A Father’s Day Dream
My dad, is a short man who lives in Florida; he’s in failing health. He’s the toughest, smartest, hardest working man I know. Last night I dreamed dad died. In the dream, I was there.
I woke boiling with emotion. Emotions don’t know truth from fiction. I’ve been thinking about him since. I haven’t spent much time with dad since I was 18 when I left the farm in Maine for college in Missouri. I never looked back.
Even though I haven’t spent time with him, he lives in me.
I saw him in my unexpected positive attitude and determination after my nearly fatal accident. I said to my wife Dale, “I didn’t realize I was like my dad in this way.” In my toughest hours, I saw him there. It felt good.
I can still hear him reading some new idea while we ate breakfast. He’s in thousands of books that line my library.
He was involved in our community, back home. He was an elected official and a member of the volunteer fire department. I was elected to a local office, too.
He cares for mom like a goddess. He was always hugging and kissing her, I don’t mean little pecks. I can still see their bodies molding together when he came in from milking cows. Today, in our home, Dale and I have a saying, “Never waste a kiss.” If you’re going to do it, do it. Little pecks are ridiculous.
On the farm, life was work. He rose early and worked late. I still observe the farm clock.
Dad led himself and in so doing he led me. He never told me to follow his example and frankly, I never really thought about being like him. It just happened.
Sooner or later, last night’s dream will be true. I’m thankful that part of who I am is who he is.
My dad has been gone for 25 years. But, he is a part of me, too. Thanks for reminding me how deep the bond really is between a parent and child. Funny, I dream about him sometimes. It’s like I’ve spent time with him. He was a rock. Solid in his faith and his work ethic. And, he loved his family. That I know for sure.
Thank you for these thoughts. A few years ago my father moved closer to us. We would go out to lunch once a week. I would always pay. I told my wife, I could pay for lunch every day for the rest of his life, I would not have begun to pay him back for all that he had done for me.
The great thing about Fathers Day is that we can bask in the attention while also recognizing our own fathers (and father figures) and their influence on our lives and character. Thanks for sharing this personal reflection, Dan.
Beautiful, poignant, and a wonderful way to salute your father. Well done.
That’s so lovely, Dan, thank you for sharing your feelings.
The power and timing of dreams and their connections and purpose are not so easily measured, categorized, or discerned are they Dan?
Two quotes come to mind…
“I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams… Man… is above all the plaything of his memory.”-Andre Breton
“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.” -Douglas Adams
Please tell your father while you can.
My dad is going soon too & he’s in me as well. Take time to go be with him before it’s too late…I am!
A beautiful post and so poignant. Stirs up lots for me too since my mom is nearing the end of her life. You’re so right about the power of leading by example!
Dan, pick up the phone and call him and tell him about seeing him in yourself. The when and teh where an dthe why of seeing his traits in you. There is nothing more powerful you could do for fathers day, for both you and for him. I am betting he will be overwhelmed to hear that, and you will be overwhelmed at saying it to his face. You will both profit immensely.
Such a lovely, loving post. Thank you.
Please go back to the farm and tell him all of this and let him know how he will live on through you. Let him know before it is too late.
‘never waste a kiss’ – I like that!
Such a heartfelt post, thanks for opening the door to your life growing up.
I have seen the last days of my Dad’s life, several years ago now, but I feel the influence of his spirit when I seek constructive win-win’s and refuse to allow anger to win the moment. I never play Golf without thinking of him.
I do not know if dreams are steered divinely, or a sense in you was alerted in off-hours, but I encourage you to take advantage of the time remaining, it will speak to your life and his, and set course as an example to Rockwell’s still growing.
Lovely post Dan. I guess for a lot of us our fathers are our heroes. My wall is covered in diplomas and graduation pictures, awards and trophies and one of a kind mementos but they all pale in comparison to the honor, respect, love and admiration I hold for my dad. My father never saw the inside of a classroom yet was and is the smartest person I have ever met. He taught himself English and “No” or “Not Possible” was just not part of his vocabulary. He is 87 and still going strong never faltering or failing to give advice and counsel.
I remember being 10 years old and on a Sunday afternoon along with my younger brother carrying two satchels filled with shirts, undergarments, and socks selling door to door in our neighborhood. There were no elevators in our “hood” so it was 5 flights up and down in every building. As we walked out of one of the buildings and reached the stoop, two policemen were waiting on us. My dad was always thinking ahead and rapidly approached them and asked, “is there a problem officers?” They looked at him all 5 ft nothing and weighing 100 lbs. nothing and said there had been complaints of loitering and there were vagrancy laws and did my dad have an occupational license. Well admittedly the only word my dad understood was license and he immediately reached for his wallet and approached them opening up the wallet and showing them his “license.” As they looked at his wallet and each other my dad was quick to mention that he had not emigrated to this country to have anyone but him support his family and that as long as he could walk and had use of his hands, he would work to ensure he did that. The two cops looked at each other and smiled and one of them turned to my dad and said “OK Mr. Diaz, this is fine, just be careful” and walked off.
That evening after supper still perplexed I approached my dad and asked him whether he knew what an occupational license was and he said “of course not.” So what did you show them I aske? He looked at me and sat me on his lap and looked me in the eye and said, “son I showed them the most important license there is .” He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and opened it to the middle and showed me a picture of my mom and my two brothers and sister.
That is just one of the many lessons that I would learn from my father. In spite of significant accomplishments and reaching all of his goals I have never met a more humble, generous and caring person. More than just “Happy Father’s Day” I thank my dad for being the role model, inspiration, and purveyor of strength he has been all my life. I love you DAD and thank you for always being there for me. 🙂
What a beautiful post Dan, and I can relate to my father in many similar ways. I am hope for him to be around for a few more years, but he is heading toward 90 and I know the time is getting shorter. Thankfully we have our memories.
Well stated, Dan. And what a great role model for a healthy marriage. Beautiful tribute.
Just a wonderful post Dan! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.
I can feel your pain and pride. My story is not different from you. Unexpected departure of my father 06 years back still shakes me. I can not think it is truth. I had bigger dreams to show him. I am still achieving dreams but my father is not there to see it. I always feel his presence and philosophy. He was a great follower of truth, honesty and had UN-bended integrity. His courage was exemplary. I try to follow his path and do not know whether I can be really like my father. I always led by his inspiration, thoughts and liveliness.
In my journey, I feel proud when I achieve.
My emotion does not make me belief the reality. You have rightly said ” Emotion does not listen to truth”. But good news about the emotion is that, it makes you to surge ahead, succeed ahead and make your father proud of you.
Wonderful reflection Dan.
Ways I would like to be like my father: He is 88 and still works everyday. He is a courier and drives a three state area. He delivers goods all over Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. He comes to watch his great grandson to play baseball all the time.
I’d be honored if you would read what I wrote about How my husband was a dad for our daughter.
Perfectly worded. I am so glad I found your post on Twitter that lead me to this. Tomorrow I will have time with my 86 year old Dad. He is not the man he was…the journey has been hard for him. His joy is still having Mom with him to dance in the kitchen–even when clean dishes have long been put away. Happy Father’s Day.
Great post about an important idea. Because it’s sometimes easier to remember the things that didn’t work with our parents – mums and dads – noticing the good things they gave us is really important. It helps us be aware of what we do for our children.
More than any before this post defines you and what makes your blog so very special. Happy fathers day to you and your Dad. It seems to me you have more than one family who loves you for this.
For once, I am going to write a short post. 🙂
All the best to you on Father’s day.
You don’t have to tell him. Simply give him a printed out copy of this post. It will mean everything to him.
My Dad died 2 years ago. He taught me so many things…how to write, how to work, how to love. We never had a lesson. I learned them simply from being part of him. Just like you and your Dad.
We honor our fathers (and mothers) simply by being the best we can be.
That is a beautiful post, brought tears to my eyes. How amazing to see such love between your parents. I hope he has had the opportunity to read this.