I thought I'd do my tribute to fathers just a little early....I don't think I'll be in the mood by Sunday...in fact the bombardment by the media of all the father's day stuff is liked being slapped upside the head, over and over.
As a former foster parent, I've run into all sorts of fathers.....some are quite unbelievable. They truly don't care about their children..in fact, most can easily walk away from any responsibility at all. This, of course is truly sad because not only do they miss out on the opportunity to be a dad but the children are left permanently scarred...some of them will never know who the man was who fathered them.
In the last few weeks of my dad's life he was in the hospital...visiting in a hospital is way different then visiting in a person's home. When you're in a hospital, you are usually not distracted by other things...you find yourself actually concentrating on the person you are visiting. If that hadn't happened I don't think that I'd ever have heard my dad say some of the things he did plus I realized that I'm more like my dad then I realized...even down to the eyebrows...yes, I have un-tame-able eyebrows..I've always toyed with doing something about them...but I hate pain,..so it's gone to the bottom of my list....now that I realize that it was something in common with my dad than I don't care whether I do anything. Dumb I know...but that's the way it is...I'm too old to care at this point!
When you're visiting someone in the hospital you have the opportunity to hear things said to you like I did. I always knew that my dad loved me but there are some men that have difficulty verbalizing it (my hubby is one of them, with our children) ...the first few times I said good-bye and I love you to my dad..he responded with 'you bethcha'...in his last few weeks he started saying 'I love you' back....
....one day my dad and I were talking...now my mom and dad were never very free with the accolades....my mother was afraid that you'd get a 'big head'....so on this day, it was just dad and I....I was telling him about doing something...I really can't even remember what it was....and he said...'you're mother and I have always said that you're amazing'...I said 'really!'...he said ' you have always amazed us with what you could do'...well, I was the one amazed.....such praise....it made my heart soar!
When I was in Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto for one of my operations..my dad took his holidays..he only got two weeks...he gave them up and came to the hospital every day to see me...with my mom of course....unfortunately, I was only 12 at the time and truly didn't appreciate the sacrifice...now, I do. Growing up, we never had very much money but that never seemed as important then as it does to kids today, but I always knew that my dad was there to support me...he always did his best. Yes, he was human...he had a temper and he knew how to holler...we were spanked when we disobeyed but we never doubted that we were loved.
I have married a man who is like my dad in many ways...my dad always put my mom first just as my hubby does. My dad taught us how to respect our mom and look after her...we weren't even allowed to leave the supper table until my mom had finished drinking her tea...(sometimes she'd tease us by pouring a second cup...but she let us go)....all this has been good, so that when my dad was struggling and fighting for his last breath...my sister was able to tell him that if he needed to go then he should....dad knew that we'd look after mom til they could be together, in heaven, again.
He was a brave man, a fighter...he tried to stay with us longer but his heart could last no longer. I told my kids that they need to treasure their dad...but they are young and think their dad is invincible...that he'll always be here...like I thought my dad would be...but he wont be..and when that time comes, they'll be wishing for just one more Fathers Day.....
just like I am.