Lessons From Imperfect Fathers
|Dad, me, Art, Mom|
My father wasn’t perfect—he drank too much and smoked unfiltered cigarettes and died too soon. However, these aren’t the moments I recall. Much of the goodness in me and my family is the direct result of him.
He adored my mother. I remember him coming home from work and we kids would crow for his attention. We received our hugs and kisses, but then he got to mom. He’d hold her in the kitchen and they’d hug and smooch—none of us existed in that moment. Their love came first.
His interests centered on his boat—and the boat meant family time. We spent summers sailing the Long Island Sound, picnicking on sandbars, fishing off the boat and cruising.
|Bob, Dad, Janine, Alan|
He consciously taught me not to smoke by showing me the tar his cigarettes produced. He’d arrive home from work at the same time daily. The great joy of my life was to “surprise” him by walking the half-mile to the main road to meet him.
These are heirlooms I can finger, joys that play out in my life today.
Little details of my life show my father’s impact. My love of reading, Of classical music. Of learning.
As our lives near their finales, what will our legacy be? None of us are perfect--but all our foibles will blur if:
- We make amends for the wounds we inflicted on those we love.
- We share the things we enjoy most in the world.
- We spend time with real humans in the real world rather than playing with our media or pursuing our passions alone
- We understand humans matter, not jobs or goals or pasttimes.
For more blogs from "Character Counts" see http://carol-mcclain.blogspot.com