Last night we celebrated my Dad’s 92nd birthday with a quiet dinner of beef stew, laughs, and cute stories. It’s hard to believe my Dad has lived this long. I cherish every moment with him because he wasn’t in my life for most of my childhood. Divorce, secrets, and many other obstacles got in our way and I saw my father about every few months when he could come get us for visitation.
Our story is layered like a chocolate trifle; many different flavors and textures and I will go into more detail when my book is completed (stay posted for more on this!), but for this moment I took a really long look at my Dad last night. The way he moved (a bit slower and more deliberate), how his hands were long and slender but for his pinky finger which was permanently twisted by towards his palm (years of truck driving had his fingers crimped), his beautiful face; a bit weathered but still looking 20 years younger than he actually was. He is sharp as a tack when remembering stories or places and enjoys a good laugh. Oh….and he still loves to see a pretty blonde haired women!! I still shake my head at that one, because he married a dark-haired, dark-eyed Portuguese woman!
In a time when society is so scared of aging and we have every potion and lotion and injection to try to stay young (I will admit I have been subjected to some of these), there is something sweet about the words and heart of someone who has lived a whole varied life and has something to say about it all.
My father was there for me during my rough teen years and while he will tell me “I did the best I could” I remember a dad who loved me fiercely during a time when I was full-blown in rebellion. He showed a comfort I never got from my mom, and he never gave up on me. It’s hard to believe he was abandoned as a baby, and could pour out a love he wasn’t used to. I think I get my calmness from my father; we can survey a situation and then make a decision. We are even-tempered to a point, but we can bust out in anger if someone messes with us or our loved ones. Dad also has a great sense about people; another quality I recently realized I got from him. He can sit a watch a person and analyze them to see if they are honest, and have good intentions.
The next time you are with someone who is older than you, take the time to really listen to their story(s) and learn from their journey. They have important things to say and they have walked before you and can help you make good decisions in your own life. I am so grateful that God has given me this special time with my own father so I can learn as much as I can before that time runs out. He has lots of life to still give to me and I’m soaking it all in!
Who is that special person in your life that you go to for wisdom or advice?