Friday, October 06, 2006

That's My Dad

I can never be prouder of someone, or more thankful for someone, than my dad (also called Dad). He was the Hand with the Paddle when I was younger, and the Guy Who Knows Things when I got a little older.

When we were expecting for the first time, twenty-some years ago, I asked him for suggestions on Dad-hood. He told me, "The best way to be a good father is to be a good husband." Word!
As the "baby" of the family, I got the "mature" Charlie, not the volleyball champion or the guy who had black hair but whose beard was bright red (I've seen the photo!).
But I'm so thankful that I still got the man who loved us enough to slay bookkeeping dragons every day, and took a second accounting job too. He loves to pretend to be scandalized by my "wacky" mom. Every Christmas Eve for a decade or more, he would read us a story aloud, "The Birthday of Little Jesus," which told of 8-year-old Jesus going into the hills to find a lost lamb. All three of us kids knew that Dad would do that for us.
Now he has to have an oxygen tube hooked to him, and use a walker. My dad, the same guy who excelled at sports all his life, hitting his last hole-in-one in his 70s (age that is), who used to run 2 miles a day at lunch when working, is now tethered to a machine and can barely walk the length of the house.
But now, as things wind down physically for Mom & Dad, I have never been prouder of my parents. Getting older, becoming dependent on friends, strangers, and relatives, has got to be galling. But, with dignity and a sense of humor, Dad is still dispensing wisdom and love.
Thank you Dad!

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