At the end of this entry, I am pasting in the blog from last year about my dad. However, even though you are with someone all your life, you realize that there is always something they can show you and you can learn and take to heart.
In the past year, my dad has aged one year, but my appreciation of him has aged many lifetimes. As many of you know, I have had a hellacious year. The job loss, the loss of contact with an industry that I love and have loved since 1983, the continued weight loss, the two successful knee replacements, the frustrating and frankly dispiriting job search, and the capper, the lung disease development. All of this has knocked me on my ass big time. The only thing worse would be if BP CEO Tony Hayward was my PR guy.
However, the constant in my life, also called MY DAD, has been the reason that I still persist, that I still attempt, that I still succeed. Dad knows how to deflect the frustration when it needs to be. Dad knows how to focus the blow so that it is temporary, not devastating. Dad knows how to make you laugh when you are determined to scream. Dad knows how to point you back on track, even though the track seems to be barricaded.
I like to quote a line from a Barry Manilow song to describe myself..Crazy In A Way That No One Else Could Be…but it could be modified as Confident In A Way That No One Else Could Be. That is the only real thing that any father can hope to give to a son or daughter. They can make you book smart, they can show you different skills, they can encourage your actions and inform your decisions, but the most important thing they can hand you is the confidence to do all of the above.
That confidence shows in the fact that, despite his own medical issues, at age 86, he still makes sure that we are OK, that we are as happy as we can be, that we don’t give up even though that would be an easy answer.
When my family took him to the Mid-Atlantic WWII Airshow in Reading, PA a few weeks ago, that confidence was in full bloom. It showed in his face as he saw the planes,and in the planes he saw his past and his abilities back in full bloom again. It showed in his easy and excited conversation with the other WWII veterans he talked with. It showed in how, despite 90 degree heat on an airport tarmac, nothing could dull his love of seeing what he and others had accomplished for themselves and all of us, and it showed every time some wonderful stranger came up to him and thanked him for his service. That simple act of kindness reinforced his confidence, and extended down the family line.
A lot of my friends who I’ve known for the last three decades in the video business have kind of forgotten about me. Many of my ex-co-workers and bosses are now out of sight. Many new friends have come along to bolster my spirits and recharge my determination.
However, the first thing that I see in all of those who have stayed with me is that they also share some trait with my Dad, and those traits make them wonderful friends and sorely needed support. However, they don’t quite become my dad, and that is a good thing, because to expect them to would be unfair to them.
The cliche is to put your Dad on a pedestal. Trust me, that would be sorely insufficient.
To my dad, to my brothers and brother-in-law, and to all the Dad’s out there, remember that today and tomorrow, we need your confidence. Then we can continue to strive to be as mirror of you and your hearts.
Below is my original Father’s Day Blog Post from last year.