparkle when he was laughing.  He wasn't a teaser - he left that to my brothers.  He wasn't always there, he was a provider.  He was wise and could drill down to the heart of the matter.

I'm lucky.  I had my father for many many years.  As his body started to betray his vitality, he made up for it by wanting to talk.  He liked when my mom was out so he would call any one of us kids to talk, share those stories but most of all shield us from hurt, mistakes we made, and be brave for us when our own resources were depleting.  He was there when it counted and I needed him most.

As a kid I was disappointed if he didn't come to my skating competitions or tests, yet he always made it to the shows, bursting with pride.  He was important in his job and in those days kids didn't telephone their parents.  The very few times I did,  he would come home and say how impressed everyone was with my articulation or manners.  He was proud and a proud man.

Dads are not knights with armor to protect us against harm.  They have faults, they have weaknesses and life doesn't always hand them everything so they can, in turn, provide for family and hand down to children.  However,  we should respect how important that role is to everyone in society.  We should help those who need help being a father.  Everyone benefits.

I think my dad, for all his accomplishments and a tough journey to get there, appreciated and lived life to be remembered with honor and love.  I know he had regrets and may have had a few unfulfilled wishes.  Yet, he wasn't afraid to stand up for what was right and expected great things to come from all of us kids, and then his grandkids. 

I am happy to have had such a father.  Without him, I wouldn't have learned as much or nourished by his encouragement.

He did a pretty good job.  He matters now as he did back then.  He did leave a legacy and one of them was me.  Yes, I do feel sadness some days and would love to hear one more of those stories.

"A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men."