Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 90 years old today.
I lost my Dad in July, 2008. It will be 9 years this year and I miss him every day. I don’t know when a person loses that impulse to pick up the phone and give a loved one a call; I still deal with that impulse on a regular basis. I took a class once where we were asked who our best teacher had been. I gave that question a lot of thought but the answer was the first name that came to my mind. By the time they got to me, I had my answer ready. It was, without a doubt, my Dad. He taught me not to judge, not to hold grudges and that people are basically good. He taught me that a person can do anything if they put their mind to it. He taught me that a woman can be anything she wants to be. He taught me that love is acceptance.
I saw some people do unethical things to him. Everything from not paying a bill for work completed to someone killing his dog. Despite that, I never heard him speak poorly of anyone. He had faith that all things balance out in the end. He had a way of accepting life as it came and he didn’t complain about the hand that was dealt to him. My brother was mentally ill but Dad had a lot of patience in dealing with him. He didn’t complain about having a son that was ill; he just handled it from day to day. My Mom suffered from dementia towards the end of her life and some of her statements were true to her but not necessarily as things actually were. Yet Dad again took care of her with patience, making her dinner, taking her to doctor appointments and dealing with a lot of repeated statements. He was an example on how to treat people with respect, no matter their infirmities.
My Dad was a born optimist. I picked up a lot of my optimism from him. Unfortunately, since he died, I allowed myself to forget some of the lessons he taught me and I have found myself overwhelmed by work and life in general. Since retiring, I’ve been able to regain some of my balance and my natural optimism is bubbling back up. I feel like I’m regaining a sense of myself and happily, I’m feeling closer to my Dad. He wasn’t perfect but he tried to life his life with values that inspired me to be a better person. I sincerely believe that if I could be half the person he was, I would be better than average.
I’m luckier than most. I was adopted shortly after birth. I found my biological father a few years ago and he is happily still in my life. I found him while my Dad was still living and he never questioned my ability to love both of them. He understood that there is room in everyone’s life for more love. He would ask how my biological Dad was doing and would honestly be interested in his life. I love you Dad and miss you. I feel that you are watching over me and you are still an inspiration to me…………