At the outset I hope this post does not get too chaotic or long. Read what you can and come back or move on.
My father wound up being my biggest hero in life but life was not always like that. There were times when my father and I did not speak for long periods, teenage angst and all, but it was never really his doing. The story is its own paradox.
My father was always a very hard working person and absolutely devoted to family. He was a strict disciplinarian and that I am sure caused dissent between us at times. The irony is that among other values he instilled, independence and free thinking were among them. He taught us to think for ourselves, make our own decisions and live up to the consequences no matter what they were. Those values clashed with his role as a father. It was not his fault that he taught us too well.
My father grew up just after the end of World War One and was 13 when the depression hit full swing. From a poor family, he hitched a ride on a freight train and headed to western Canada to find work. His first job was at a grist mill working for $1 per week plus room and board. $1 per week! $52 per year! He did it and managed to save money to send home and help the family. Every penny of his income was accounted for with a purpose. When I was 13, I too worked on a farm for $50 per week plus room and board and every penny of my income was disposable…I was 13 and had no worries.
My father faced multiple near death accidents in his life and after everyone, every time and against all odds he picked up and moved on. Aside from stitches and a couple of broken bones, I have experienced little or no physical pain in my life. I don’t envy my father that pain; I just know his row was harder to hoe.
I was in my 30’s the first time my father looked me in the eyes and said “I love you”. I have never had a conversation with my son in his entire life that did not start with, contain or end with “I love you.” The difference is that I never doubted my father’s love even if not spoken. I doubt sometimes if the words to my son are backed with action.
My father survived many deep hardships, picked up and made a place and legacy for himself of value and content. I suppose I have added value to the lives of others as I have tried to, but not with the grace and ease that my father did. He was the most honest and unassuming human I have ever known.
My father was loyal to an annoyance. If he thought of you as a friend there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. He would not pause; he would not second guess; he was just there no matter what, and he never failed. I have tried to be that person in my life and for the most part I have helped pass his legacy. It is a very difficult if not impossible standard to live up to.
I recently lost something that is/was one of the most precious things to ever enter my life. I lost it because I am not my father. I did not know what to do and I spoiled it by unraveling emotionally under pressure. I spoiled it because I forgot a lesson my father taught me and I am sorry for that. I hope to be a better person and be everything my father taught me to be.
I wish I was My Father.
I’m just saying.