June 19, 2022

Happy Father’s Day!

We’re going to take a brief respite from the photos from Chris’ Excellent European Vacation to have a shout out to all the Fathers out there.

Happy Father’s Day to all out there!

I know this is a sort of made up holiday, not unlike Valentine’s Day, created to market something or another, but Father’s Day has a special place in my heart. Being a Father has been one of the most rewarding, and exasperating things in my life sometimes at the same time.

As my children are now grown and have significant others, the exasperation part of fatherhood is long since in the past, thank goodness. I have the incredible luck to have the most wonderful, successful adult children imaginable. They are simply amazing and get amazinger every day. Love you guys!

Watching them grow into their adult years has been a pleasure, and watching as they build their lives has been marvelous.

Last year I rambled on endlessly about this, so I’m going to take this in a slightly different direction. My relationship with my father was problematic at best, so this is not about that. The closest thing I had to a father-son relationship was with my Father-in-law, believe it or not.

Pat, or Francis to those who called on the phone, was a wonderful, kind hearted man who warmly gave his daughter to me in marriage, but also taught me much of what I know about being a Father. Both being engineers, we were kindred spirits the day we met and the relationship grew from there.

Pat was a seminarian at one point in his life, so he was very religious. This spilled over into his daily life as he was one of the only people I ever met that never used any profanities. With one exception. He had gotten a new gas can for his boat, and one day he was showing it to me and extolling it’s virtue describing in particular the usage of the closable air vent.

He made some descriptive and then made a comment about “getting gair in the ass hole”, when he meant to say “getting air in the gas hole”. When he realized what he had said, he looked at me, turned bright red in embarrassment and then we both burst out in laughter. This was Pat at his best.

One of Pat’s struggles was with indecision. Paralysis through analysis was his motto. He would research things to the n-th degree and then get so wrapped up in the information that he couldn’t then see a way forward.

One time in particular I personally experienced this when he decided to build a cover over the patio on the house he and my mother-in-law had recently bought. He had sketched out a plan, and made a materials list, so we went to the lumber yard to get the materials. We got the materials to the house, unloaded everything and then brought the materials around the back of the house.

After a quick lunch we went in the back yard, and I was perfectly happy to let him dictate the flow of events as it was his deck. Well, after several hours of literally rearranging all the materials, I realized he had no idea of where to start. By this point it was the end of the day, so I asked him if I could take the lead the next day. He literally sighed in relief and said of course.

I showed up early on Sunday morning, and we were done with the cover by mid-afternoon and all was good.

We lost Pat nearly 10 years ago and Melanie and I still miss him dearly. We still are driving his beloved Pilot, although it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s our remembrance of him.

Happy Father’s Day, Pat….

Next week we’ll have a look see at the Abbey!

written by Chris - Posted in Yapping