Yesterday was one of the most difficult Fathers Day that I’ve ever had. No, nobody died, you can relax. But it was a day where, if anything could go wrong, it did. The long and the short of it was that I was over three hours late, my dad was in bed, and my mom was in a sour mood. But my dad was glad I came, and that is all that mattered.
If you are still able, hug your dads today.
Today is the trek to see my dad on this Father’s Day 2014. He is 86, and each year we face the prospect that ‘this year’ will be the final one. That is very true today.
My dad has had heart disease since his early 50s. In spite of changing his diet, walking five miles a day, and maintaining a healthy weight, he has had a few heart attacks and CABG surgery. He also has congestive heart failure and insulin dependent Type II diabetes. You could safely say his health isn’t really all that great. His most recent heart attack was a day or so before Thanksgiving last year.
My dad fell in March and broke his hip. While in the hospital recovering from the surgery, he developed bed sores on his heels. They would not heal. My dad had a total of nine hours of surgery on both legs to open up circulation to assist in the wound healing process. Dad was in the hospital for eleven weeks.
My dad has been a bit cranky since he got back, and, understandably so. He is still in pain from (now) healing wounds, and he was pretty severely decompensated while mostly in bed for nearly three months. My mom suffers from really bad dementia. It will be an interesting day.
Still, my dad was a good provider and now it is my privilege to let him know that, in spite of significant differences between us, I love him dearly.
I hope everyone has a great day today with your dads. If yours is no longer with you, I will send up a prayer for his soul.
I wanted to pause here. I think it is a good place to do so. I want everyone to know that I love my parents dearly. I’m thankful that they are my parents. As I continue my story on leaving the theology of Fundamentalism, I don’t want anyone to think that my parents were/are bad people. Being frustrated with some of their beliefs does not mean that they were not excellent parents.
I watch “The O’Reilly Factor” sometimes. Last night O’Reilly had an interesting conversation with Adam Carolla, a comedien/author/social analyst in California. He is in Hollywood, and he has a radio program and a podcast. Apparently Carolla made some comments about the responsibilities that parents incur when they have children. Carolla made the point that parents need to be there for their children, support them financially, and be involved in their children’s lives. For that, Carolla has been castigated by a contingent of “far left” ideologues. They suggest that Carolla is being unfair and judgmental towards parents who do not take care of their own children.
What is important to know about Carolla is that he was raised by, in his words, a mom who was content not to work while collecting welfare. He did not have the intact home he now espouses. He knows what it’s like to lack good parenting in the home.
My parents had a total of six children. My father worked two jobs when necessary, to feed and clothe us. My mom took a part time job outside the home. They made sure we did our homework. We had chores to do. And, we vacationed together, worshiped together, and were taught right from wrong. In addition, the moms on the block knew who we were. We knew that if we misbehaved in public, while out playing, one mom would just about always rat us out. We shared our values with our playmates, and our social fabric was strong.
I just wanted to get all of that out of the way before I continue. I hope you follow along with me.