My Dad was a legendary super hero. He was also a single parent. That’s part of what makes him a super hero. Parenting is tough. Single parenting is tougher!
He used to say, “When my ship comes in, with my luck, I’ll be at the airport!” Then he always laughed! (My Mom’s medical bills had undoubtedly taken a toll on the bank account.) In my eyes, my Dad was a rich man. Not from wealth, position, or possessions. Rather, he was rich with integrity and steady resolve.
I knew I was loved. I knew what his values were. He lived his values. He was his values. He was deeply respected in his community.
I also knew things I could count on about him.
- He always straightened up the house before bed.
- He’d be there waiting for me when I got home from school.
- He showed up no matter where I was when I was with my friends. (I liked that.)
- He cared enough to be sure I was safe. (My friends were jealous.)
- He never forgot a holiday.
(Whether Valentines Day, birthday, or whatever holiday…there was always a card and a gift on the kitchen table waiting for me when I came down for breakfast.)
He wasn’t a hugger, and he didn’t speak his love much, but his actions spoke volumes. I felt safe, secure and loved.
I’ve been wondering something lately…
When we read and hear the dogma about what parents should be, should do, should not do, etc., do we lose something precious and important by not rather focusing on and appreciating what our Moms and Dads did well? Does our “idea” of the “ideal” bring us into a continual state of disappointment to the point of dis-honor/anger/ & distance?
What if we step back a bit and take an honest look. If this were someone else’s parent, would we be jealous…as my friends were of me because my Dad was so predictable, available, and “protective”?
“Knowing what we are called to do is a greater blessing than striking it rich.” (Turning Point devo. 8/16/12)
My Dad knew he was called to be a single Dad when my Mom died…and he did it really, really well!
Thanks, Dad! You will always be my super hero. I miss you terribly.