Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Dad and Me and Dignity
But going back to his given name of August, I believe he was given that name because of its meaning of dignity. He was the first born son in his family and his parents had hopes that he would bring both dignity and grace to the family by becoming a priest.
I don’t believe that was ever a plan of my dad’s and any inkling of pursuing that role fell away once he met my mom. I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but it was true love everlasting. My folks displayed a deep and caring love for each that was a great role model to my siblings and me of a strong and dedicated marriage.
My dad was great for saying little in words but lots in looks. When he put his hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes and said, “Do you now how much you’ve disappointed your mother and me?” Those words would make me melt. I could see in his eyes a great love for me and a desire for me to do better. It wasn’t his way to force his will on me; instead he inspired me to strive to do better. Because of my dad and mom’s love for me and their encouragement, I felt like I could do whatever I hoped and dreamed to be.
I was the youngest of my siblings and believe I got the most of my dad’s attention especially in my teen years. When I was in high school I enjoyed our evening conversations together as Mom prepared dinner. We would argue over differences of opinion but he never belittled me. He did however require me to back up my reasoning with facts. He didn’t want me to puppet his beliefs.
As my parents encouraged my siblings and me to be independent, I wasn’t near home when he died. He’d had some chest pains so my mom took him to the hospital. The doctors decided to keep him overnight to monitor his condition as he had previously had heart attacks. She called and let me know he was there. When I spoke to my dad that evening he sounded upbeat and happy. My last words to him were telling him how much I loved him.
He died later that night. I would have loved to have had more time with my dad, but God decided that he had finished his race. I am grateful for the legacy of love and encouragement that he left me. I try to pass on the same to people I meet.
This post has been my contribution to the CW blog chain with the topic of August as either the word or the month. For more posts like it, click on the links to the left of this post.
Come back this Friday as I celebrate my 100th post and make a special announcement!