My Dad has been in and out of the hospital the past few weeks. This is something relatively new for him as the culmination of lifestyle, age and genetics have come full circle, as it will and does for us all. Don't get me wrong, Dad has lived a pristine life compared to most. His genetics as the precursor to my own, are no more quilted by reality than the rest of us, and his age is 72. Seventy-two: just a number to be lived and waiting to be the next chronological milestone that we hope will be the latest and greatest benchmark to our ultimate happiness and peace.
Dad has never done drugs. He's never been a drinker or on the other hand not much of an overly health conscious extremist. He's never been a jogger, macrobiotic activist or political nut job. He's a man. A good man. At many times a profound contributor to the everyday lives of those that need a friend with a calloused set of hands, broad set of shoulders and a balanced common sense bottom line approach to their problems over a pot of coffee. He is only as simplistic an example of manhood as he is balanced by moments of profound talent and brilliance.
I hesitate in writing this as I fear laying heavy thoughts on my Father. He is afraid at the moment, and the last thing I would ever do is give him this pause for mortal thoughts. I love him. He needs to understand that times like these are not so much about an ending, but the beginning to new thinking. His life has and is changing. His life will be encompassed by new thoughts. New ways of thinking, eating, resting, exercising and looking with great hope to better days of freer breathing and times. His Mother, as the greatest and most ascended soul that I have ever encountered once told me at the age of three while comforting me from a childish argument between my barely 21 year old parents that, "Some people never grow up, they just get older. If they haven't done so by the time they reach school age, it may never happen for them. And, once you've finished raising your parents, you'll know what I mean." I don't profess that my parents weren't amazing teachers, but now I know what it is that I have to do to help enlighten my Father at this point in our relationship. I see with focused eyes as I view a different man from my perspective. A young man. An older man. A gleaming soldier of hope. An aging oak with damage. A brilliant light. A tarnished soul. Damaged. Perfect. Human......Me
Dad is the product of the greatest generation. The genesis of the baby boom, as I a product of a young couples love, the bookend that historically caps the end of the Kennedy Camelot. And so, the next level of innocence lost in an ongoing hierarchy of time and acceptance of social, economical and religious perception. It's like looking through a glass of water from the left and right side. Is it half empty or half full? We both see with icy blue eyes, yet God gave me one green eye to the left to keep balance when my parents started to teeter and needed to see the yet to be possibilities. We choose our parents for what they have to teach us. They create us for what they need to be reminded of. Our beginning. Our end. If we're lucky, a double stuffed Oreo with cream filling in the middle. Just a glass of milk, and something sweet that we crave from a Scooby-Doo Saturday morning that
we need to sense something real from our past that transcends our future.
As a child, I never felt I would be the man my father is. A guy that can do all of the things I thought a guy is supposed to do. He was a farm boy. Made to be a man far younger than his years. He married young. Worked. Provided. Could do all the things that I wouldn't get my hands dirty enough to finish. Mom was a better student and wether they realized it or not, balanced each other. They both gave me music and we connected as a unit. When they divorced in my early teens, I stayed with Mom. Partly for selfish reasons as I didn't want to leave what I too had worked for, but with a price. I think it really broke him in a way, but in the end is what made me a man. I took responsibility. I stayed because She needed me more. I loved them both. It was what He would have done. I worked. I mirrored his life from the other side of the glass.I got my hands dirty.
I took years to pull off the band-aid, but we emerged stronger and connected in a way that was more adult. In a sad way when Mom died, it was reaching through the "looking glass" and for the first time touching the tumbler and feeling the same water. It wasn't just wet, it was transparent. He had grown up and I was again the child. He stood up and I relaxed.
It may come at different times in your life, but to want.......to truly want a relationship, is a journey. To want to accomplish things. To dream. To hammer a nail and finish a product. To sing a song and create art. To write and share a release with a friend.....your Dad, is in essence a longing. We all desire love, acceptance and to complete a journey with meaning.
His life and love has been what has created a need for me to achieve. "To do great things, one must do", and He has always shown me to work,, take a chance and do things. Mom would have probably preferred me to finish a straight line education and live easier, but that has not been my journey. I took a chapter from them both, got my hands dirty, and always kept an eye out for a good buy on Palmolive. If you live someone else's dream, you never build a road for a new idea or better future.
I long for things. A better home. More money. Greater acceptance. To pursue art. Write. Perform. Speak..But, always with a bottom line to share information as a tool and not a weapon. To allow others to succeed even if I need to let them stand on my shoulders to part the clouds. This, if He knows it or not, I learned from my Dad. I will remind him of his passion as it is what propels us. It will reinvigorate him to continue to do great things. To share his longing is to share his soul, a product of great work and passion.
Our lives have been so much the same and yet so different. The water has filled both square and round spaces yet it is the same H2O. As we are all different, we are the same. We are one. Our longing for something: a cause, a child, love, success, a life of importance and end of meaning is what we share. I wish for you what I have been gifted and will in return remind to the giver................To never release the Longing.