DAD STORIES: memories of a man who did it right
(my dad in Haiti)
All my life I’ve watched my father take care of his health.
Every morning of my high school years I woke up to strange sounds coming from the room where my dad worked out. I’d round the corner bleary eyed from sleep to watch him do his Canadian Air force exercise routine.
Squats and jumping jacks and funny sliding motions against the wall. He’d grunt his way through all sorts of sit ups— side ways, legs in the air, one arm, two.
(hiking in Yosemite)
Way past the age when most men seem glued to their leather recliner, my dad hiked and skied and backpacked with a group of friends in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada’s. He ran 10k’s until just a couple of years ago when his hip finally wore out from the miles he pounded on asphalt paths.
(building his home in the mountains)
I expected him to live forever.
But a while ago he started coughing. A lot.
Turns out he has a dreadful disease that will slowly lock up his lungs, making it harder and harder to draw in that life giving oxygen he needs to stay strong and active.
But once again, my dad is doing it right.
And watching him, listening to the way he embraces life and just keeps plowing forward, fixing everything broken in his path…
(loving children in Haiti)
I feel like I’m learning life at the graduate level from the best.
Who knew that a daughter could learn about living while watching her father slowly ease towards dying?
Does every father teach like this?
Squeezing out all the life he can while he can in order to leave a legacy of hope to the next generation?
Somehow I think my dad is just getting it right again.
And that’s why I plan to keep learning from him, and remembering what he taught by being who he is.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!
I love you,
Things My Dad Did Right:
- He taught me the importance of taking keeping our bodies fit so we could have fun doing outdoor things.
- He taught me to never burden anyone by complaining.
- He ate raw veggies before vegan was even a word.
- He took me on hikes all over the Sierra Nevada’s.
- He taught me to fix whatever I can and to leave the rest alone.
- He’s teaching me how to live well right up until its time to die.