Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day
I miss my dad, a lot.

I have been taking him to lunch almost every Saturday for the last few years after he could no longer drive. He was already changing some then but the changes weren't as noticeable as they are now. At that time he was losing his strength & his reflexes were getting very slow. Hence the no driving.
My daughter thinks she knows my dad because she usually goes with me to take him to eat. But she doesn't know the man he used to be.
He is very much a Christian and lived the life. If someone needed something, he gave it to them. He's given away a car or two to someone that he knew needed it more than him. I have no idea how many people he gave money to. I'm pretty sure they never asked, he sensed a need and just gave it to them. Dad has never been rich, quite often he probably wasn't even considered middle class. Looking back, we kids have figured out that we were actually poor growing up. We never really knew it for a long time.
Although her really had no *social* standing in our community he was well respected. That says a lot.
Physically, he was a strong man. Now, he is weak. I almost cried the day I figured out I was stronger than him.
My dad is 92 & he seems to be losing his memory. I hear that for many, as they age, they live in the past. Dad's past is disappearing. That's very sad.
He has very little interest in conversation. Part of that could be his hearing. It's as if his emotions have flat-lined. Occassionally I'll see a glimpse of who he used to be but it's fleeting.
Dad had a subtle way of parenting but he got his point accross & we all respected him. I'm guessing that is what kept a few of us (or maybe just me?) from getting in too much trouble. We didn't want to dissappoint him. We also didn't want the punishment. But now that I say that & really think about it, he seldom punished us. When we older & knew we'd done wrong & been caught, we were smart enough not to ask for anything or to go anywhere for a few weeks. Asking to soon might of actually gotten us punishment.
I remember when I was first learning to drive a stick shift. I was in fourth gear and headed up a hill. The car was slowing some & from the passenger's seat Dad says "That's why they made four gears." I shifted down since I couldn't go up and he never said anything. I assumed I'd done the right thing.
If one of us left an outside door hanging open in the winter, as kids seem to do quite often, he'd say "Trying to warm up the outdoors?"
I miss the man my dad used to be.

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