A Father of Note, a Note of a Father

There are so many things I've gotten from my Father, blue eyes, a singing voice, and a desire to fly being just the tip of the ice burg.  

When I was a child, I learned that my Father was an important man, a kind of hero who people could call, at almost any time, and he'd arrive to fix their problems.  There was no end to his strength.  As I began to grow he invited me to come with him on these rescue missions.  Fixing refrigerators, air conditioners, and coolers across the valley gave us an opportunity to talk, and gave me a chance to learn from him.

Here is a man like no other, 

He taught me to shave,

He taught me to work,

He taught me to reach for the stars,

He taught me to listen, to see the world from every perspective.

He taught me what it is to be a man,

He taught me respect, he showed me what it is to be a gentleman.

He is the kind of Father I can always talk to,

He is the first person I told about my first kiss.

When I worked along side him, we spoke about life, philosophy exchanged between the wrench and blow torch about how to live life, and where to spend your energies.

He is the kind of man I will admire, look up to, and aspire to be through the history of all time.

We would sit on top of a house on the outskirts of town, eleven o-clock at night, -10 degrees outside, discussing the value of time.  As a young teenager I'd throw out whatever thought fell into my head, and he'd help me mold it, guide it into a well formed thought with discussion, and the purest form of mentoring.  Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan, I had my Dad.  On this evening, he said "When you grow, don't put yourself into a job you have to work like this, blue Collar is fine for me, but you can do better."  I've said it before, that the voice your parents use on you becomes your inner voice, the one that says "You can do anything you put your mind to."  So now I'm grown, and every good thing in my life comes from that inner voice that says "You can do it!" and "Never give up."  The voice that says "don't lose track of what's most important.  Work, is a means to an end, not the end.  Family matters."

This video doesn't remind me of my Father, it reminds me of the most valuable lesson I learned from my Father.  Time moves pretty fast, when you turn around your children are grown, cherish every moment.

Looking through memories, I stumbled onto this one… and they really do get big so fast, even when you keep your eye on every moment.

Question 36 – Treasured Memories

I'm doing a 52 question count down, based on the 36 question article by the NY Times.

Blah blah blah, I took thirty minutes to write a very touching story about my most treasured memory, and now that it's lost, you get the cheap carbon copy cliff notes.

Question 36:

What is your most treasured memory

Raindrops on roses… whiskers on kittens, babies first laugh, first breath, and first step.  There are a hundred to choose from, or even more.  I think if we were managing the bank of memories, we'd find that, like children, they aren't ranked or filed as well as some might expect.  

I imagine a file cabinet with a drawer labeled "Favorite Memories." when you open that drawer you see that they aren't neatly placed in folders, they aren't in alphabetical, chronological, or some psychotic OCD ranking system. they are very gracefully piled in there, like a kid with a box of treasures, one is only on top because it has the pleasure of being taken out most recently to be played with.

With that in mind, there are two memories that sit on the top, one is of a perfect morning, waking up too early to the sound of vacuuming, dishes washing, and little feet scrambling all over the house.  When I came downstairs, the kitchen was clean, the floor was mopped, and little hands were hard at work at chores they were never given, tasks that were never handed out.  When we look in the books of miracles that filled our lives, I know I'll see this day as one of them, the day the children, single handedly organized a house cleaning party, just because.  

Question 37 – You Gotta Friend

It's late… or very early, when I write this, and I think that means it's time for a bed time story, or one you wake up to.  Either way it beings the same:  Once upon a time I read an article that talked about 36 questions to fall in love.  I've said this a few times, but I felt 36 might not be enough, so I'm doing 52.  

Question Number 37 says: 

What do you value most in a friendship?

This seems like a trick question for me.  I played a video game once called "The Sims" and there was a trait that the avatar had which was "long distant friend" or something like that, where he could still be great friends with people, even though he rarely talked to them.  I have had a few friends over the years, but the ones I keep closest, are the ones who don't mind being so far.  

So a specific thing I value most in a friendship is patience.  Often we are on the same journey, we have the same destination, and we'll get there… but be understanding that we might not take the path the same way… sometimes I want to run ahead, and sometimes I fall behind, but aside from being encouraging, my best friends accept that maybe my cadence is different from theirs, and we're still close enough that this is okay.  

I value similar destination… maybe that goes without saying.  Similar path, similar priorities.  I also appreciate having a friend I can trust.  As many who have been divorced might share, there is a trust issue that comes from having a best friend who lost your trust in.  Which makes this kind of a huge deal, and harder to give out. 

What about you?  What do you value most in a friend?