Random musings about my father. We spend so much time honoring mothers, women in general. Bedrock, sacrificing, patient or of great endurance…women are worthy of such honor. Fathers, men, are what? Taken for granted? Tainted by imperfections that diminish their worth. What is it? Do they contribute to this?
My father never told me he loved me. I never thought about it until later in life. He didn’t hug. He didn’t touch. He worked two jobs for most of his life. He worked until the day a stroke brought him down at seventy four years of age. His work ethic, his sense of duty was astounding. Not once did I ever hear my dad brag or did I ever once see him stay home from work ill. But aside from the most incredible outward persona and example, who was he inside? I never knew.
He left home at 13 years of age. He worked in saw mills, coal mines and rail yards. He lived in a violent place outside Panther, West Virginia, one of eleven children. Eventually, he made his way into the Army in WWII and served honorably in the hell hole Aleutian Islands and the historic Al-Can Hiway. Again, what did all that, amazing stuff actually, create inside my dad? I never knew. He didn’t offer and I didn’t know enough to ask.
I rubbed his forehead as he gasped in the end. I held his hand and said “I love you”. It was too late to hear it back.
For those of you that are a son, daughter or someone looking at that older gent puttering away in the shop, watching television, dozing in a chair…be courageous and gently, repeatedly seek more about that man. You the father, make the time to say it, write it, show it…that you care about those around you. Go ahead look them in the eye, say it…’I love you’.
I said it was random. Just contemplating today, while looking at an old picture.