Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, July 17, 2014

To My Daddy

My dad, my hero, is starting the next phase in his life. He has chosen to move to the Senior's Lodge in his neighbourhood. 

I know that everyone ages, but the Dad I see in my head is still the strong, independent rancher. It's a bit of a shock to see him scurry along with his walker.

His steps are a little slower each day. But he remains cheerful and full of stories.
Today, Daddy, I'm thinking of you.
A repost of a poem I wrote to all the Fathers in my life . . .
My Dad and me
It starts out with a snuffle – a voice he's never heard before,
And suddenly, he's a Father and there's a whole new world in store.
The time goes by, he's changed a thousand diapers, maybe more,
His hair's grown grey along the sides, his back is bent and sore,
He knows feeding, changing – is expert on most everything that's sold,
Imagine how much more he'll know when his child is two days old . . .

The years fly past, his baby's reached the great old age of three,
That wondrous time when head and hands reach just above the knee,
The scars have healed from babe's first tooth, the child can even talk,
The tiny hard hat's put away – his little one can walk.
The child is toilet-trained, survived each illness, scratch and sore,
Dad knows it all, good thing because his wife just had two more.

His babes grow tall - or he grows small – there's a definite shift in size,
He's not as smart as he once was, through his adolescent's eyes.
He's older now and he can see both sides of any fight,
But it matters not 'cause like his child, he knows that he is right.
And as he watches, painfully, the sometimes good and bad,
There's one thing that will never change - the fact that he's their dad.

And so it goes, he does his best, survives on little sleep,
He goes to work each day, comes home and tends his growing sheep.
There is little recognition for the work he does each day,
A baby hug, a chocolate kiss may be his only pay.
But he strangles his impatience as he watches tiny hands,
And he gently speaks when teenage heads just do not understand
His prods and pushes – anger, too, he tempers, 'cause he cares,
His one reward, his children's love, he treasures through the years.

22 comments:

  1. You never realize how smart Dad is until you have kids of your own. I remember Dad, the task master, the disciplinarian, the manager. Then transition came and he became Grandpa, and Pops in addition to being Dad. I remember thinking Dad was old and hailed out, then one day realizing that he knew what he was talking about. Now we talk about things in the past and I ask him for advice. And one day I going to wonder how Dad would've done that...

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  2. So very sweet....! and about what matters most.

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    Replies
    1. Why does it take us so long to appreciate it?!

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  3. Not easy to see them change and age...no easier than it was for them to watch us. Best wishes for your Dad as he enters this next phase of life.

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    Replies
    1. So true, Delores. I just finished reading all of these responses to Daddy. He loved them! With all of us wishing him well, he feels so much stronger!

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  4. It's such a tough transition - for them and you - but it will be better in the end. Beautiful poem ;)

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    Replies
    1. Totally. I'm so glad he recognizes this and was able to make the decision for himself!

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  5. Well done to your dad for making the hard choice. Your poem made me tear up. My dad has been in a nursing home for seven years now, due to a severe stroke and paralysis. He had no choice and it was a hard thing for him, but he has kept his sense of humour and social nature. I bet your dad will, too.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Attitude is everything! So glad to hear that your dad is doing well with the changes. I think mine will as well.

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  6. So sweet, Diane! Good luck to you and your dad--he sounds like a wonderful man, and he's certainly got an excellent daughter!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen! What a wonderful thing to say!

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  7. That is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read Diane. I has made me weep thinking of my dad who I miss so much and my husband who stopped and dropped of an ice cream cone off to my daughter at her work today just because he heard her say she craved it. Fathers are amazing people! I'm sorry you are going through this inevitable time in life when we realize our parents aren't really superhuman. Many hugs to you dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rena! Because of your beautiful example, I tried to talk him into moving in with me. But I think my household is a bit too busy for him! :) He chose the lodge. He will be safe and comfortable there and that's what counts, right?

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    2. Definitely Diane it's a hard thing to go through whichever way you go. I'm slowly starting to realize that at some point I will probably have to make that decision, I'm just trying to hold out as long as we can. I worry now that she doesn't get enough interaction with other people. And I'll say here where it's safer with 4 other siblings I'm the only one doing anything. It gets so frustrating to not be able to have a date night unless I force the issue about once a month. Sorry didn't mean to say all of that.

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    3. But it's absolutely true! The sacrifices you make for your parent. I just think it's my way of paying back a little for what he's done for me all of these years! But that doesn't make it any easier! :)

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  8. This is so beautiful, I can see how much you cherish your Dad.

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  9. That was so lovely.

    I hope some day someone writes something like that for me!!

    Pearl

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    Replies
    1. Oh, they will, Pearl. They definitely will!

      Delete

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