Saturday, June 19, 2010
He was My First ....
He taught me the importance of hard work, the importance of honesty. He taught me by example, that family is everything and the importance of that family...each member with their own flaws. He was my first example of what a man, friend, husband and father looked like.
He taught me to believe in myself, that I haven't failed until I quit trying and that I was capable of anything. He taught me that hard work won't kill me, and that laziness is very unattractive.
He never complained, never boasted about something he had done for another. He served quietly...
He loved a sibling that chose to not be a part of his life, regardless of the sadness that brought him.
This man gave countless friends and relatives a hand up in life. Be it a place to stay and call there own, a loan or a job. He taught many of them skills that carried them throughout their lives. He was respected and loved by all who knew him.
This man was forever faithful, and his love was constant and unconditional. His love was just as great even after you may have disappointed him.
This man was my Father. He was my repair man, counselor, loan officer, teacher, gardening coach, Grandfather to my son's.....he was my best friend. I am forever thankful to God for placing me with this man that I had the privilege to call Dad.
I struggle with Father's Day more than any other day without him. He was reassigned to heaven on June 20, 2008 and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. Father's Day was the one special day I vowed to never miss with my Dad as long as I had him. Though my Dad was a special man everyday, I knew in my heart early on the kind of Father I had was rare. I chose to treat the holiday as though Father's Day was designed with only him in mind.
This year is my second Father's Day without my Dad, in fact it falls on the very day he left us. It still feels odd not to purchase just the right card for him. June 15th, 2008 would be the last time I would spend Father's Day with my Dad. That morning I decided to surprise him and arrive earlier than usual at the hospital in order to get to him prior to the nurses bringing him breakfast. I thought we would have breakfast together for Father's Day so I went to Mc Donald's and bought us breakfast burritos that he loved so much.
To my surprise I arrived only to find him with a rather serious looking oxygen mask covering his face and he with a simple shrug of his shoulders when he saw me. He was letting me know....he had no choice but to just go with whatever lie ahead. He was on his way to the Critical Care Unit where he was put on a ventilator and where he spent his last Father's Day. Five days later my sweet Dad's last breath with us was followed by his next breath in the presence of God.
I kept the Father's Day Card that I never gave to him that day. I now keep it in my Bible between the pages of the Psalms that brought me so much comfort during the most difficult time of my life. I still find it ironic that it was the best Father's Day card I'd ever bought him.....I know that he knew I felt all the things that card said about him, I always made sure he knew...
He, the first man to hold my hand....and I was holding that hand right up until I passed it off to my Mother those last few minutes, for his last breaths with us. He, surround by his family that he loved so perfectly.
Though I can't purchase a card to give to my Dad, I can and will honor him by holding Father's Day in my heart forever....yes, this is very much what echos in my heart today.