My Father, My Unlikely Hero | A Father’s Day Tribute

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He married my Mother. In the 1940’s it was the right thing to do under certain circumstances. For that, he is my hero.

In the 50’s he gave up his career as a jazz musician for his family and tried to settle into suburban life. For that, he is my hero.

In 1961, just when they were settled into family life with their three teens, I came along. He never wavered, I was Daddy’s little girl, the apple of his eye. For that, he is my hero.

In 1966 my mother became gravely ill. He worked and did his best to care for his family. For that, he is my hero.

Without my mothers help in running the business, it failed. Along with that came massive medical bills and bankruptcy. He kept plugging along. For that, he is my hero.

In amongst the fragile foundation of their marriage crumbling around him, he committed to providing home dialysis care for my mother. For that, he is my hero.

Within the boiling pot of drama and dysfunction around his affair and their separation, he never once spoke badly of my mother to me. For that, he is my hero.

In order to accommodate his love for me and his love for his girlfriend, he went against my mothers strong (and utterly hurt based) rules that I was not to be anywhere near “her”. It was the only way he could see spending more time with me. For that, he is my hero.

He was there for his children when our mother died. For that he is my hero.

No matter how ill and fragile he became, he always had a fun little game or trick to play with my sons. They loved their grandfather. For that, he is my hero.

On his deathbed, his words “Honey, why are your working so hard?” changed my view of proving I could be a career woman and sent me on a path of self-discovery. For that, he is my hero.

Now ten years after his passing, I still feel his love. For that, he is my hero.

For most of my life, I looked back upon my childhood and only saw the dysfunction. It was a crazy ride that could prove to be a script for a soap opera. I had allowed the pain and heartbreak to define me for much of my adult life.

It wasn’t until I learned how to dig deep within gratitude that I was able to let go, forgive and look back at my childhood with a lens of love and empathy.

Had I written this list prior to doing the gratitude work it would have felt like an assault on my father instead of a tribute. Gratitude helped me open up to see that he never, ever intended to hurt anyone. I was able to forgive and let go of old stories that were formed in my unenlightened, child’s mind. That is the power of gratitude.

Louise Aspden is “The Positive Coach”. She delivers programs and coaching designed to help her clients create contentment within their lives, as they are, in the moment. Visit www.positivecoach.ca to learn more.

June 19, 2016 |

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