No, not the president. At least not the sitting one. Someday I’m sure I’ll write about my undying admiration for men the likes of Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, Generals Lee and Chamberlain, PM Churchill, and Bishop Sheen, but not today.
Today, I want to talk about my dad.
Tomorrow is his last day on The Job. It’s been a good job, considering it’s meant he’s been able to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. The medical bills have always been paid for: The Job is unionized and came with a most excellent insurance package. I’ll be the first to admit it was a tough job – long hours outside in all weather (I think the only time they ever called it off for weather was once during a hurricane and then again in the October Blizzard.) and “peak season” – black Friday through New Year’s we all knew just sucked. If Dad made it to the family Christmas Eve dinner it’s usually been a miracle of Christmas proportions in and of itself.
But he did it. For all the long, cold, wet, icy, snowy, sweaty, hot, humid, “insert weather conditions here” he stuck with it for thirty long years. The Job had nothing to do with what he went to school for. The man has multiple college degrees, including a Masters, he’s a Navy veteran, and he’s spent the last 30 years as a blue-collar package delivery man because it was a surefire way of making sure his family got taken care of. He was unemployed when I showed up and since babies are on the expensive side, he took what he could get.
So for all the dance recitals and baseball games missed (I practically forced him to take a personal day when I graduated from high school. I didn’t want to take the chance he’d get stuck at work and miss commencement.) For all the late hours you came home really too tired to do anything but eat dinner, take a shower, and go to bed, but stayed up and read us a bedtime story anyway (you’re never living down Henry the Duck and the cood fooking on the stove) or help us with homework or explain why politicians were making no sense and why a president had to ask what the definition of “is” is… thanks. Thanks for being a man of great character and integrity, and for always putting your family first.
Thanks for being a Dad, and not just a father.
Enjoy your retirement*.
*No one can hang around the house too long. Trust me. I highly recommend volunteering, or a golf membership, or a part-time job, or something, anything. Long experience has taught us that if you’re home and underfoot too long, your children may kill you. In a totally loving way. But seriously. Get out of the house every once in a while. ❤