Sunday, June 20, 2010
Happy Father's Day!
Maybe it is a Southern thing. I don't know. No matter how old we become, our fathers are still "Daddy." I think it is rather endearing to hear an adult child call their father that, but then, I am prejudiced because I can only think of my own father that way.
We are double gifted this year to have Daddy with us. In the last two weeks we have come to face the reality that we only have those we love for a finite period. While Daddy got home on Thursday, he is far from himself. However, he is happy. Eating. Laughing. Fussing. Snoozing. Planning. All the things that make my Daddy special.
As we left his ICU room on one particularly tough day, my Sissie and I talked about how we would miss him when he goes. He is the person we call when we need to know how large a room is because he can remember how to calculate square footage. Need paint? Call Daddy, tell him the room dimensions, and he can tell you how much you need within one-half pint. Car sounds weird? Make the noise and he will diagnose it instantly. Want to hear a naughty joke? He has a lifetime of them to share a giggle.
We started this journey of heart and lung issues more than 25 years ago. At that time, his doctor told him to go home and make his plans. Daddy has outlived him by 15 years. Since that time, we have every birthday, holiday, and special or not-so-special moments with him. Sometimes we visit and work. Or we will sit and drink coffee and eat one of Mother's always present cakes. Regardless the situation, we eat. And eat. And eat.
As a child of the depression, my Daddy learned the value of hard work, saving, and sharing with others. Coming home from his military duty, he owned two dress uniforms, two BTUs, and himself. He had $42 and a fiance'. He and Mother worked hard and we never knew a moment of hunger or want.
His greatest delight is that he is now comfortable enough financially that he can give to those he believes needs it and will be a good steward. The list is long of the folks he has helped in some way and I doubt we will ever know the full measure. Long ago, he worked for Mr. Stuart who taught him that the best gifts are those we give anonymously and so he practices that.
He has taught me to stand for what I believe in, to be patriotic, to work hard, to dream and to love feriously. We have fought hard, worked hard, and, most of all, loved hard. I am proud to call him "Daddy."