It’s only when you grow up and step back from him―or leave him for your own home―it’s only
then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. – Margaret Truman
Happy Father’s Day!
Whether your kids are human or furry, enjoy your special day!
My dad passed away nine years ago. While our relationship was complicated at times, I always knew that he loved me, and I have lots of wonderful memories of him. His life was shaped to a great extent by his experiences during World War II in Germany, and as a result of experiencing so much loss at such a young age, he held those he loved close to him – at times, too close for a daughter who wanted to spread her wings and fly from the nest.
My dad was not a cat lover. He liked animals, but he never made a real connection with them. I think he was a little puzzled by my love of and obsession with cats. I often wish that he could have known how the love of a small cat can transform a life – maybe it would have made his early life experiences a little more bearable.
The Margaret Truman quote above struck a chord with me. I always knew that my dad loved me, even during our most tumultuous times, but I didn’t really appreciate all the gifts he gave me beyond his deep and unconditional love until I left home. One of the greatest gifts he gave me was probably the last time I visited him (the photo above shows us at a café near his home). He was already very ill at the time, and we both knew that most likely, we wouldn’t see each other again. I treasure the conversations we had during that last visit to this day. Nothing was left unsaid, and we parted with much love, and peace, in our hearts.
If you still have your father, tell him that you love him today. My dad had a long, sometimes difficult, but ultimately good life, and I miss his physical presence in my life. His spirit is never far from me.
Photo at top of post by Ani Carrington, Flickr Creative Commons