I know, two posts in less than a week?!? What is going on here? I guess I should have wished our fathers out there a Happy Fathers Day, but I forgot, so here is an extra post for you guys! It also brings to mind that I can tie in a few things here.
I am not sure about you, but I remember my dad (who is still with us, thank God!!) working pretty much every day to make sure that our family had everything we needed to thrive and survive. I remember waiting for him to come home from the daily, full-time railroad job, getting showered up and putting on his uniform to then go out and work as a part-time police officer in our borough. The second job was to make up for the first job's shortcomings in the pay department, and it was a job that he truly loved to do. It would be the final job that he had as he moved on into retirement. Former Marine, and now father of three boys, needing to provide for his family and having to work two jobs to do that. My mother also worked a full-time job, so there was daily chaos in getting everything done, but we managed pretty well. Dad was there for the bike repairs, the car repairs, the grass cutting episodes, snow removal episodes, and just about anything that was going on. He offered advice when it was, and sometimes, was not needed. But through it all, my dad was a rock, the modern-day Robin Hood of sorts, the guy that when times were down, and things looked bleak, he knew somebody, he knew something, he took the world on his shoulders and he made things right...or as right as they would eventually go. This is an imperfect world with imperfect people, so Hollywood endings were few and far between. But he placed his thumbprint on it and it all worked out in the end, in our little world of reality.
Two years ago, he suffered two strokes within days of each other and they almost took his life. Through the drama that unfolded over six weeks, we had another learning experience with our father, but this time, it was the lesson of life and death. We learned the most valuable lesson of all, as we stared it right in the eyes, that life can be snuffed out in an instant, even when you think that you are ready for whatever is coming your way today. Newsflash--you are not. Dad recovered, pretty darn well, I think, but it is obvious that the event aged him. His short-term memory is affected for the rest of his life, though not as bad as you would be lead to believe. Sometimes, you will hear a recollection of his life twice in an hour, but it is ever-more as entertaining the seoncd time as it was earlier in the evening. Based upon the events of two years ago, he can tell the darn story all night long, for all I care. Just as long as he is telling the story--his way--and enjoying it the whole time. He is still spry at times, witty with his jokes, affable and entertaining, like he always had been, telling tales of life and the foibles of work, the military, entertainment and raising three boys. To look in his eyes, you can see that he is struggling with his health and the little aches and pains of getting old, like everyone of us. But even through tough strokes and the subsequent health problems that will haunt him the rest of his living days on earth, his eyes tell us that dad is still there, fighting bad health issues, realizing that he IS human, but still trying to help out and assist wherever and whenever he can. He was always a tough cookie, as his past life experiences have tempered him and rendered him protector for life, but he remains caring and cordial, something that he always has been, in spite of his tough Marine-like exterior. I am fortunate that my son, who is now 13-years old, has had an opportunity to spend time with his grandparents, and has had the time to listen intently to my dad's life tales, enjoying them the same way we enjoyed the growing up. He often cannot wait to see him and when he does, he hopes that pap is as animated as he always is telling stories, that we may sit and enjoy a hearty laugh at somebody's expense. I used to get ticked off when I was the target of his humor, but over the years, I have come to appreciate that he does it out of his own special brand of love, and now, I relish in the fact that I am at the epicenter of his humor, regardless of how embarrassing it ends up being.
So, it may be a day late, but I truly hope that all of the dads out there had a very Happy Father's Day. In fact, everyday can be a Happy Father's Day, if you allow it be. For my dad, I hope he had a good Father's Day, and it is my plan to have my son and I spend as much time with Pap (and Gram too!) as we can, taking the time out of busy life schedules to be ther for them, like they have been there for us. God bless you, dad! Keep on entertaining us for years to come.
As for the tie-in to the business, maybe next month. For now, I will let the fathers of our world just enjoy this little slice of life. God bless.