(3) come along with me

My little corner of the world was brighter and more reassuring with him in it. Dads have a way to make something better when it isn’t. Their words of wisdom and guidance, shared and spoken out loud for us to learn from, gives comfort and hope to see things through in moments of uncertainty.

And when Dad’s health was invaded with uncertainty, he continued to want us to be okay by trying to make things better, even though he was suffering.

He was always poised and moved through his angst and pain with grace and dignity. Dad was a towering pillar of strength and determination who stood tall during the affliction that eventually brought him down…he lived in pain but didn’t lament, he was uncertain but didn’t burden loved ones.

He had a gentle way about him. An ease of presence that we were drawn into. His charisma was only outshone by his glistening eyes accompanied by his wicked smile that signaled something clever and amusing was up when it crossed his lips. Other times, his smile was genuine happiness accompanied by a twinkle of something wonderful in his smiling eyes.

Handsome, oh yes indeed. He was the original debonair man of style with his signature mustache and sometime goatee.

He was a man of extraordinary intelligence and a man of extraordinary humbleness. Humility was his signature characteristic. Dad was approachable and well regarded by all.

He had a great and sometimes cheeky sense of humor. But the best part of my Dad… was that he was so darn mischievous. So many fantastical stories of his playful nature became legendary tales.

Dad was human. Did you just smile? Sometimes, I had to remind myself that superheroes on their down time are human beings with all the vulnerabilities of mortal men. And my Dad was just as human and more sensitive than he let on. I am moved by this tender quality that complemented such a strong and intelligent man. He was the first man I respected in life and looked up to. I so wanted to be just like him. When I told Dad this, he kinda smirked and looked puzzled. I actually caught him off guard and before I could take the point, he quipped, “I would never be tall enough”… so the score was even.

As I grew older, I realized his aura that myself and others were drawn to, was just his essence of being. It’s as simple as that.  

Dad had a beautiful ease about him that made him comfortable to be around. And in my eyes, he was bigger than life and the man who all other men in my life had to live up to.

And as Dad’s days on earth began to set with the sun, I wanted and needed to know more about him, from him, in his own voice. My Dad wasn’t one to share intimate feelings or emotion out loud. But he and I shared everything we needed to say, with words and without. We had a comfortability with each other that transcended any words that could fill a moment. Our eye contact, our look, said a million things. I have been told I have that look that transcends words and gets right to the point, so thanks Dad, it comes in handy every now and then with the kids…and husband.

So were there any shortcomings about Dad? Yeah, he left too soon. Research and meaningful treatment were years away.

As I said to you, and you me, I love you.

So with Love, this is for you, Dad…