Today of all days my father’s favorite marching band music echoed through the house. How very fitting. We don’t usually listen to this kind of music, and here it just shows up. Dad passed a year and a half ago. Remembering him, celebrating what I learned from him, and what he meant to me. A lot of what I remember wasn’t pretty at all, yet it was real, to the bone, heart felt. He turned out a brave and gentle warrior in the end, after years of struggle and strife. All of his own design, against a backdrop of many things that appeared completely beyond his control. It took him a while to try out different roles of tyrant and victim – and everything in between – to finally become gentle and humbled, owning up to all his actions. The only thing that mattered in the end is that we did love each other, no matter what.
As I reflect on the kind of father my husband is, words escape me. All sorts of feelings are flooding in as we’ve had quite a year. I can say that he is the kind of dad only he could be, against a backdrop of things that appear much beyond his control. Affectionate, nurturing and at times a bit impatient, which seems to balance out the fact that I am at times too patient. And then when I am at the very bottom of my patience, he musters up extra reserves of it.
Thinking about the many single parents out there. Some are mom and dad all at once. Hats off to you, especially for those times when you are at your wit’s end, sleep deprived, with no one to turn to. May you and your children find ways to figure it out together. May you remember not to take it all too seriously, and shake things off with laughter.
Thinking too about the estranged dads out there. Some by choice, others quite against their choice. May you and your children find the courage and compassion needed to either come to terms with things, or to reunite.
Quite a few dads are physically missing this year, between our families, as they have passed. I salute them, and celebrate their memory, that lives on in the hearts of all who loved them. As a family, we have been quite impacted with the effects of their passing. I am awed at how resilient our kids turn out to be, and how compassionate they are towards themselves and others.