My dad died recently. Needless to say, it’s been a rough week and I’ve been struggling with how to, or even if I should, write about it. I want to honor him, but it feels exploitive in a way to post about his death.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ok, as I really don’t care how many people hit the like button or make a comment. I love my dad and he deserves a public acknowledgement, it’s that simple. If he were around he would tell me to stop fussing and just publish something for God’s sake. Ok Pops, done deal.
Pops was the type of man who didn’t feel the need to talk all the time, but when he did, it was full of meaning and purpose. He was very responsible too, always handling things behind the scenes and making sure my mom and siblings were taken care of. Stuff I never realized he was doing until years later.
Being a girl and the youngest of four kids, I was, um, a bit spoiled with a budding entitlement mentality. This being anathema to my dad’s way of thinking caused more than a few clashes between us, especially during my bratty teen years. Oh how we argued, resulting in me on several occasions packing my bags, ready to leave home. Of course I never did.
A funny thing happened though during my mid-twenties when I finally came to realize that my dad was right about almost everything after all. I suddenly clearly saw how the stuff he did that drove me bonkers as a child; the boundaries, the denial of things “everyone else had”, the focus on personal responsibility and hard work, were done because he loved me. He saw the road I was headed down and wanted to shield me from the brick wall I was barreling towards. He did it because that’s what good dads do, protect their own, especially their little girls.
In today’s world it’s easy to forget all the many men out there of good character like my dad. The headlines of course are dominated by the perpetually loud and offended, those who are always hollering about how unfair something is and blaming others for their unhappiness. It just never would have occurred to my dad to do this, despite a tough upbringing filled with broken people and miserably unfair events.
No, his way was to identify a problem and fix it and if that wasn’t possible, well just shut up about it, because no one likes a complainer and it doesn’t do any good anyway. He also did a lot to help people that needed it most but without saying a word.
Helping people without calling attention to himself, yup, that was my dad’s way.
Yes, my dad was a good man, a very good man. Thank you Pops for all you did for me, rest in peace and I will see you on the other side.
A tribute page to help benefit the Alzheimer’s Association has been set up in my dad’s memory. No pressure to donate but if you feel the urge, please go here.