Thursday, February 25, 2021

My Dad would be 105

Today is my father’s 105th Birthday, which is weird for so many reasons, not the least that he died at 63—a mere one year older than I am now. After he died, I often remembered his birthday only after it passed, but now Facebook reminds me every year, thanks to what I posted back in 2016.

The hard, cold reality is that my father became an important, but smaller aspect of my life than so many others—especially Nigel—would become. This makes sense: I spent far fewer years as an aware adult (or nearly adult) with my dad than I did with others—especially Nigel. But that certainly doesn’t mean he wasn’t important, because he was.

Toward the end of his life, he became much more interested in me and my life, and if he hadn’t died, and cancer hadn’t killed my mother, I think (but don’t know) that he and I would’ve become good friends. I’ll never know—and I’m perfectly okay with that. As he’d have wanted, I had a rich and full life after he he died.

I’d like to think that I took the best aspects of who he was and incorporated them into who I am, but I don’t know for sure that’s true. It’s possible, though unlikely, that he wouldn’t have approved of all I became. To be sure, he didn’t share (most of) the politics I eventually adopted, but he’d have nevertheless completely backed me and my right to make those choices. He’d have shared many of my positions, though, something I know because I know what my own politics is based on: What he and my mother taught me.

Sometimes I miss the Dad I never got to know, especially because he definitely got much more cool as he got older. Mainly, though, I’m grateful for the base he and my mother gave me, the framework to build the me I would eventually become. I get some of the credit for that, of course, as do other family and my friends (and, again, especially Nigel…), but the fact remains that he and my mother laid the foundation on which I would one day build me. Open eyed, aware, and certain that I may be, I nevertheless acknowledge where I come from, and my Dad was an important part of that.

Thanks, Dad. And Happy Birthday!


Roger Owen Green said...

Yeah, you just don't know. But I think my dad would have liked my daughter, and vice versa.

Arthur Schenck said...

Exactly so.

Unknown said...

Your Dad was my Pastor and he was always kind of a big deal to me, because of that.