Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Reflections...

These two men had a lot to do with the woman I am today...As is with most fathers, they can either kill us or cure us. And was the case with my father...Part of his instruction to me was examples of How Not Live; errors made, mistakes made and words either spoken too harshly or not enough.  I have no idea what kind of father he was to my sisters as the years amongst the three of us kept us on different playing fields. I do know that I was the last of three, another girl to the trio and his last chance at doing it right.  And he tried.  My Dad was a humorous man, a practical joker, a sensitive man damaged by the ravages of war before Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was diagnosed or treated.  We had a connection; I was the tomboy/helper that I thought he needed.  He was the affirmer, the complimenter, the gifter that he knew was way too hard for my Mom.  We were buddies.  Which worked out for him in his last years, when life's toll on his neglected health, brought him to live with my family.  It was our close relationship and crazy humor that kept us going the Long Year that I  lived with him in the cottage on our property.  During that time, in the wee hours of the morning when the world was far away, we had many opportunities to share our lives.  I had the chance to get really angry with him with my upbringing and he had the chance to ask my forgiveness.  On the day he died, he waited till I had left his 24 hour vigil, to leave this world.  A daddy still protecting his little girl......Then there was my Other Dad.  My beloved Father in Law.  The Man that helped form My Beloved Hubby's character.  A man of principles and  faith.  A man with a strong work ethic and community responsibility.  The man that most would call when they needed help. His hugs would drain your lungs of air.  They were warm and intentionally memorable.  Like My Hubby.  Oddly, the very things that bugged me about FIL, became crystal clear when I accumulated some years and helped me understand him even more.  My Father In Law liked me.  He would smirk at my sarcastic comments.  He would smile at me with approval when I put someone in their place.  He approved of my kind of mothering and I don't believe he ever raised his voice to my children. We both had a love of plants and he always willingly shared with me.  Once, when he and my mother in law were working on 'downsizing' their belongings, I admired an antique iron stove that he kept his plants on.  I told him that I loved it and that he could put it on My Hubby's List of Things to Inherit.  He asked me what I would do with it, odd thing that it was/is.  I told him specifically, my plans for it.  He tells me, 'well, get your husband to strap it to the top of the car and take it with you now!'  I said, 'Isn't that 'against the rules?' He replies with a grin, 'No one will ever know....'  And to this day, I think of that dear man every time I look at my Rare Iron Stove.

Ah, the complexities and the comfort of Our Father's Love....On this day, whether your reflections are difficult or lovely, glean what you can, keep the good and learn from the rest.....

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully written! Devon looks so much like that picture of your dad! WOW...shocks me every time! :) Had a great visit!!!!!

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  2. Beautiful, bittersweet, and Blessed... love it.
    Also, first picture looks like Devon, second like Jordan. Each boy favors a grandpa, that's neat.

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