Thursday, March 5, 2009
My big sis sent us (the siblings) an email yesterday, expressing how proud she was to be the daughter of a man as wonderful as our dad. I didn't read her email until this morning, but it's not surprising that we're on the same page. Last night I was trying to describe my dad to a friend who has never met him. I went through the list of adjectives that are commonly applicable to my dad: honorable, hard-working, funny, loving, outgoing, patient, honest...All of those characteristics certainly describe my dad, but they fall so short in painting a complete picture of who he is as a man, a husband, a father, a "Granran" and a friend. It's like sketching the outline of a picture, then leaving the inside blank. As I was ineptly trying to express what an amazing man my dad is, I found myself saying: "I don't know of a single person who doesn't love/ like him". After reading my sister's email this morning, I thought more seriously about my statement. It's absolutely true: people just love my dad. Everyone...from the local lobsterman to the former mayor of Norwalk, heads of Fortune 500 companies to the gentlemen who sells mulch at the hardware store. Can you imagine? I'm sure, at some point in his life, there was someone whose toes he inadvertently stepped on...must have, though I can't think of a single example. I do my best, on a daily basis, to follow God's will for my life and "do unto others....", but I know I continually fall short. How many people can honestly say, about anyone they know: "He/ she is well-liked and well-respected by everyone whose path they cross"???
A significant sidenote: my "dad" did not get that title through any contribution to my birth. He inherited my brother and me 32 1/2 years ago, when he married my mom. I had, at that time, a biological father. It has been the man I described above, however, who taught me what parenting is all about: loving unconditionally, administering healthy doses of tough love when necessary (and it was more necessary with me than with my 3 siblings combined :-) and...most importantly...always, always, always having a strong, sturdy outstretched hand to help us get up when our decision making wasn't quite right!