Today, my Dad would've turned 86! Hard to believe he's been gone from my sight for 10 years. I still miss him. I wish you could've been with us for these past ten years, but then perhaps, it was a grace that he did not have to live through these times right now, with a decimated investment portfolio, house of lesser value, the terrorism, economic crisis (course he grew up in the depression), lack of integrity and morality that abounds in business, society, government, the Gulf Oil crisis; and damage and wastefulness, lack of foreplanning and disaster preparedness and last, but not least, LH and I's very tenuous life. It would've siphoned his spirit the way my mom's death did.
So, better he left us when all was well and good and he had peace.
But, there are many times when I would love to ask him a question or listen to his wisdom, and know the security of his being there, and have him around to fix a thing or two or even paint!!!
Dad always said there would come a time again like these present times - of unemployment, loss of income, hard times. And that we would be grateful to have a potato on our plates. Dad was perhaps more right than even he imagined. Mostly, it was an injunction to save every penny, to make do with things, to not replace something that could be fixed, to not live beyond one's means. Values, lessons, wisdom, I still live by today. Although, I admit, I am alittle more loose in making purchases than he was, but never too overboard. Lessons, values and wisdom, that too many in my generation have not heeded and indulged in excesses beyond their means - clothing, shoes, houses, cars, entertainment, etc.. They have carried credit card debt to the point of never in their lifetime having the ability to pay it off or paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than the item's actual value and cost. We have lived in an age of indulgence and now we are paying the price. We have lived with greed and cheating, lying, and do whatever makes you feel good, and look where it has gotten us. Jobs lost, banks not lending to help businesses to grow, houses in foreclosure, people without health insurance or liveable wages.
I, sometimes, chafed at how hard, disciplined, and penny-pinching my Dad was, but now, I realize the truth he knew, had experienced and lived.
I give thanks to God, for my Dad and for all his goodness, integrity, moral fiber, and his wisdom. Mostly, I'm thankful he loved us and was a Dad we could always look up to, respect, and hold dear to us for the rest of our lives.
And in my heart, Dad is still with me. Happy 86th Birthday!