Yeh, so I do really know that people on Facebook are in love with posting soupy sayings, quotes, crap to make them feel better. But hey, who are we to criticize? If it works what’s the issue?
I give my only daughter a hard time about it. We tease her and repeat the cornball quote of the day she posts on her Facebook page but in the end it really doesn’t matter. She likes them so that’s all that matters.
This Sunday is Father’s Day. I will likely spend the day doing dad-like chores like fixing stuff, cleaning stuff, cutting stuff. It’s what we dads do. We complain about it but we realize it is part of the deal.
The little item above, though, really did hit home. It’s so true. When we’re really young we love our dads. Then we begin to ignore them. At some point we consider them unbearable then we flee their rule.
Not soon after we realize our dads were right about most stuff and we do want to be with them. We are afraid of losing them and at some point we would give up everything to spend time with them all over again.
It’s so, so true. However, some of us never even got the chance to go through the whole process. I never knew my grandfather and I’m pretty sure my dad didn’t have his dad for very long.
Me? Well, I think I was still in the I love my dad phase a lot moving to the slight rebellion stage when he passed away – nine days before Christmas. He was teaching me how to drive and had already taught me a lot about sports. All my friends loved my dad because while being the tough guy he was the only dad who would toss the football with us, or be the “steady pitcher” for a neighborhood baseball game. He showed us all how to throw a curveball and no one – no one – beat him in ping pong. Only my friend Carl came close and it was only because he felt onto the table.
My dad taught me right from wrong. He taught me to treat people fairly and to demand hard work from everyone since he did himself. Put in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay, he would say. Don’t take advantage of people and try to help anyone you can. Those were parts of his fabric and I guess I learned those things from him. If you don’t leave work sweating then you didn’t give it all that day.
So no, 16 years of having a dad wasn’t much in time measurement but it sure was a rich and meaningful 16 years. I learned a lot in a short period of time. Perhaps that’s what the plan was. If it was then it was a success.
My favorite dad story was one about a mentally-challenged guy who was working at a bakery next to the store where my dad worked. One day my dad was out back of the store checking something and found the guy crying. When he asked what was wrong the guy told him that the owner had yelled at him and kicked him out because he broke a plate. My dad stormed inside the store, demanded the lady let the guy back in, apologize to him and then promptly tossed a $20 at her. Was it totally the right way to handle it? Maybe not but the guy learned that people are out there who will help you and hopefully the lady learned to quit being a jerk.
Other than Christmas time Father’s Day is probably the day I miss him the most. I always wonder how my life would have turned out if he were still around. Would I still be doing what I am doing now?
For myself and for my wife and kids I try and stay healthy. I try and eat right and get exercise so at least I will be around for a few years. That’s the one thing my dad neglected and the one thing I’d like to be able to tell him. Maybe he was too busy trying to be a good dad and husband to realize it.
So come Sunday I will take some time and think about my dad. I will recall the lazy Sundays with him drinking the bad coffee and reading the paper, watching horrible Eagles and Phillies games, tearing the basement apart so it was “finished.” He would yell at me for using his tools and not putting them back.
Funny, I find myself doing some of the same things he did. I only hope I pass on as many good things to my kids as he did to me.