Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Father's Day Reminder

Here we are again -- another Father's Day to celebrate. While there are a lot of dads to celebrate; today is also a day to remember those dads of ours who have left this place. Sadly, my dad passed in the summer of 2001. In our last conversation, my final words were "I love you...and I'll see you on the other side." In my mind, I was thinking that I would see him when he was out of the heart surgery he was being wheeled into when we spoke that afternoon via phone. I was living in New York and he was here in Oregon - there was a world between us and a flight that night which seemed like it would never land.

Over the years, I have learned to trust my heart...and in that phone call I said "see you on the other side" without really understanding the depth of its meaning at the time I said it. You see, in my heart of hearts, I knew...that short conversation would be the last; and I will be forever grateful to Dr. Peter Banitt, the cardiac surgeon, who understood that our talk was far more important than oxygen and who made it possible for me to talk with my dad while he was being wheeled into the operating room.

While it makes me sad that my dad is not here physically, there is so much in my life that is because of I know that he will never really leave. Everyday there is some little thing that happens where I hear myself repeating something he would say, "use the right tool for the job" -- "it's good enough for government work" are just two that come to mind at the moment...and two sayings that pretty much sum up both of our personalities. He was fastidious in the details of things, as am I, when it's necessary -- but then there are those times where the details aren't quite as important, so it's best not to waste a lot of energy on them. I am so thankful that as a young kid he let me hang out with him in his garage/workshop/radio shack -- I learned the joy of using fine hand tools while working with exotic woods and varying metals. I discovered the magic of talking with people around the world; and most importantly, I learned how to fix the leaky pipe under the sink! In my mind, all very good things to know!

Me and my dad in 1962!
All of that being said, I suppose I want to remind all the fathers out there that personalities are formed in the the little things of life. This is why I believe in the importance of "being in the moment" as we move through life -- sometimes we get so distracted by all the other stuff going on that we forget to take deep calming breaths and be grateful for the moment. Happy day -- one and all!