Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reflections on Thanksgiving.

  So today it came to me, well actually that started last night, at how we slowly change. I watched as Denise went OCD from the stress of getting the Thanksgiving meal prepared. There were things that she did in the last 5 or so years, and things mom did. Just like a frog who will set in the water as the temperature slowly rises until he is cooked, so too does life do us. I caught myself playing a role like dad did, something I use to laugh at him for doing and swear I would never, ever be like that.

  Well, this is our 4th Thanksgiving without dad and our 1st without mom. This is also Denise's 1st without her dad... been a tough year. By today I smiled when I reflected back again, weighing my thoughts of then verses now. I remember mom busting her butt, cooking and going crazy while dad, who knew to keep out of mom's way, played the part of go for and sitting up the tables and chairs. Of course that was not so much by his design but mom's design, dad just followed orders. He did so without hesitation and a lot of times without adding his 2 cents in, just followed the orders and made the trips to the store or outside to assist mom. I remember vividly thinking that dad had got this from being in WW2, but I was wrong. His service days probably helped him, I have no service time but I learned to follow orders.  Now different families have different roles and I personally do not believe that one way is better than the other, it is just what a family gets use to and is comfortable with. Around here, women prepared the meal and men followed the orders the women gave to them.

  Back then and really up until I really don't know, I said that I would not be like my dad and my wife would not be like my mom. Now at this time it is time to reflect back to what I said about that frog in the water thing, so I really don't know when or where that line was crossed. Maybe though this year, now at 54, I fully understand things more than I use to, especially since we are now the ones who are old. We are not really old but back when I noticed things like this I was in my 20s so yea, I would have thought me to be a relic back then. My parents, and other adults that helped raise me, I could always see traits that I admired, so please don't misunderstand me on that. The thing is though that I was in fear that one day I would become like my dad and fall into that order taking, mom fearing, role. I was a man and therefore over my woman I thought.

  I looked at my wife as I was not asked to run here or there, well actually a time or two told I was running here or there, but volunteered cheerfully to run. My wife was busting her butt to not only do her charges but also mom's charges now that mom was no longer with us. Our youngest daughter, only one still left at home, was busting her butt helping. At 22 she was also bucking up like a wild horse that has never been tamed, but she was being led and followed. Our oldest daughter asking what she could do to help out even though she lives miles away and had sick kids. My wife didn't want to place more burden on our oldest, guess she remembers us having small kids.

  So today the big event, Thanksgiving was upon us and Denise was wide open but running low on energy. If I did not know here I would probably not know this to watch her go. Her dad had just died and the funeral the day before, she was behind, broken hearted, and tired. I think staying busy kept her mind active and off the pain she was feeling. The pain was still there but at least she got a reprieve from the intensity of it, she was a daddy's girl. I was a momma's boy and I have buried myself in writing and paperwork on he estate and even TV this time, the TV thing... not good. One still grieves and one still hurts, but by not dwelling, one heals in time. Time does not totally heal all wounds but it does help to heal and have a healthy scar more so than an unhealthy one.

  Tonight, as she lay there asleep on the couch, exhausted, it came across my mind what dad must have felt. Neither of us are as thin as we once were, neither of us are as naive as we use to be, but man was she ever beautiful. I had to be the luckiest man alive. I thought dad was being bossed but he wasn't, he surely understood how blessed he was and rather than following orders was happy to help. He done this not out of duty but out of love and honor and was pleased to be of assistance to mom, whatever she needed him to do. I wondered just how I could have been so wrong for so long, for that matter, how I could not see the transformation in my perspective. Even more, how I could have taken so long to make the change complete. I guess I was a late bloomer, lol.

  So many changes have come about me and most for the better, but I was pretty off track in a lot of things. The thing I have noticed since dad has gone and now that mom has gone is not that I fear being them as I did when I was young. What seems to be boring in our youth eventually becomes stability in our later years. Spontaneous becomes undependable and change becomes undependable. Not completely in all aspects but in many. Trendy people become people of Fads and that becomes material people and eventually can become broke people. I get all that now, but the thing that amazes me the most and caught me off guard is when I looked at her lying there I had one thought. One thing came to mind and tonight I will ask in my prayers that I become that which I once feared I would be, that which I once thought weak. I pray I can be a man that is as my dad was, or at least half the man. That I can, though my actions and words inspire someone to be like me like dad did without ever once thinking he was doing just that. That I can be worthy of the ridicule of youth and the admiration of age. That I never know if I have been so that I can remain humble, and preform the tasks my dad did without fail. In short, that one day I can become a man like my dad.