I have a good dad.  He's not flashy, but then, he doesn't value flash.  There is something about his non-flashiness that defines him, that settles deep within him an intrinsic sense of pride, I imagine.  He's from Alberta and lives there for most of the year, barring the four very coldest months, in which he flees to the balmier days and golf courses  Arizona has to offer. 

The fact that he is an Albertan means something here, in this sketch.  He has the humility of an Albertan, the common sense of an Albertan.  He always knows what to do should Nature conspire against you to dump massive amounts of snow down upon you.  He owns all the tools that could ever be necessary under these, and countless other circumstances.  There is no one better to rely on and he proves that your faith isn't misplaced time and time again through the simple living out of his life.  He's just always there and it makes him feel good to ease your load through life.  That's how he shows love - by easing your load.  He doesn't want to carry your load for you, mind, for that would be robbing you of opportunities to grow your character.  As frustrating as I found this penchant of his while right smack dab in the middle of the Selfishness that was my teen years, I admire the wisdom of it, here and now.  Now that my own state of parenthood defines me to some extent, I understand that even though it's often just easier to carry that load for one's children, the way of truth dictates that we show them how it's done and then do what we can to ease it while they do the actual carrying for themselves.  The difference between the two I now know to be miles and miles.  And perhaps even lightyears.

My Dad, cliche though it may be, is a rock.  When he's there, everything feels settled and safe.  My Dad doesn't live under the burden of a fear of what mankind may think of him.  He's eminently whole and has nothing to prove.  You can see that he likes himself and that he lives by all the little truisms he used to say to me.  Things like if you don't have anything nice to say, then maybe you shouldn't say anything at all.  I disliked it when he used to staunch the flow of some unkindness coming out of my mouth about another person with that little ditty.  Now I understand that our mouths and what we let come out of them shape our hearts.  The way we allow ourselves to speak about people directly shapes what we believe about those same people.  My Dad is a wise man.

When I think back upon my childhood and moments with my Dad, I think of crawling in under the afghan on the couch downstairs with him as he watched hockey.  I hated hockey, but I loved my Dad, and the hockey ensured that he'd stay still for a minute so that I could snuggle with him.  I think of Old Dutch BBQ chips and French salad dressing.  In my mind, these things were Dad's.  As were macaroni and tomatoes.  Mac and Cheese was reserved for the realm of Mom. 

My Dad is as different from me as day is from night, but I honor and cherish him.  I admire him a great deal.  I'm proud of him and love it when he comes to visit me so that I can parade him around to my friends.  He is a beautiful man who doesn't talk nearly so much as I do.  He values relationship highly and any one of you could confidently trust him with your life.  There's no doubt that he's often bewildered by me and by the verbal hurricane that I  (and mine) represent, but I think that some elemental thing within each of us knows that within the heart and soul of the other, lies a small version of home.

Charmaine McGowan
02/01/2011 4:47pm

Hi Jen, I love the way you have captured your dad and your relationship with him. It brought tears to my eyes as I know exactly what you are trying to express in each line you write about your dad. i will be looking to read more of your blog. Take care and talk to you soon.

02/02/2011 9:16pm

Just want to say what a great blog you got here! I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but at last decided to prove my admiration of your work! Thanks for sharing your imminent with us. Looking forward to more such amazing stuff…

02/05/2011 9:31am

Lovely! I love your description of Dad, he is a wonder in my eyes. I love how Dad has opened his heart as we have grown up. I love that he feels more comfortable around us as women- so it seems. Dad has set the standard high as to what a man should be. Our Dad is a man of integrity, and I admire that so much. To everyone out there reading this today, give your Dad some love. He too is a gift from God! Thanks Jen.

02/07/2011 7:06am

Thank you so much. Charmaine, how fantastic it is to hear from you! I hear about you regularly, but this first-person connection is all the better. Your Dad is a lot like mine, isn't he? Ah Jeanette, of course you know Dad in a deep, deep sense. Aren't we blessed?


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