Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Dad

My brother, one of my sisters, and our families gathered today to celebrate my father's 77th birthday today. Whilst he has some health issues I hope I am as active as my dad is when I am 77. He still fishes everyday, he has an extensive garden, and he raises fruit trees. While I wonder if he is happy I do think he is satisfied in his retirement.

As I watched my Dad talk to his grandchildren and to my brother and sister I found myself imagining what my Dad's life was like when we as my age at 42. The sole provider of a family of five, my Dad enjoyed only a modest income. He lived frugally, he made due with what he had, and if what he had broke, he figured out a way to fix it. My Dad, as my former boss would say, knew how to get the sh*t out of buffalo nickel.

Now that I face all of the same issues I imagined that my Dad had to handle, I better understand some of the reasons why he acted towards us the way he did. The pressure of hanging on to a job, making ends meet, and providing for a family is enormous. Add cardiac trouble to the mix, my Dad must have been under a tremendous amount of pressure to ensure that we were provided for. While I do not think he dealt with that pressure in the best way, I am now able to see that he handled things as best he could.

While my Dad and I do not enjoy a close relationship I do admire him for what he has accomplished. I do however, wish I were closer to him. We both have sharp edges to our personalities and those edges often grind against each other. He is not shy about sharing his opinion about some of the choices I made in my life. But I learned a long time ago that I need to be my own man...a lesson I learned from my Dad.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Families can be complicated however I think even when we don't agree with some of the way things may have been handled by our parents, we can appreciate that they probably did the best they could with the means at hand. I think you found the nugget -- to learn the lessons imparted from your dad.