Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 102. It's stange to realize that I am eight years older now than he was when he died.
I have written about him before on this blog so won't repeat myself except to mention soke of the things he taught me. Through his example, I learned the value of honesty and of fairness. I learned the importance of a man's word. I learned about friendship and dignity. I learned both giving and forgiving. I learned responsibility and respect. I learned love and compassion. I learned the value of work and the value of relaxation. I learned to maintain a sense of humor.
I learned, I hope, to be a good man.
We were never the same person. He was a staunch Yankee Republican and I was (and am) a wild-eyed liberal who espouses conservatism in its original sense (keep -- conserve -- what works and change what doesn't work). I was more intellectual that he, but never smarter than he was -- and he probably had me outnumbered in the common sense department. I express my feelings more openly; my father, the old line Yankee, not as much.
We both loved children and we both loved the amazing diversity of people around us. I occasionally feel sorry for my brother's two girls -- Lizzie and Julia -- because they were born long after he died and never got to meet him, nor he them. He would have been tickled pink by them.
He loved chicken and he loved popcorn.
I think about him often. He is never far from my side. He is one of the main reasons I am who I am today. If I am half the man he was my life will be a success.
He was a good man and lives on still in all the people he touched.