A father’s legacy

I’ve known lots of dads.  Lots. Over the years I’ve seen many, met many, watched many, but I have only one.

On a day to honor fathers, I’ve been thinking about legacies.  About chains left to children. Because I want to give a legacy of beauty to my children, all I can think of today is the legacy my dad has built for us.

My dad is still living.  As a matter of fact, in a few short hours, I’ll be seeing him for brunch.  So, he is still building this legacy I speak of.  Not done.  At 82, he still is building.  Every day.

There are no more daughters to greet at the breakfast table these days, no spilled milk or hurried meals as we dash out the door to the latest activities.  These days, he greets my mom at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.  He has, for 56 years, greeted her, and only her.  Faithful husband.

He will be in church this morning.  He’s always in church on Sunday mornings.  I don’t wonder where he is on Sundays.  I know.  He will be on the end of a pew about 1/2 way up, holding his hymnal, singing quietly.  He’s not a great singer.  Was never in the choir.  Doesn’t matter.  Still sings. Love that about him.

He knows someone everywhere.  Really.  No matter where he goes, he has a knack for knowing someone somewhere!. He has a grin that is so familiar to me, and to others, when people say hello, and he makes them feel like there isn’t anyone he likes more than them. What an incredible skill, except it isn’t a skill.  It’s just him.  I love that so much.

I don’t remember taking my very first steps, but I do remember with vivid clarity taking my first steps at 41, after a stroke, and I had ‘forgotten’ how to walk.  My dad was 100 feet down the hall of the hospital, waiting, as the therapist said, “OK, walk to your dad.  He’s waiting.” And he was waiting, standing there, urging me on, knowing I could do it, when I wasn’t sure I could. The tears on his face were love.

That’s a dad.  Urging us on. Believing in us when we just aren’t as sure.

I love you, dad, with ALL my heart.

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