As I look ahead to next Sunday being Father's Day, I admit that I miss my Dad even though it wasn't the easiest life with him. He was rough around the edges, but he left a legacy of himself within me and I'm thankful for him. He was unique (as each of us is) and the genes he passed along gave me some of his uniqueness.
From my Dad I inherited an innate ability to wake up at any given time without setting an alarm. There is something he had that I inherited which is not unlike an internal button of an internal alarm clock. When do I need to wake up at? Done. No problem. My eyes open at that time the next morning.
He also gave me mechanical aptitude: an ability to fix objects and figure out what's wrong with non-working things in my realm. He was a car mechanic in the old days, when parts were parts and a well-oiled machine was simply that. He could gerry-rig anything to get it back together and working, and my hands have a similar sense of finagling pieces together to make them functional. Not like my Dad, but enough so I can say “thank you” for his legacy.
And more... Persistence. Stubbornness. An intrinsically, internally, intentional passion to get things done and completed with quality and excellence, knowing that the completion will hold my name as a signature of the project. Starting and not finishing a job makes me intensely frustrated – just like my Dad. I will literally go without anything and everything until I can say, "It is finished" and give up my proverbial ghost – then move on to the next, and the next, and the next project. Life. A series of new projects!
My Dad blessed me with the animal personality of a beaver/lion. He had a humongous work ethic. So did my Mom. Because of them, the genetic pool that fills my inner being can never be a calm lake, but churns relentlessly like a white-water rafting river. Task-focused. Details. Checklists. To-do's beckon for my hands and, like a magnet with a refrigerator, I'm on them. The lion within doesn't just sniff, but bites down hard on work with passionate glee, chewing it over and over until it’s ready to be swallowed. Need something done? Want something done? I'm here for you, and I'm on it with a big smile on my face. If my Dad were alive I would hear him growl, "Git 'r done!!" but my heartbeat is already there. Thanks Dad! Your genes fit me well!
And I have my Daddy's eyes. BLUE. I have a picture of the two of us, taken when I was 12 and there is no mistake - the eyes are matching sets. Intense blue. Freaky blue, as one of my daughter's friends told her. They came from my Dad, and I am his daughter: his only daughter. The only girl to wear his genes: my Daddy's well-worn genes.
Genes can be both a blessing and a curse. The beaver/lion within me can roar, bite, and be a bit scary at times - both to me and to others. Stubborn persistence, untempered by love, can mow other, less focused people, down into the ground – and hurt. Non-morning people, such as my loving husband, aren’t so fond of early morning internal clock followers (Proverbs 27:14). So the internal nature that I inherited from my Mom; the sensitivity, service, and a passion for God, provides a bit of balance within me, and for THAT I am incredibly thankful. Thanks Mom, and a happy belated Mom’s Day to you as I remember you with love after saying goodbye to you so many years ago. Gone – not forgotten. J
Happy Father’s Day, everyone! If you are fortunate enough to have your Dad with you, thank him for his legacy within you. Then hug your Mom, because she’s the one who carried and birthed his child…