My mind is a swirl of memories as I sit here and try to decide what to write about my dad and what to leave out. How to reconcile this part of my dad with that part of him. And then I think about how we all are both parts - the good and the not so good.
My earliest memory of my dad is of him coming to see me in the hospital when I was 5. A combination of too much sun and my sister feeding me toxic plants landed me in the hospital for a bit. My dad came on his lunch break to read me a story. I remember that we each sat on a separate chair. I wanted to sit on his lap but didn't tell him that.
My dad brought us each a treat every Thursday when he picked up the groceries on the way home from work....when we were too little to read we got candy on grocery day and eventually we graduated to getting our own comic book. We had stacks of comics several feet high. Even after our family's grocery habits changed from mom phoning in a grocery order and my dad picking it up to my mom going to town on Thursdays to shop at a chain store my dad still picked up comics for us.
When I got my first bra my dad and I happened to meet in the hallway of our home. He stopped and looked me in the eye and I felt like he was acknowledging without speaking that I was on the edge of womanhood. I felt very affirmed.
My dad loves words - loves to read them - loves to know the meaning of them all. He is one of few people I know who consistently scores close to 100% doing the Word Power section of the Reader's Digest. He just has a hard time speaking words from his heart.
And now that I think of it, I wouldn't know he had this other side of him had my mom not told me certain things. Hmmm. I often struggle with knowing what my kids need to know of me and what they don't. What needs to come into the light and what is ok to leave in the dark? I don't think knowing the darker side of my dad makes me love him any less but it does cause a certain amount of confusion for me. It reminds me that we never see the whole picture of anyone during our lifetime.
I don't know about you but every so often I get this glimpse of someone I know and I recognize that the part I am seeing in that moment is the view that God keeps in perspective....the person He created them to be.