This is an old post I wrote years ago.
It’s about my father.
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I want to share with you both an entry I wrote on my blog on September 5th, 2011. It is titled “The Last Shall Be First.”
My father is an incredible man. This is my 100th post.
A few years ago he decided that our family should have a reunion. He made it happen with a selflessness that most humans don’t even know exists. This is his last year as president and honestly as great of a job as he does, I’m glad his fever for the job is over. His health is far more important these days and he left a blueprint only a no hands man could drop.
As his last president’s address to the family he had an old military buddy come speak to the family about, well, family. His friend has been coming to our reunion for years now and he explained why him not being blood family (his own family is dysfunctional) did not mean he wasn’t my father’s brother. He looked at my uncle and said “I know that you are his older brother but he is MY older brother”.
He went back. 1970’s back-when he and my father first met. He described how their relationship meant everything to him. How my father helped him so many times in his life. How my father was the best man at his wedding. How my father was his best friend. How much he loved my father.
It made a huge lump in my throat.
This man spoke about my father as if he was the only man he has met in his life that treated him as a true friend. As I get old…er. My appreciation for family period has increased quadruple fold. My awareness for things I truly consider “things that matter” has heightened. My respect and love for my father is on a rocket that is still traveling past galaxies. This weekend I saw that I was not the only one that had investment in this love rocket. Unplanned my uncle stands up at the end of the banquet, takes the microphone, and speaks on his love for my father. At the cookout, he was not allowed to lift, touch, or set-up anything.
To see people shed their layers and reveal a love ultimate for my father was sobering. I’m jealous. I can’t lie. I want to be half the man he is, and one day I want to be at least two thirds the man he has become. The stories I heard. The stories I still hear. My father is one of those rare humans that even the most skeptical realist has to adore immensely. From my aunts to my little cousins they speak about him and to him in pure admiration.
I want to fill his shoes and these shoes are big, shiny and rare.
Thoughts of him over the years, I can recall infinite times he has helped people-family or not-through quandaries. Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was an ear to listen, sometimes it was an honest influence. Most of MY times it was all the aforementioned (I probably owe my dad close to a million dollars-to date) This man always puts himself last, usually for the sacrifice of making someone else better. That fidelity has made him first in the hearts of those he comes across.