Saturday, March 8, 2014

Being Dad: What's Does It Take?

Dad: Headed to 91
Oya Mala, Puerto Rico

As I observe my son-in-law, take on his triplets, I can't help but notice all the great qualities he has for this massive undertaking. Like my Dad, Travis is a tremendous hard worker and dedicated to his family above all. 

He Worked
My father came to the US mainland in 1949. He labored in all kinds of manufacturing jobs in New York City and later Connecticut so that his children could be educated. Although he rarely had time he kept his Sabbaths open for us. At times though during his forties he worked several jobs to keep afloat.

There wasn't time for a lot of play or luxury for him. He worked and worked and continued to work until the age of 76. His life up until that time was filled with many reversals but he did not and would not quit even though he was plagued by a genetic flaw: depression. Without medication he forged through it with the help of my mother by his side.

He ruled us with a firm hand but we knew that he loved us, but we also dared not cross him. Still at the age of 90, I respect him enough not to argue with him or anger him. Most of his decisions were right and he kept me from making severe mistakes by setting a great example. My father never drank and never smoked. He was always home unless he was working. His hands were scarred by work related injuries but I also remembered his hands comfortably holding a pen to write his ideas (Bible studies down).

Some of us wait till our parents are deceased to say flowery things about them. I would rather honor my father now before any onset of sorrow. Dad demonstrated his love by his capacity to relentlessly toil for his family and by granting his unconditional love to both his now adult children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. 

As my parents aged, Dad and Mom, took care of each other. Each played doctor and nurse at times. When my mother experienced the last stages of dementia, my father slept on the floor by her bed at home. He took great care of her and cooked for her when she no longer could. Exhausted by her illness he stood fast by her side and anguished over her illness. 

So what does it take to be like him? It takes a real man to love his children and face adversity. It takes a resolve to succeed against all odds and to make a child's future better and more comfortable. It takes vision to leave a child with something intangible that no one can take away such as a trade, a passion, or an education.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, what a beautiful homage to your Dad. And, if you asked him, he would probably respond he was just "doing his job". We were blessed to have those kind of Dads.
    I remember once when my Dad crossed his legs and I noticed a whole in the sole of his shoe that was as big as a silver dollar. I probably was only 11 or 12 but I have never forgotten that. He did without so many times so we didn't have to do without, just as your Dad. Thanks for sharing.


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