My parents, part of Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation, loved his book so titled. He wrote about the time that shaped them and gave them “the right stuff.” Their moral ethics were solid.
No matter how upset my mother was with anyone (notably my father) she was patient, held her tongue, and didn’t curse. None of these laudable attributes can I claim to carry on.
Dad was usually compelled to give his best to whatever came before him, and I used to be disappointed that some projects kept him from playing with us as we grew up. Yet, Dad’s efforts always made things easier for the rest us, though we may not have appreciated them at the time. Through the years, he always had a handle on even the toughest situations, providing me a sheltered, comfortable world through his determination to do whatever was needed. As things worked out, Dad always gave credit to his guardian angel who is still working overtime as thoroughly as George Bailey’s faithful Clarence.
Now, in his 80s, he is still carefully lining up his ducks before he “gets his ticket out of this world” (those are his words) so that I have less to worry about when he’s gone. Our girls will no doubt have more loose ends to tie when I go than Dad will leave for me. It isn’t a question of love’s quantity or quality. I was shaped to deal with my life according to the times I grew up in, and so it is with Dad’s generation. His time and type can’t be duplicated. I’m with Tom Brokaw; they need to be appreciated.
I thank you, Dad, and all dads like you everywhere. You’ve got what it takes and I love you for it.
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