Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I realized rather late in life that I admire my father very much. While not my genetic dad, he is the only father I have known.
We're totally different personalities. He lived thru the 30s, fought in a war, married one woman for life, and provided a safe and decent home for her and seven children. Worked hard, relentlessly, was utterly reliable. He taught me a host of practical things I have used all my life. Not often warm, but when I really needed him (when I came out, for example) he was right there. He didn't understand or approve, but I was his son and he loved me and that was the bottom line: We drank martinis, smoked cigars and cried. He was unwavering, no question, solid as a rock. His is perhaps an unexceptional life for men of his great generation, but as the song says, "a life you can hang your hat on". And now he bears the heavy burden of diminishing powers at the end of his life.
He has consistently shown courage, self-discipline, perseverance, responsibility, integrity. In my eyes, the man has major gravitas. I spent some of my life trying not to be like him and resenting him for what he wasn't.
I was wrong. With all his flaws, and he has them, he's a man, a good man, a real man. He's lived a life which, while ordinary in so many ways, I can only call magnificent.
at 11:35 AM