Sunday, June 16, 2013

What were you going to be when you grew up?

I was always going to be a real soldier - but I also knew I was going to be a DAD.

I never knew my father - the way my brother and sisters did. I would only have glimpses of the husband my mother married. I was the first child I had to break trail, negotiate new rules, learn to live in our house and quietly go out to conquer my world. He would always be there when I fell on my face, busted my nose, wrecked the motorcycle we had rebuilt together - he had the wrench turning down to a science - I just had the desire for freedom.

We didn't talk enough, he left when I had finally found my adult voice and I was a proud father with a son going to Europe on his first long tour. I am of the personal opinion that he didn't want to put up with my mother's fiftieth wedding anniversary, and he didn't want to go out like his father - long, slow and feeling useless. He knew that we have lots of widows in our families and few widowers. He slipped away while my mother wasn't looking.

I was really lucky to have had my father - free haircuts as long as I lived at home, standards I could grow into or I would hear about it. Questions about why I wanted, or would or what had I done - he wanted to share life with me. I never saw his life, he would have shared - I don't care what one says - men hardly talk or the conversation is critical. I did better with his teasing.

You know, of all my regrets, I can never be the fine father he was. Didn't have enough children, and I never ever saw him run anywhere - especially in an emergency. I hope I handled all the emergencies with his poise.

If you want my opinion of the world's troubles - they didn't have the benefit of my father's care. Looking at my cousins, around the world, they seem to have done well - similar fathers? Actually, since their fathers, and mine, were very quietly focused on our Heavenly Father that seems to have been a key. And I won't ever be that good either, but I am trying .

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