“I know how to fall”….

It is Father’s Day 2018 and my dad is celebrating for the first time without my mom. I will be spending time with my dad today. We plan to install a new Comcast box they sent him (plug & play not!), ordering a take-out lunch and simply spend time talking.

I have learned more about my dad in the past three months than I have in the past years.  We talk briefly almost every evening, wish each other a good night and tell each other “love you”.  I live one town away, allowing me to easily stop over. It is our “kitchen table talks” where we are having wonderful chats.  This is the same kitchen where I grew up, where we had family dinners. It is filled with wonderful memories.  I think that is why it is so easy to talk there.

My dad is funny! Not only verbally but with his emails. I forgot he wanted to be an illustrator and cartoonist. He made many greeting cards over his lifetime and continues to alter purchased cards.  Long before we had photo editing tools he could manually alter photos to make us laugh.  This was a painstaking method requiring precision cutting, securing and photographing over and over again.

My dad is patient, a trait that is both good and sometimes frustrating for me.  He can spend hours on the computer working on a project.  He can also spend hours waiting in a doctor’s office unnecessarily. Waiting without insisting to see the physician or requesting a new appointment. I saw this trait with my mom and my opinion their generation is reluctant to challenge the medical teams. (A topic for another article.)

My dad had aspirations to be a manager. He was a graphic artist, first working in the space and aeronautic business. Then he went to school at night for his teaching degree. He taught graphic arts at a technical high school until his retirement. Both careers he experienced disappointment that he was not promoted to management. Not because he did not have the skills but they could not afford to loose his talent as an artist and then teacher. (I chuckle because I have the opposite problem, employees not wanting to move into management who have the talent to do so.)

My dad is kind, generous, talented, inquisitive, always learning….the list is extensive.

Why did I title this article “I know how to fall”? That is my dad’s quote. I first heard it when we were renivating a kitchen in my former home. We were lovingly arguing over who will climb the ladder to work on the outside of a window installation. Dad won that challenge because “he knew how to fall”.  And yes, he fell. He was bruised and sore for days.  I heard him say this quote many times over the past 30 years. He still says it.  I am now winning the challenge and no, I have not fallen.  I now understand it is not only the physical act of climbing the ladder but the need to protect loved ones from injury and hurt be it physical or otherwise. My dad would do anything to keep his loved ones from harm, “he knows how to fall.”

I too, know how to fall.

HartFelt wishes to my dad and to all fathers today and everyday.

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