My Dad The Rock

 

I love my Dad.

Dad’s been there through thick and thin.

The past couple of Mother’s Days have been hard on me, as my mom is quickly deteriorating due to Alzheimer’s. On the flip side, my experience of the past few Father’s Days has been wonderful because my dad is still with us in mind, body and sense of humor.

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Stepping Up

 

As my mom has steadily declined, my dad, as is his manner, has stepped up to the challenge.  My dad is a complex person who truly has a heart of gold. He has many sides—he’s a devoted family man, tough task master, loving spouse, quick-witted jokester, mentor, natural leader, and on occasion a pretty stubborn guy. Except for the difference in gender, I like to think I’m just like him.

 

Lessons Learned

Member in the 2000 hour club.

Dad’s always worked hard. He was awarded this certificate for accumulating over 2000 hours of sick leave. Talk about dedication!

 

My dad has taught me countless lessons throughout life.  When I was young he taught me how to throw a football spiral, and how when it is third down and yardage, the quarterback will likely probably pass.  Later he taught me there is far more to baseball than meets the eye.  Throughout life he has demonstrated what it means to have strong work ethic, how it is never too late to learn something new, and to give a hundred percent at all times because even if no one else knows you could do better you will know it.

 

We were all impressed with Dad's nomination.

I wasn’t the only one who thought Dad worked hard. In 1974 he was nomiated as the NW Federal Employee of the Year. Go Dad!

Dad also taught me an important lesson about the future—that it never hurts to be prepared for an unexpected outcome.  Other lessons: He taught me about value (not to pay too little or too much), to give credit to those who deserve it, and to talk to people along the way because everyone has an interesting story.

 

 

 

 

Dad keeps active by volunteering.

Since retiring Dad still works hard as a volunteer. He’s now accumluated thousands of hours of service in support of veterans as a volunteer at the Tahoma Cemetary.

Perhaps most important, Dad has blessed me with an abundance of affection and in doing so has demonstrated the importance of unconditional love—no matter how many times I think I might have disappointed him he always manages a smiles and a hug when he greets me.

 

Still Standing Tall

 

My dad is my hero.  I’m so impressed how he continues to meet the challenges of life, even when it hands him things he never expected, like the ongoing loss from Mom’s disease. That is the sad truth about Alzheimer’s: You keep losing the person you love over and over again.

 

Dad and Mom at my daughter's wedding.

Here’s Dad with Mom in happier times.

Even though my mom can’t hold conversations and we aren’t even sure she “knows” who we are, Dad goes to visit her nearly every day. He holds her hand and talks with her and makes certain she is okay. I can only hope I can and will be so steadfast in any similar situation.

 

 

 

Recognition Deserved

 

Hall of Fame awards for Dad's brother.

Here’s Dad speaking to honor his brother.

A few years ago my dad’s younger brother was inducted into their hometown “High School Hall of Fame”. It was as a bitter sweet event because my uncle had recently passed away and so wasn’t able to attend.

 

My dad gave a speech at the ceremony and he talked about how great and deserving his brother was of the honor.  It was not just because he was terrific athlete, but because a lifetime of accomplishments.

 

Dad was a great athelete back in the day himself.

Dad has always been in my Hall of Fame. This hometown article talks about him lettering in 3 different sports.

As I listened to my dad speak, I realized how much he also deserved to be in that hall of fame. Even though he seemed to think my uncle was more accomplished, I knew my dad had also been a great athlete in school and had been very successful in his long career. This is not to diminish what my uncle had achieved in life.  Rather, it’s to point out that the greatness of a person is perhaps better measured in the way they help and honor others to reach their potential, and then be genuinely pleased at their success. Dad has done this all his life—inspired and helped others to become better people.

 

Glad For This And Every Day

 

I love you, Dad.

My Dad’s the best.

I am so thankful for my dad.  I don’t think he can ever appreciate how much he has and continues to inspire and teach me.  Hopefully, this Father’s Day and every day following he will know that I love, respect and admire him for being the wonderfully complex person he is.

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read:
Is Easter Over – Reflections on Mom, growing up and Easter.
Familyisms – The funny way families talk.
A Rose By Any Other Name – The names we give our kids.

 

 

 

2 Responses to My Dad The Rock

  • connie says:

    Carol, what a beautiful tribute to an awesome man……….he is top notch in our estimation as well.

  • Bobbi Welch says:

    Carol: Your Dad sent this to me and I want to tell you how proud he is. It is a wonderful accolade that he truly deserves. I might add to your list the exceptional trait of everlasting friendships.

    Keep writing. You have a gift.

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