NASA Image of the Day

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dear Dad,

I was going to write a poem: something with a clever ABAB rhyming scheme, referencing ageless virtues, stalwart natures, adventurous spirits, determined loyalty....all good and true, interspersed with a sense of all-too-human self doubt, and the gentle humility and enclosure of a 50-year marriage to my loving, funny, and wonderful, mother.

I was going to talk about all of those things, because they remain the example of a kind and good man; a man who, with his equally kind wife, provided - and continues to provide - an example of something priceless: reliability.

No matter how tired you were, you got up in the morning, Dad, and went to work. As Keanu Reeves said, about someone HE admired, in a piece of writing I read, "you showed up".

I've driven through blizzards and pinched my cheeks pink and awake, to follow that example, when we had a 20% call-off on the work floor with the flu....and all really sick. I was well - and I "showed up", too. I still try to, no matter how much I'd rather be somewhere else. I realize, as I grow older, what a rarity that quality really is.

No matter how difficult or challenging finances found the money for school pictures.

No matter how much you thought that the quiet, steady, flash-of-humour, rapier wit, firmly principled example went unnoticed in a world of glamourous, violent, medalled men, you won what no other man, medalled or otherwise, could have: the love, respect, and abiding gratefulness of children who love you - and, in my case, respect for your humanity, imperfection, and striving for a better self in all of us. A quiet Wordsworth ran through every outlook and perspective you shared.  There is no medal for this - only us, your children, as a legacy of those moments.

There are no awards for these things, really, save the knowledge that no matter how daunting the day seemed, no matter what other men said, did, went, perpetrated, spoke of, or presumed, the simplicity of a man who loved, cared for, supported, and encouraged his Family, will remain with me Forever.

Other men have failed me, Dad; in example, reliability, love, and concern; and although you never pretended to be perfect - warned me against presuming anyone was, in fact, least of all, you - I saw a man with a quiet fierceness whose kindness was - and is - along with the love he has for a careful group of people - real, whose encouragement for a fiercely independent daughter was equally real, and whose curiousity and adventurous spirit took my mother to far off places, and made friends throughout a still hopeful World. I see a glow of love, after almost fifty years of marriage, that hints of some real warmth - good and bad - but always honest.     

Thank you for your working spirit; thank you for your caution to rest, too; thank you for the urging of the quiet step back - which came in handy in dangerous places - along with the firm tone, the bantering, the awkwardness and the rough affection, (since I wasn't a boy, and sometimes it must have been tough to have all of those deep discussions about uncomfortable things that I wanted answers to, no matter how embarassing) since it was always something wondrous and inspiring: you.

Thank you for the ability to consider, and change, and grow, as a human being. Thank you for assuring me that what I viewed as "successful" was not weird, compared to other women.

Thank you for every day more I am blessed with these loving gifts, and a Dad who thinks that what I have to say, and think, and dream of, and try to do, are of equal importance, in a sometimes brutish, and ignorant, world.

God Bless you, Daddy, and  Happy Father's Day.


Your Daughter. xo