Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Good Man

My dad was overweight for most of his adult life; he changed careers three times before settling uneasily into his job as a professor of education at YSU; he and my mom didn't get along all that well; and he suffered from depression, diabetes, and psoriasis. His was not an easy life, and yet he was a good man and a good dad. Although it's hard for me to believe now, there were a few times when we were growing up that I wished he'd go away and not come back. Yet I barely remember those dark days. What I remember is a dad who sat on the floor and played blocks with us, who made up bedtime stories about two hippopotamuses named Daisy and Lulabelle, who taught us to play four-square, who left packages of M & M's under our pillows on nights when he had a late class, and who gave us Friday night dimes to spend in town. When we grew up and left home, he supplied us with cameras, air conditioners, VCRs, and computers. He kept us connected with his Weekend Update emails and his frequent telephone calls. And since he didn't travel much, especially toward the end of his life, he made sure we knew we were always welcome visitors. As Father's Day approaches, I treasure the memories I have of my dad. Although he was far from perfect, just like the rest of us, he got the big stuff right: first of all, my dad was always in my corner--I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he would go to bat for me if I needed him to; second, he believed in me--he thought I was smarter, more athletic, and more talented than I actually was; and finally, he loved me--completely and absolutely. So although it's been eleven years since I've bought a card or a gift for my dad on Father's Day, I am blessed every single day by the gifts he left with me.

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