Gratitude for My Father and My Life

Over the weekend I had a bit of a family health scare which put me in a tail spin. Why am I writing about this?  I realized over the last few days that I am a grown up with one parent and it’s a sobering reality thinking you may loose the other one. I lost my mother a few years ago last February and I thought that was difficult to overcome.While we spent most of our lives at odds, I know my mother did the very best she could for me. Becoming a parent makes your parents who seem frustrating and flawless, very human.

However, learning that the only surviving parent (who happens to be Dad; confidant, trusted adviser, best friend and the person you admire most in the world) is ill in any manner; is a call to attention of all the details you might have looked passed. When I was told by my husband that my father was in the hospital, before I heard anything further, it was as if a black and white movie played in front of me of all the great, terrible, triumphant and challenging memories we’ve had.

Advice on cars, teaching appreciation of Vintage cars and respect a good mechanic who can work on a touchy Alpha Romeo, work hard and do the right thing (always no matter what the consequence), answering questions about random subjects, it’s okay to wear you heart on your sleeve (just add a little body armor), being gentle even when you feel like stomping on someone like an elephant, living your truth, always sticking to your word, informing me about the Ancient Aliens on the Science Channel, appreciating nature and where we live, dancing at our wedding, the birth of his first granddaughters, cherishing relationships, cutting out the bullshit, him gaining a son and an extended set of kids in my sister and brother in law (whom he thinks of as his own!), and on and on the memories go as the drive continues to the hospital. Until the moment when you can actually see your parents face and know the reality of the situation. That my husband was right, despite the sounds of things, while the cause of his illness is still unknown, that things seem they are going to be all right.

In reflection, as I tried to remain calm and behave like a grown woman while my husband spoke to me about what was going on I broke into tiny little pieces, a fractured little girl. What I realized about this is while we all think we may act a particular way in certain situations and we think we understand how others feel or should act; we are all at the core humans who are faulted in the most loving of ways. I am my father’s and step-mother’s daughter, my partner’s wife, my children’s mother, my step-son’s step-mom, my sister’s sister; and I am proud to be, and however I may act it is out of love. The next time you think you know what someone may want to hear; maybe they just want you to listen – my husband and my sil did and reminded me: I am a faulted human who loves my determined and cranky old Dad more than words could say.

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