My dad would have been 74 today.
It seems that I don't say too much about him. Not because I have nothing to say but because he is a difficult person to explain. There is always a caveat to his description. And if I am truly honest, then I would have to include those caveats. So I did but that post became too lengthy and bottom line, it doesn't matter.
Sometimes, despite what we want our reality to be, it is a different reality and you have to accept it and move on or continue to wish for things to have been different and let that keep us from progressing and be the excuse for the way we are. My siblings and I learned that early on and I am so glad we did or we could have wasted years and would not have had such carefree days growing up.
I'm not trying to be preachy, it was just the process through which we had to go.
So we accepted my dad's faults, highlighted his gifts, loved him and thanked him for all that he did for us. I understand so much better now, the weight of raising a family, especially on a father's shoulders, and am so appreciative of his foresight which financially sustained my mother in her later years.
He was charismatic and funny, light-hearted and kind. He probably never knew that he actually did have influence in our lives because so much of our raising was done by our mother. But he did and his role in that was important.
When I was five years old, I would get him coffee and cookies, scalding myself as I carried it from the kitchen to him in his leather recliner. Pausing in the dining room, I would steal a cookie and dip it in his coffee to enjoy the taste. Upon looking into his cup, he would say, "Wow. For some reason your mom always makes my coffee with crumbs in it. I don't get it." and I would giggle thinking I was so sneaky.
Even though he was gone a lot, we relished the time he was home. There was always much laughter and memories which have buoyed me.
Despite years of wishing he would spend more time with us, living so separate from us in many ways, we understood. It was certainly not a full understanding but accepting of him nonetheless.
And even now, having been so long since he passed away, I still miss him.
Happy birthday dad. Love you.