Ode to Dads
It was my dad’s birthday at the end of May, so can I take up your time with a little “Ode to Dads”?
My dad is going to be 86. He’s been through two marriages, the Korean War, a triple bypass and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's Disease. This May 31st he’ll be celebrating with two teenage granddaughters, my husband and I and his wife of 39 years. His circle is small now, even smaller than when he used to do shift work at the refinery in Pennsylvania and come home only to take care of us, his family. He didn’t go out on the weekend with friends; he washed and waxed the car with his son and took us all to the gym. He cut the lawn and made me toast before school. He fixed anything that broke in the house and built a room in the basement for my brother to have some privacy. He adopted me at 13, when he married my mom, and was a dad to a girl whose father ran out on her.
Is it any surprise that my husband works and comes home and builds onto our house? He doesn’t go hang out with friends; he goes and finds abandoned bricks to bring home and make us a garden. He teaches his girls any chance and opportunity he gets, so that they’ll look for a mate just as hard working and protective as he is. As my Dad is.
My father could be rough and mean. There was a time he was racist and hateful and blamed things on minorities. My husband too; he used to talk to me like a construction worker and find where to place the blame for all things wrong in the world. He’s also changing, slowly.
How do we love people in our lives who would do anything – absolutely anything – for us, their families, but still hold hate and racism in their hearts?
Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love never fails.
Maybe it’s just time, or maybe all the illnesses and losses he’s suffered, but he’s not as mean or hateful as he once was. He’s changed now. Love NEVER fails!
Happy Birthday Dad!