If you’re a regular reader of Nancy’s Point, you know I often write about my mother. I thought perhaps it was time to write a post about my dad. Since Father’s Day weekend is here, what better time, right?
My dad is and always has been a quiet and reserved sort of father. He is more of a pat-you-on-the-arm kind of dad then a hugging kind of dad. That was/is okay with me. He’s a man of few words (frustrating yes, but I long ago accepted this because he’s not about to change, nor should he necessarily), but when he does say something, it’s generally worth your time to listen.
My dad is without a doubt the most patient man I’ve ever known, and this quality undoubtedly came in really handy since he was a high school history teacher for years and yes, I did have him for a teacher too. I don’t recall seeing him lose his temper – ever. And I’m not just talking about in a classroom.
How many people can you say that about?
When I think about it, my dad most likely has always preferred the company of young people, even really young people. Some men shy away from handling tots and babies, especially newborns, not my dad. He’s always first in line to handle any new bundle of joy. He seems to have an uncanny way of connecting with kids of any age without words or a lot of fussing. Kids are/were naturally drawn to this quality in him; some sort of invisible genuine-ness they sense I guess.
My dad is incredibly smart and still astounds me time and time again with his extensive knowledge about historical matters as well as other stuff. He’s also truly wise. These two things are definitely not the same thing. I’m pretty sure we all know some really smart people who lack a whole bunch of qualities, including wisdom, right?
Of course here, too, when I talk about my dad, cancer gets in the way. Cancer really screwed up my mother’s life and therefore my dad’s too. He’s eyes saw much, as did mine.
I have often wondered how it must feel to be a man who witnessed his wife die from breast cancer and then two years later, see a daughter diagnosed with the same wretched disease. It must be a very painful thing, especially for someone who doesn’t easily speak of such matters.
Sometimes I worry that I am the reminder, the reminder of cancer, the reminder of great loss. I hate that role, no I despise it.
I could of course ask him about these things, but I know he’d rather I did not. He doesn’t often speak about my mother. He doesn’t often speak about breast cancer, in fact; he almost never mentions it. I think it’s just too hard.
He is and will always be a man of few words; one who keeps his feelings tucked deep inside somewhere.
His quiet ways continue and this is still okay with me, well most of the time anyway!
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all men who love, nurture and care for/about children. And just as I said on Mother’s Day about mothers, the same is true for the men; you don’t even have to be a dad to do that.
What’s one of your fondest “dad memories”?
If applicable, how does/did your father react to your diagnosis?
How would you describe your father?