My Father, my friend and hero

My Father, my friend and hero

Since it will be Father’s Day this coming Sunday, I thought I would write a bit about my dad.  I’ve talked quite a lot about my mother, but little about my dad.  Mostly because he is still with me, thank you God for that and I don’t think he’d exactly appreciate being talked about.  But I think I will let you know a little about him.

As I’ve already told you, he is a retired Chief Petty Officer from the US Navy and a Vietnam veteran.  He actually has, I think, three retirements under his belt.  He also retired from the DOD, where he worked at writing contracts for the Navy, he had a specific title but I don’t remember it.  He also retired from another company after the DOD retirement.  In short, my dad worked his butt off to provide a good life for my mother and me.  As a child, especially as a teenager (when I was more interested in myself than anything else), I didn’t appreciate the devotion he showed us by the way he worked.  I just remember him being gone most of the time and very busy on the weekends doing the maintenance the house needed that he couldn’t do during the week.

Have we always gotten along? No.  I describe my family unit as an Oreo cookie.  My dad and I are the identical cookie ends with my mother having been the white frosting in the middle that held the two cookies together.  She was the go-between.  My dad and I were so similar that we just had difficulty getting along when I was growing up.  He worked long hours and the last thing he wanted to deal with when he got home was the self-centered ideations of an ungrateful teenage daughter.  And I don’t blame him one bit on that account!  Did my dad know I had mental illness?  Yes, academically speaking he did, but I don’t think he quite understood what it meant.  My mother’s illness and subsequent death in my late twenties forced us to come to terms with each other.  He realized really quickly after my mother’s death that there was something truly wrong with me; but, up until that point, I think he just thought I was maybe lazy, or useless, he was a retired Navy chief after all!  I’m not sure because I have never asked him.  But that is all in the past and really unimportant in the whole scheme of things.

The point of this post is to talk about the man himself.  Today, he is very important to me and we are rather close.  I know I can always count on him to bail me out, even now when I am in my forties and should be beyond the need of being bailed out.  I can go to him for spiritual counsel and advice about life in general.  My dad has seen it all and lived through it, so he is a fountain of wisdom that I rely on quite a bit actually.  He’s the first person I think of, after my husband, to call and tell him my plans or any news developing in my little world.  After the death of my mother, I learned how precious parents are to have and I do my very best to not take it for granted that I still have him.  He lives about three hours away with my step-mom.  I do my best to go see him as often as I can, and I plan on doing it more often because he is getting up in years and I know time is not on our side.  I live with regrets regarding both my mother and grandmother; I don’t want to have them about him as well.

In short, I just want to say Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, especially mine.  He is both my friend and hero.  I have quite a lot of respect for my dad, especially now that I am, or at least hope I am, beyond the selfish ideations and can truly appreciate the sacrifices that man made for family and country.  I love you Dad and I hope you are with me for many years to come.  And everyone do me a big favor, tell your dad, whether he’s with you or not, that you love him this Father’s Day, in some way – he deserves it!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

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