I know that I normally write a column about events such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it for Father’s Day this year — at least not until it was over.
Yes, this is probably going to be one of those columns you may want to skip if you’re feeling emotional but I will try to end on a high note.
My father has Parkinson’s and as time goes on, the disease has been taking its toll. No matter how I view it as a shortcoming, I’ve had real difficulty in not only dealing with the fact of his illness, I’ve found I have a very difficult time even writing about it.
To see what this disease has done to my vibrant and active father has taken its own toll on me. I can’t even begin to imagine the toll it has taken on my mother and if things go as the disease would normally dictate, it will only become more difficult.
I did see my father on Sunday, taking along my sons who love him as dearly as I do, and I felt at peace. I have been trying for many years to find a sort of peace where my father is concerned and I think I have finally reached that point — reference the baseball ceremony in April as it was about him where I was concerned.
And for your personal edification, the effort it takes to reach that moment of peace in relationships is worth it. Make the time and effort because as I have said it before when it comes to the 30 things in life I have found to be true: “Being right where my parents are concerned is no longer as important as I once thought it was.”
Seeing him is difficult, it’s as simple as that. So many hours playing baseball and football together, so many hours on the golf course, so many hours working in the yard and doing home repairs, so many hours of doing the right thing and never allowing exhaustion to get in the way. I can’t stand to see those hours no longer being filled as they once were.
I love my father, he is the best man I have ever known, shortcomings and all.
Now for something more positive.
As for Father’s Day with my own sons, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. We spent the day on the Saluda River fishing, just the three of us, and I have never felt more blessed.
I don’t know exactly what’s going on in my life where I have found myself more at ease these days, more at peace, and able to find the perfection in every day along with the subtle nearly hidden reasons for giving up the hobbies of worry and work.
I’m in no way complaining and I don’t believe Julie is either, although I am pretty sure she is curious as to what is going on when things that at one time got a reaction from me no longer do.
Sitting on that river, not even worried about putting a line in the water, I watched my sons. I watched how they interact with one another, showing how much they care without words. I watched how they smile and laugh with one another, how they are just happy people.
I lost myself in the memories of when they were just tiny little chaps and used to climb me like a jungle gym — apparently Brittan’s job now and I don’t mind a bit. I watched them slow down, slow down enough to enjoy the breeze, the sound of the water as it trilled across the rocks, the sunshine warming their faces, and what I have to assume was their genuine pleasure at spending time together.
I learned something this Father’s Day about myself as well. I learned I may have done a better job than I have always thought — along with their mother, who has been exceptional at being a parent. I always looked at the life I provided my sons and felt I could have done a much better job, probably a concern almost every parent has.
But what I discovered on that sun filled lazy morning was I had done what needed to be done.
They were never coddled, always expected to accept the consequences of their actions, always taught the TRUE value of money and possessions, and the importance of treating those you love with respect and to make sure they know how you feel.
They have always been pushed to be individuals, to chase their dreams no matter what anyone says, and to never accept the ordinary no matter who tries to convince them otherwise. They were taught to think of others less fortunate and to strive to be compassionate and caring. They were taught to try to leave this place better than they found it.
My sons, Nathan and Andrew, are far from perfect but they have embraced life and the lessons that have been taught to them.
My gift this Father’s Day was the realization that, although I’m not your standard dad, I must have done something right and an even clearer understanding of what is truly important in the scheme of things.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.