It’s the little things

My dad isn’t usually a big talker. He’s friendly, kind, compassionate and great at what he does but heart-to-heart sharing of emotions, not really his area of strength, unless he’s in pastor or counselor mode.
I used to long for him to be able to open up and talk to me. I wanted to connect with him and I didn’t know how. I often criticized him for his distance and aloofness. I would lament that he couldn’t be more or do more to help close the gap between us.One thing I’m learning these days is how to love people for exactly who they are without wanting to change anything. To some that may be a no-brainer, but for me its monumental. I wonder how much I’ve missed out on because I couldn’t live in the moment and just let things and people be what they are.

This time I was able to stop and see some ways that he’s trying. One night I was in the basement watching tv, after everyone else had gone to bed. He came down with me and watched tv. We didn’t say a whole lot, mainly just commenting on the show, but he was there with me. It was nice to be able to lean on him. It was comforting to feel him hug me. It was awesome to be in the moment, watching TLC’s What Not to Wear with my dad.

How many times that I complained he wasn’t doing enough to be close to me did I miss those quiet moments? I was so busy looking at what he wasn’t doing that I missed what he could give. I wasn’t paying attention to the little things he offered. That doesn’t make up for everything I know, but it helps me let go a little. I can’t hold on to what I want him to be for me. I need to let him be who he is and love him just as he is, which is what I want him to do with me. Expectations are a bitch. They get in the way of true connection.

Another moment was that he let me drive his new car. You may not understand how huge that is. My father LOVES his cars. He details them himself every week. It’s not done until he’s cleaned the vents with a toothbrush and buffed it with a diaper. His cars are a reflection of him. He just got a new 2005 Chevy Malibu Maxx and he let me drive it to visit the grad school I looked at in Ohio. He drove a beat up, early 90s Honda Prelude to work so I could have the Max for the morning. WOW!! That is a privilege that did not go unnoticed.

How many other times did he give me the best that he had to give and took something less than? How many times did he do the best he could to make my life easier, but I didn’t see. I remember in high school I was part of an AIDS awareness program geared toward teenagers, mainly to be able to put it on my college applications. I desperately wanted to be on this tv show to talk about the program, represent our school and get out of class for a day. The only problem was we only had one car that day and it was broken. In Mexico, to combat smog, they require that one day a week your car can’t be driven. So our only car that could circulate that day was broken.

Since my dad was a mechanical engineer before his pastor days he stayed up most of the night to work on the car. In the end he didn’t get it done, but he found me and my friend a way to the tv station. I don’t remember why her parents could drive. I didn’t end up on the show either, I never stopped to think that my spanish sucks and so I’d look like an idiot on national television, my fluent friend went on instead. I don’t know if I ever thanked him for going the extra mile for me when he could.

I love you dad and thank you for giving me the max. I’m sure there a million things I should thank you for and haven’t.

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Posted on September 8, 2004, in Mi Familia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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