I was having a conversation the other day with some friends and my dad came up. It is funny the things we choose to remember and the things we put on the shelf. The shelf stuff for me is pretty tough. My internal closet has everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I experienced with my dad during my childhood and part of my adult life on those shelves. I rifle through those shelves, searching, looking for some answers of why I am the way I am. Amidst the heartache, tears, and anger (what child agrees with everything their parents do) I look for the lesson. I firmly believe there was a lesson somewhere in each experience. What I am trying to say is that he may not have always delivered the lesson in a positive conventional way but the lesson was there none the less.
When I look at my children, this is the time when I try to find the lesson so that I can impart the wisdom to them. The things I did not like about my childhood I try to redirect so they can have a different experience. I am not always successful but I whole heartily try to make their childhood happy, healthy, and purposeful.
Now with all that being said, the other side of the closet contains all the outlandish, unbelievable things my dad's life brought to the forefront. Those moments are jewels and reasons why he was not allowed to be on his own at the house without supervision or at least a ride to the emergency room.
1. He cut himself out of a tree. Three times.
2. His own truck ran over him.
3. While burning brush on his property the fire had reached a heat point where the surrounding trees were catching on fire. To which he instructed my younger brother to fetch hoses. My brother enters the house and said to my mom, "Where are all the hoses? Dad needs them."
4. The property has water storage containers which are very large and tall Tupperware pitchers. The hole at the top is just big enough to have a small man fit to get inside. Guess which small man fit?
5. The surrounding area had a large fire which burned hundreds and hundreds of acres. The CDF worked extremely hard to contain the fire from destroying many homes in the area. One of the entry points was down my parents road. Dad decided to "take a gander" at the carnage. End result: small man, large truck stuck in soft soil in the middle of burn zone. CDF had to helicopter his vehicle out of the area. He was escorted back home to which they warned mom not to let him out of the fenced yard.
This is just the top five. There are many, MANY more "jewels" to tell. It is funny the things we remember. The sounds in our heads of the one lost in our world. I still hear his laugh, his sputtering when he was about to tell a tall tale, I remember the lines in his face, his eyebrows furrowed in a tight ball in the middle of his forehead, the thump of his boots on the floor. Most of all I remember the tears in his eyes when he found out his dad died, the tears in his eyes when he found out about the twins on his birthday, the day I graduated from college, the day Emma Kat was born. I remember him.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. ~ William S. Burroughs