Father. A word so easily said and yet, “Can one really fathom the meaning of such a powerful word?” To each one there is a different meaning, I guess. To me? It’s something that goes very deep, embedded in the depth’s of my heart, and the very root of my being.
When he died, I lost a father, mentor, best friend and confidant that was irreplacable.
I shall only try to paint you a part of this canvas, for that’s all I can do. It’s the part that belongs to me, the part that is still with me everyday. I don’t claim to know the whole person, for that’s impossible, but only my corner. I step back from my canvas and see more and more, for as I grow older, its meaning and depth increases in value. Worthless to many, I guess, priceless to me as one of his children.
His wisdom and gentle ways spread their seeds and were sown. I was so young to see him almost leave, (he had a heart attack when I was 5, but he made it through). So, to this day, I am still understanding the depths of that moment, like it was yesterday. Everyday since then was a gift that held meaning that I’ll never forget and paid close attention to. His understanding patience was constantly tested by my siblings and me. Yet he always seemed to have the time to answer any question no matter how unimportant, to him perhaps, but very important to the one asking. I guess it was his being there that counted so much to us. How many times I knocked those papers from his hands, breathless with something more important, or so he made me feel at the time.
What a test of patience I was, but never managed to ruffle those feathers of his. They were kept in control. He had such a strength and feeling for nature, a love of poetry, deep sense of awareness for people. He was a quiet man, deep in thought and was there for me when I needed him.
He calmed stormy waters with his presence and gentle reserve. What memories I have and cherish in my mind and retrieve from time to time: one of the many moments that each stroke of this brush represents. He was always looking off to the distance, thinking, and asking so little of life, but I feel he received so much in return: love, admiration and respect. He left an indelable mark on me that was so complex.
I’m still unwinding the many lines of which I seem to understand more and more as I grow as a person. Like a tangled fishing line, it must be done with steady, patient hands. Every time one is set free, there is a new understanding and meaning that I’ve never seen before. Life was precious to this man, not to be dealt with lightly, but gingerly, not to be lost through open hands, but strained finely for close inspection for each minute grain. Each more valuable than the next. He treasured every moment of his life: good or bad with lessons to be learned from them, passing them on to his children.
He also passed this on to his grandchildren and I saw me all over again in their eager eyes. Grandpa knew. Still, he patiently answered, understood, listened and advised. Like a sponge, they absorbed him through their every pore: them wanting, him giving freely.
I remember him nurturing and tending his irises, grapevines, and fruit trees when he wasn’t working. My father always had a book in his hand, whether it was historical, biographical, or a scientific journal while I sat in his lap pretending I was reading it too. He would often read three books, alternating from one to the other. Love for the written word was passed from father, to daughter, to my three children.
Such a quiet man. Ah, but underneath was an earthshattering greatness. I know. I’ve felt the vibrations. I am one of the lucky few…
Chase your dreams, and remember everyday is a blessing!