Today is Father’s Day. It is a day for the kids and I to celebrate my husband/their dad.
I always do some reflection about my own dad on this day. He has been gone a long time. I always regret that we did not find more common ground while he was alive. I felt there was a wall between us, one I did not know how to get past. It took me a long time to realize this, but I think we had common points of our personalities that made us difficult, in a way. We both should have tried a little harder I think to break down that wall. It took me a long time to realize that just because I was shy and introverted by nature, that it didn’t mean I could not push through the difficulty to connect with another. Somehow with age it has been much easier to deal with my inner nature and become more outspoken.
My dad died before 9/11 happened, an event that was world changing. I’ve always wondered what he would think about our country. He was Republican but I can’t see that he would have had much use for Donald Trump. My dad would have expected someone in the role of President to conduct himself with a minimum amount of dignity. He would have been deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s insults towards John McCain’s military service. I hope I have taught my kids such behavior is never okay.
My dad could be a difficult person. He had a hard childhood and had to mature early. His dad lost a lot during the Depression and from what I understand never quite recovered. I think my dad understood from an early age, before going out into the world, that he only had himself to depend on. He worked from age 13 until a few months before he died. The decision to stop working, despite his diagnosis of cancer was a difficult one. My dad looked to himself to be the sole provider for the family. My mom did work a little here and there. She was a stay at home mom when I was in school. My dad’s work ethic and their joint effort at managing their finances turned out well. As I help my mother through the aging process, I am ever so grateful that mom has plenty of money to see her through all of the challenges in the future. I can’t imagine how challenging it would be for an elderly person to struggle financially.
Up until recently I was only aware of a handful of photos of my dad in his younger years. I’d discovered there was a hidden stash. I’m not sure why I didn’t know about them. Seeing my dad as a young boy, shorter than his older sister, was interesting. Seeing his face without the heaviness of a difficult life, I wish I would have known him then.
My son was born after my father passed away. I regret that my son never was able to know my father. As my son gets older, I’ll look at him, and see a hint of my dad in his features. It makes me remember my dad, and makes me happy at the same time.