March 10, 2010

A Father's Blessing

We bless our children every week, It is done without fail and with a lot of love. I need for them to understand implicitly and without question that my love for them is unfailing and unending. I need for those little people to know that there are people and a place that is an eternal refuge.

To me it is just part of the job and something that I learned from my parents. I haven't any problem telling them that Father's Love Their Daddies Too.

In part you can blame it on my own relationship with my father. It is good. It is solid and I know that he loves me. I have never questioned it, but we don't verbalize it. We don't say "I love you" to each other. Instead we do this awkward sort of dance with words. It kind of reminds me of watching puppies play with each other.

It is a funny thing. Six years ago he had a major medical incident that led to a heart attack and a triple bypass. The docs all said that he should have died. I remember it all like it happened yesterday. In some ways that is what propelled me into the blogosphere. I read Life is challenging and it all comes back to me.

The anger, the fear, the frustration and the uncertainty. I remember sitting on a plane and wondering if when it landed I would go to see my father in his hospital room or be called upon to identify the body. I remember thinking about how hard it would be to tell my grandfather that his son had died. I had already done it once.

It made him cry. I made my grandfather cry. Ok, I wasn't the reason, but you have to understand that I come from a family of men who are strong. It is in the DNA and frankly it is part of why some things are so hard for me because the standards that have been set are so very high. No one enforces them but us. It is an individual thing, but that doesn't change it.

It is a birthright that we accept because...we do.

So I was more than grateful when I landed at Newark and found out he was alive. I stood guard at his bedside. It sounds stupid, but there was a point where I stood in the middle of the room and searched for the angel of death, ready to do battle. You can call it hyperbole or melodrama if you like, but it is just us.

He always fought for us and still does, His father and grandfather did the same and now I do it. There is no choice in the matter. We fight for the family.


A few weeks ago my father called me on the phone.and shared a few things with me. I took great pleasure in listening to him praise my children and my niece and nephews. But what really made me smile was when he told me that he doesn't worry about me like he used to. He said that there was a point when he wondered what I was doing with my career, but not anymore. And then he told me that he knew that things are really tough now, but that he was certain that I would find my way.

I smiled and said thank you because I had just received my father's blessing.


Dr. Lisa said...

I think we ALWAYS search for our father's blessings..

ilanadavita said...

Lovely pot Jack. May the men in your family go on being fighters and loving.

ilanadavita said...

I meant poSt, of course!

tysdaddy said...

A genuine and gorgeous post.

That angel of death thing? I can recall times like that as I stood over my grandfather's bed as he fought the last stages of Parkinson's. I wanted to kill something, badly . . .

Jack said...


I agree with that. Doesn't matter how old you are, it is nice to have..

Hi ID,

Thank you. I can't imagine a time where that will change. All I have to do is look at my son and I see the future.

Hi TD,

That is a rough ending to life. I can appreciate your feelings.

One Wink at a Time said...

Lovely post. May I share this with you?
When I was a 32-year-old college student recently separated from my husband with no means to give my kids a decent Christmas, my dad slipped me a wad of cash at a family gathering when no one was looking. I was touched to my soul. Losing the fight to hold back tears, I blubbered "I love you, Dad" and he said it back to me for the very first time. Ever after that night we always ended our visits or phone conversations with that sentiment.
He died when I was 41. I was alone in the room with him and he was completely out of it on morphine. I combed his beautiful thick wavy white hair with his gold aluminum comb and told him how nice he looked and that I loved him. A single tear from his closed eye rolled down his cheek. Then he took his last, labored breath and I kissed his forehead and wished him peace and tucked the comb in my pocket.
I was lucky enough to talk with him a few days before when he was still lucid. I assured him that I was content with my life and he seemed to take a great deal of consolation in that...