Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy on the Edge of...well...Daddies

It's Father's Day.

Truthfully, I wasn't even planning on acknowledging that fact here. There are hundreds of "Daddy" blogs out there that will be talking about it, and Daddy has rarely wanted to be part of a club that would have him as a member (okay, that was pithy and stolen from Woody Allen, but the truth is, Daddy usually has a desperate need for acceptance, but has been disappointed one too many times in life, and now denies interest in a thing before said thing can be pulled away - it's neurotic, but it works). Bottom line - I probably don't have anything very new to say on the subject of Father's Day, so rather than be redundant, I would instead remain silent - this Daddy would be different and maybe make a big deal about Arbor Day instead.

But then a friends FaceBook status got me thinking;
...contemplating Father's Day for the first time without my father is daunting...
My friend joined our club recently. It is not a club that anyone wants to be a member of. It is the club of people that have lost their fathers. It's a secret club, in that we all now know the secret of our dads - that, despite what we always believed, our fathers are not Supermen. They are not unbreakable; in fact, they are all too human, and even if they live to be one hundred, we feel that they've left us all too soon. We carry on in our day to day, but we feel it, slightly under the skin, very near the back of our minds - the world is a little colder, a little emptier and, even in a crowd of people, we often feel slightly more alone without them there.

Still, they've never really left us. They live on in our hearts and minds - our minds, such remarkable preservers of such rich detail in memory, bring us back together with our dads in a million different smells, sights and sounds in the course of our days. They never really leave; they are with us, in everything we do, in everything we are - they are some of the best parts of us.

As a Dad myself, I think back on the good and not so good of growing up with my Pop and try to figure out ways to improve. Refine. Dad 2.0 as it were. Don't get me wrong - my dad was an amazing guy. He was also a workaholic. He loved his family desperately, and would work eighty hour weeks to prove it. That was his mind set - Provide. I get that. I tried to live that. I had a heart attack.



Beta Test - Dad 2.0.

I don't do that anymore. I've made the conscious decision to pay more attention to all aspects of my life - not just the financial and work responsibilities. Does that mean my family will come before my FICO score? Without a doubt. School play before client call? Um...yeah. If you think about it, they're easy choices. There are better ways of doing things than the way our dads did them. They may not always be as financially rewarding, but they're more fulfilling at the end of the day. And leading a fulfilling existence is what it should be all about, because the final lesson that all club members learn from their dads is this;

Life is too short.

Every dad had things that he still wanted to do, and I can't imagine that the last thought my dad had was, "Boy, I wish I had worked harder". It's those things, those people in our lives, those moments that get pushed aside in our race toward some financial carrot being dangled ever so much further from our noses every day. It's those things that matter. I'm never gonna be the richest man in the room. I'm never gonna be a titan of industry. I am gonna be a good Dad. And I am going to try my best to savor every moment I have left on the planet, before that day comes when I see my Dad again.

In closing, I offer the following clip. No doubt, you've seen it before, but it bears repeating;

Fellow club members, our Fathers have passed on. The best thing we can do to honor them is to fully, completely, ultimately...Live.

Carpe Diem and Happy Father's Day,


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