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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day and Real Dad’s

Fathers Day is here again and all I can think of is my own Dad that passed away in 2003. My Dad was a good man, an honest man, a hardworking man that happened to have seven kids. He was Irish and the television was broken so I’m not giving any excuses for a large family.

Dad loved his family and he showed it as best he could and the only way that he knew how. He never bought expensive toys for himself. No golf clubs, no motorcycles, no fancy clothes or shoes. Matter of fact he used to go to a shoe repair shop to get his heals and souls replaced. This was a Dad that dropped his paycheck in Mom’s hand and he hadn’t signed his own name on it in over thirty years. Mom signed, cashed, and paid the families bills. What the family needed he provided the means. Mom handled the details of how to get it done with the money they had.

I recall the good times more so than my older siblings and to me he just wasn’t the man that made and enforced the rules of a large family but he was also my friend. My Dad was not the same Dad that my sisters knew. Dad loved his daughters but he never understood how the female mind worked so he stepped aside and let Mom handle the alien species of the household. He wasn’t the same Dad that my older brothers knew either. With each one of his seven children he had only his own personal way of dealing with his children. He wasn’t a Doctor Phil Dad but he gave it his best shot. Where he may have failed in some of his children’s eyes he succeeded in others. Seven children are seven very different people. Each one of his children had a very different relationship with him. Some of us took to heart what he was all about and some of us chucked the bird at him for being over protective and concerned when Mom was crying.

We all grew up, we all survived Dad at his worst and Dad at his best. What I love to remember most is that he loved all his children no matter our faults and failures. We were and are all his babies and that is what a true Dad is all about.

Dad became frail after Mom died. He ventured back up north from Florida. When he started to decline we took care of Grampa Jack as best we could. When Alzheimer’s took over his mind I know that he and I were still a team. Till his last day on this Earth he still looked at me as a friend, someone he could be comfortable with and a calm place to be in a storm of confusion. He didn’t know my name but I knew his. That is all that mattered.

Being the baby boy it was he and I that bonded the most. I will never have a friend that will accept me no matter my faults like my Dad did and frankly I never want to replace the friendship that my Father and I had. Jack O’Keefe was my best friend and he was also my Dad. I loved him as a friend and also as my Dad. I can only hope that I can be half the man he was as a father.

Happy Fathers Day Dad!

I love you Dad and miss you my friend,


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Blogger The Relentless Centrist™ said...

Mat, that was a VERY touching post, my friend. Jack O'Keefe sounds like he was an amazing human being. May he RIP, and Happy Father's Day to YOU, my friend...

10:51 AM  

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