Sunday, June 15, 2014

For Two Fathers

Happy Fathers Day to all my readers, especially those who have experienced that wonderful calling we refer to as fatherhood. As I always say, it is the greatest non-paying job in the world.

In reflecting on Fathers Day, I thought about my own dad and my father-in-law. What did I learn from them?

From my father, I learned about sacrifice for the family. My dad was a blue collar worker who worked a regular day job, came home to eat dinner, and then worked many evenings at my uncle's gas station. For years he followed this same routine, which enabled him to move his family out of Chicago and into the suburbs. He never seemed to have many possessions, and frankly, never seemed to have much of a desire for any. I appear to have inherited this. A computer, a television and a car that runs can sustain me for a long time. I am a difficult guy to buy presents for because I don't really want much of anything. I can't really explain it -- it's just the way I am.

Dad died almost ten years ago. I feel so fortunate that his body gave out before his mind, for he had already been suffering from dementia. This past week I visited his grave and took my brother, the King of Komps, who always keeps dad's grave in great shape. Dad would have particularly loved the American flags, for he was a proud WWII veteran.

From my father-in-law, Fred, I learned that faith in God and a positive, selfless attitude can help one cope with almost anything. Fred had a remarkable medical history: heart bypass surgery, brain surgery, and spinal surgery. He had a large family that included many challenges, including a mentally and physically handicapped son and a wife with many medical issues. Yet, through all this, he never squawked, never complained, but just did what needed to be done in a positive manner.

Fred treated me like I was his own son, including inviting me to join the family menfolk on fishing excursions to Canada. One of the last things he did for me and my family was to buy us a dishwasher. He had seen one on sale at a terrific price and was thrilled to buy it for us. He was that kind of guy.

Fred has been gone more than 15 years now. He had terminal blood cancer and faced his final months with courage and dignity.

Both these men were truly loved and are sorely missed. I think of them at times when I have challenges as a father. It helps.

Fatherhood: the greatest non-paying job in the world.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Great post.

he never squawked, never complained, but just did what needed to be done in a positive manner.

We can learn from this. Too many people whine.

2:02 PM  
Blogger angerisagift said...

man, such a great post about dads hard to say anything funny BUT i like a challenge. now ,i know y u r a CUBS fan bcuz u" really dont want much of anything". ok ,that was lame. it is funny that u mention sacrifice in yr post bcuz that is what the service was about at my friends church. basically 1 of the duties of being a father is making sacrifices 4 yr family and community like driving a shitty car(not words they used) or like the padre said his pops sometimes didnt eat lunch ,so his kids had food,wore old clothes,etc,etc.

9:27 PM  
Blogger M.Prosk said...

Awesome post Mr.Lightning! An absolutely wonderful tribute to both men. It's so very true that raising children is the greatest non-paying job in the world. Really, the only reason I go to my paying job is so that I can have more fun in my non-paying job.

8:49 AM  

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