Spending Time With Dad

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My dad is the most intelligent and sweetest man I know.  He’s 85 years young and fiercely independent, to say the very least.  He’s tech savvy with his IPhone.  He has a computer with which he navigates the web and reads his email and newspapers.  He has an IPad as well which he loves.  He’s also the most humble human being on the planet.  I know he told me not to write about him, but I just have to.  He’s such an inspiration to me as well as to so many others.  How can I not write about him when the words in my brain are just screaming to come out!

When we lost my mom last November, everyone, including me, was concerned with how dad would cope without his “Irish Rose”.  Dad has the ability to cope and accept things that God has placed in his path like no one else I have ever met.  He just gets on with it.  He is a pillar of strength with his calm and gentle demeanor. He knew when God was calling mom home and told us directly that she was dying.  It wasn’t that he wasn’t sad, but he had accepted that it was God’s will and that everything would be alright, I suppose.  That’s how he lives.  He has this faith that is so strong that words alone can’t really describe it.

He recently had surgery which requires eye salve to be put into his eye every few hours each day.  That is mainly my job which is a blessing for me.  My husband helps me out in the evenings and my brother helps me sometimes took, but mostly, it’s my time to spend with my dad.  Each morning, at 9 AM, I wander down to his house, just a few doors down from my own, and put the “goo” in.  This morning, I saw that his bike was out.

Upon opening the door, he had his oatmeal warming in the microwave and I asked him if he had a cup of tea yet.  He said no so I put the kettle on and we shared “a cuppa” together.  What a wonderful start to my day, even though my day really started two hours before.

Dad told me he had just come back from mass.  He rode his bike to church and back.  Yes, he is 85 and still rides his bike.  Yes, he’s coordinated! As we chatted away about family, we started chatting more about his life growing up in the country in rural Ireland.  I love these stories so much. He’s really a far better story teller than I could ever hope to become.

We talked about his sisters and his brothers.  We talked about him coming home from university and getting off the bus once.  He asked to borrow a bike one time and was told no! “Bikes were dear and they didn’t know if they’d get it back!” he chuckled! He has the most infectious laugh and the sweetest smile.

These are the moments I treasure most.  When we are young, we are often too busy to concern ourselves with the notion that our parents had lives before us.  When we are older, we have our own children and often don’t make the time to talk to our parents about the lives they had growing up.  Treasure each moment you have with your parents and grandparents.  One day they will be gone.  You won’t have a chance to capture their stories. I want to be a sponge and capture every story I can about my family.  I am a product of my family and I have the greatest family in the world.  I treasure them more than anything in the world.  Thank you dad for sharing your stories and your time with me.  Thank you for having patience with me when no one else did.  You truly are the best.

 

 

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