Saturday, June 14, 2014

Strong Love, Soft Heart

I grew up with the teachings of a very wise, gentle, soft spoken woman, and a very wise, and sometimes strong-spoken man. If there really is such a plan that I've heard about all of my life, in that your time here on earth is already decided / scheduled from the day you gasp your first breath of air; then I believe that I was raised with the perfect combination of people. But this is what I know for sure, if I hadn't been blessed with the man who was to be my father; the struggles I've faced in my life would have been far harder, more unmanageable, and the losses larger than the wins.

For many years now, I think that you have carried the burden that you were too tough, maybe too rough and blunt with your words and lessons; and I grant you, that maybe for the average person you might have been. But this is a hard old head you had to work with, with thoughts of its own, sometimes making decisions that were not wise, even reckless, often careening headlong into what might have been disaster. 

I know now as a seasoned parent, that the anger, the fight, and seemingly unreasonable behavior you may have displayed; was fear. Plain and simple, it was fear. Fear for what mistakes I might make that would bring life-long changes that I couldn't see leering in the dark, fear for the paths that were filled with landmines and bottomless pits that I clearly could not / would not see.  Fear that I would not have the life that you had already dreamed / imagined for me; but instead a life of pain, regret, and possible loss of self-respect. You were fighting; literally fighting for my life. As a parent now, I know about that fear; because it too, has been mine.

Every conversation, every open floor debate that I've had in my home; your lessons were there. Every hard decision I ever had to make alone, you were there, telling my heart, this will hurt but it has to be done. Every time I was shocked and dismayed by the actions of my children, you were there whispering, they are your children, but they are human’s first, and they will make mistakes. And any time I felt like I could not do it alone, you were just a phone call away.

I imagine it must be tough on a man raising daughters; just as I know it can be tough being a woman raising sons.  I would not be the person I am today without you. I wouldn't have been strong enough, fearless enough, compassionate enough, or as adept in the understanding of unconditional love. There has never been a man who was more suitable for the job of raising me.

Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy, to my husband who is hands down the best bonus Dad in the world; and to everyone that someone calls Father, Daddy, or Pops.

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