11.28.2008

A trip home may be in order

I don't think I truly appreciated my dad for who he was until recently. When I was growing up he was a fuddy duddy, out of touch and totally uncool. The music he listened to, the vehicles he drove, the way he'd embarrass me in front of my friends, the whole bit, made me nuts.

And then I had my own kids.

Suddenly my perspective had a major shift. It was like cleaning off a smoke covered pane of glass; the way I viewed the world took on new meaning. I finally began to understand my father even though we were 1700 miles apart. Even more important, I began to appreciate him in ways that still surprise me.

My dad's not perfect. The way he raised my sister and me wasn't perfect. But I believe now with all my heart that he did the best he could with what he had. I only wish now, many years later, that I had the sense to appreciate that while I was a child. I feel as though I have robbed myself of something very special in waiting this long to come to this simple realization.

My dad's not been in the best of health lately. I've lost count of the number of times he's been in and out of the hospital. My sister has been the one, always the one, it seems, to be at his side when he finds himself under doctor's orders that yes, he must stay for a procedure. Today it was for an echo cardiogram to check out a couple of blood clots that developed after he had bypass surgery done on his legs last Tuesday. Did I mention that I found that out only yesterday? My dad didn't want me to worry. Or be mad at him. He's in the hospital, getting poked and proded and he's worried about me being mad at him.

Generally I worry when there's something to be worried about. I won't panic. I'm the levelheaded one to keep everyone calm until the facts are in. I'm losing that ability right now. I'm worried that I'm running out of time. Time to appreciate my dad. Time to tell him that I love him dearly, and I'm sorry that, as a kid, my friend and I put peanut butter and salt and pepper and Lord knows what else into the pot of hamhocks and beans that he was making for dinner. Time to tell him that it was sorta cool of him not to freak out when, while having a slumber party, my friends and I had a shaving cream fight in the middle of the street and we rinsed off our victories and defeats by jumping into the pool.

What I do know now, with a crystalline clarity, is that if I waste any more time I will be unable to forgive myself.

16 comments:

Mrs. F said...

Jeez. I have been on the verge of tears all day and that just sent me over the edge...

I hope your dad is OK!

Anonymous said...

he knows that you love him,like every mothers knows that them child love them mother,anymore.
a big hug..and my best wish to your daddy!

www.moonstage.spaces.live.com

t i m said...

All the best wishes to your pa. :)

Diesel said...

I wonder if I missed out on something because I always thought my dad was kind of a tool.

Nah.

MarmiteToasty said...

Ok. I have tears running down my face.....

Please please tell your dad you love him, and spend time with him, be it on the phone or in person..... and give him one big old hug from me and take one for yourself.......

x

LceeL said...

He has known, all your life, that you love him. Whatever things you're waking up to now - is exactly what he's been waiting for - all your life. If I were you - and there were any way possible - I'd go see him. Now. Or as close to now as possible.

Bird said...

I think you said that perfectly. It was beautiful.

White Hot Magik said...

He knows but go. Somehow I wonder who you got that pranking streak from though? Your mom? or him?

Shana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shana said...

My dad died when I was 12. I always told him that I loved him and I am very appreciative of that.

I hope your dad is doing ok.

Mrs. F said...

How are you? How is your dad doing? I hope things are going OK.

Anonymous said...

a big hug dear,in this xmas's time,where all are in all for all!

love,Sara.

www.moonstage.spaces.live.com

Anonymous said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS DEAR,BY THE DEEP OF MY HEART!Sara.


WWW.MOONSTAGE.SPACES.LIVE.COM

Sidewalks said...

It's good that you're realizing these things about your dad now, while he's still around to tell him how you feel. My dad and I had a strange relationship and I didn't tell him I loved him until the night before he died.

I hope you and your great family have a Merry Christmas Elizabeth! See you in the new year!

Harry said...

Hey Liz!
Just wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the ver best for 2009!
big hugs from the both of us!
Harry&Larisa

LceeL said...

It's been a looooonnnnnngggggg time. I hope things are okay - I hope you are fine. Drop a line?