Sunday, June 20, 2010

To my father and forefathers

My father is a hero. I know every little girl says this, but my dad really is. As an adult, I see my father for the hard working, honorable, intelligent, upstanding, fascinating and reliable man he is. As an adult, I respect and like him. The little girl in my heart still sees him as the giant who knows why the sky is blue, how to tie shoes and tell time, how to fix broken things, and who would give his life to keep me safe. As a little girl, I love him. I deserved every spanking I got.

My father taught me to be a citizen of the world. He encouraged me to think, to explore, and grow. He gave me the world and told me that it's ok to be smart, pretty, and successful in it. He gave me my first "real" job in the corporate world but he didn't coddle me. He taught me to be tough, but honest and fair, in business and that it's perfectly ok to be a woman in a man's world because I'm his daughter and he said so. Anybody who had a problem with it would not have a problem much longer...not because he fought my battles for me, but because he taught me to get in there and fight them myself. But he always had my back.

A girl just couldn't ask for a better dad.

I won't get to talk to him this Father's Day. As I write this, he is in Afghanistan and I don't even know his phone number. But I know that he is protecting our liberty and making a difference in the world. He is a hero to us all in his own intelligent, upstanding way.

Neither will I be able to talk to any of my grandfathers. They are all dead. I miss them, but today I honor their memories. I am so lucky that there is not one disgrace among them. They were honest, hard working, brave men who always provided for their families and taught their sons to do the same. The ones I was fortunate enough to know followed their sweethearts to the grave, or prepared the way for them. Their love for their chosen companions, their families, and their country survives, evident in their actions, their letters, wills, and even deeds.

I've been taking a bit of a break from my own family history, but today I feel called to return. There are so many grandfathers yet to discover, so many more lives I could honor and appreciate.

It was my father who introduced me to genealogy, actually. And it was genealogy which, in a way, introduced me to my father. It was the bridge of peace between rebellious teenage daughter and fed-up father. Because of our mutual interest in the past we were able to stand on neutral ground and rebuild our relationship. It made all the difference in the world to me.

So, happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you. This blog's for you.

2 comments:

Ros said...

This is the post that made me want to follow your blog! Really touched me. My Dad was so important to me, as well, and I shall never forget the day he entered a room and EVERYONE smiled. That was the day I decided I wanted to be like that when I grew up. Your Dad sounds wonderful, too.

A rootdigger said...

Your dad sounds wonderful. I am glad you had that. I hope you have someone else as a father in your life. And you have a great role model to model one or select one. What ever your case may be.

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