Father’s Day sneaks up. This year I have no dad to call and wish a Happy Father’s day. June was always my dad’s month. Both to celebrate his birthday and the official dad day. It feels so odd not to be part of the world celebration of dad’s. Where my dad is, there is no festival of fathers. This past mother’s day I shared 6 lessons from my mom while she still lives, and as I mourn my dad’s passing I celebrate the life my dad lived full out.
Taking one’s family for granted is easy until the unthinkable death notice arrives. Blithely we live, hopefully more in the present, as my dad would remind us, than the past or future, enjoying the precious moments that spill into our cup.
My dad shared many examples of how to live by the way he lived. He loved life, food, travel, sports, people. He used to say he never did things by halves. He played squash twice a day when I was little. I remember listening to the whipping sound as the skipping rope whirled over his head as he skipped. I would watch him walk on his hands around the pool, and join him swimming laps or walk with him miles on a Sunday. He did pushups daily even into his eighties and visited the gym to row up until a few months before his death, despite his messed up knees, crutches and numerous ailments.
My dad taught me generosity of spirit, the most giving of men, he would help anyone and everyone. Many times giving beyond betrayal and disappointment. He followed the principles of abundance and it worked well.. As long as someone had a need he was there to help them. He was loved for his acceptance of other people’s needs and follies.
My dad had the wisdom, soul and ability of an extraordinary healer. He cured hundreds of people with hypnotherapy for free, many who had tried everything, He invented a diet tea called “slim tea” years before such things were in vogue. I can still see the pink box he designed. He was a herbalist, Dr of homeopathy, massage therapist and so much more. He never stopped learning and growing. He taught me to keep an active brain and body.
My dad understood what it meant to put your heart into your efforts. The youngest of five, born to poor immigrant parents, he had a hard life growing up. He would walk the two or so miles to school and back to save the tram fare. At school he excelled in sports and academics making captain of many teams, as well as head boy and was a leader and inspiration to many.. His dream was to own a bicycle. I try to imagine how a bicycle can spur a boy to push himself beyond his limits. To take that dream, work three jobs, 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. And buy that bicycle. And graduate from a bicycle to a car. Fall in love and sell that beloved car to let your fiance (my mother) choose a diamond engagement ring that she loved. I can picture his enthusiasm and willingness to put his heart into the adventure. To go for the gold in life.
My dad had a wonderful sense of humor. The best part of an enthusiastic life is being able to laugh from the belly and share the funny side and my dad kept his humor till the day he died.
What characteristics bring your dad to mind? How do you celebrate your father and what moments stand out in your life?