The other night I am on the phone with my dad and he starts up on this old softball memory he has of me. You know the ones… the ones you have heard 8934532 times – the ones that just the very mention of make you roll your eyes – because you have heard it over and over and over again. He is carrying on and I can play this out by heart but to be completely honest with you… I don’t even remember it. I only know it because of his story, his memory of that specific occasion. I remember that instance thru his eyes not mine.
My dad is a story-teller. He can sit down and talk to you for hours recollecting every memory he has. And if you don’t cut him off you will be there for hours upon hours. He loves telling his stories and he doesn’t much care if you want to hear them or not… you sit down in that chair near him – he’s sharing his stories with you.
I think in general, most dads are kind of quiet. They end up being that quiet strength you have as a child. The one who stood there quietly on the sidelines, holding his breath with me, and probably putting in multiple requests with the man upstairs that I win that game. And as I got older he was still there every game on the sidelines, quiet, but there.
My dad’s not much for words. He doesn’t ever offer me any words on life. He lets me do my thing and stands there … still on the sidelines. If I need him…. He is there… quiet strength.
But most days… he is just there watching me… quietly … taking in every moment… saving it for years down the road to recollect these stories… with anyone that will listen to him.
As you get older you start appreciating your parents more and more. You see the sacrifices. You start realizing just how hard life is and you see everything they have done for you. And as their child, you begin to see how much of their lives in fact revolved around you.
My dad isn’t a dad that sits down and has long talks with me. He never sits down for any worldly advice. He never dives into his emotions telling me how much he loves me…
I never need my dad to tell me. We never need the long deep conversations. I never need him to say the words.
My dad’s whole world is my sister and I and anyone that knows us knows this. He doesn’t need words. He’s there for everything. He doesn’t miss a thing. He’s there in the background my entire life. Supporting me quietly… just collecting every moment storing it away to tell anyone and everyone about later on.
He does the same for the grandkids. He is there. Always. He rarely misses a game, a concert, or even a practice.He is always there. Always quietly watching.As he stands there without a word… even strangers can see… just how much love, admiration, and pride he has for us and those grandkids.
I often wonder with my own kids… will they know how much I love them? How proud of them I am?
And I know through experience you do not needs words… actions will speak to your children. Being there… watching…standing on the sidelines of their lives… is more than enough.