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.
Why I chose this picture for illustration
Because my Dad loved diving into the waves at the ocean; and he loved doing belly flops and doggy paddle when he swam. He would come up out of the waves and shake his head and sputter and laugh and laugh! Fond memories. He taught me to love the smells and sounds and salty taste of the ocean!
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. And by his extended family.
I also knew things I could count on about him. He was predictable
- 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 took the time and effort to make each holiday special in small ways.
I felt safe with him
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 do/did well? Does our “idea” of the “ideal” bring us into a continual state of disappointment with a result of dis-honor/anger/ & distance?
What if we step back a bit and take an honest look
If this were someone else’s parent, instead of being critical or disappointed, would we honestly be jealous as my friends were of me because my Dad was so predictable, available, and “protective”?
My Dad knew he was called to be a single Dad when my Mom died. And he did it really, really well! He had opportunities to marry again, but chose not to.
“Knowing what we are called to do is a greater blessing than striking it rich.”
— Turning Point devotional 8/16/12
Thanks, Dad! You will always be my super hero. I miss you terribly.
Until next time,