I learned a lot from my father, some lessons took longer to learn than others. We had what I would call a full spectrum relationship – from fantastic to horrible and a bit of everything in between.
It’s hard to believe that he passed away almost 20 years ago. I was so much younger in so many ways back then, still staking my own claim in life. It’s taken me all of those 20 years to see the value in that fantastic-horrible relationship we had. I’ve come to understand that every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow.
From the fantastic, I learned …
A strong work ethic
The value of a dollar
To have an inquisitive mind
Awesome debating skills
To seek a good education
A deep love for the land
An appreciation for good food
From the horrible, I learned …
To withhold judgment – I can never know someone else’s whole story
To give without conditions
To respect my children’s choices
To always find something in others that is worthy of praise
The only life I have power over is my own
The importance of nurturing a spiritual life
That what is right for me may not be so for others
From the in between, I learned …
A father has warts and wrinkles, good days and bad days
He is exceedingly brave at times and, at others, steeped in fear
He loves and nurtures in his own way and, I expect, sometimes worries that his way is misunderstood
That there is no perfect, “textbook” father/child relationship – only the one you have
There are always places to find common ground, look for those, and enjoy what you can together
A father is simply a human being, like the rest of us, trying to do his best
So, thanks, Dad, for the fantastic-horrible ride.
You’ve been one of my greatest teachers … and I appreciate you for it.
Happy Father’s Day, Plynn