Father's Day is a melancholy day for me. I miss my own father and really can't stand being the senior patriarch in my immediate family. Yes, I have a new father-in-law who my boys and I like a great deal, but he lives in Canada and we don't see him and my mother-in-law near enough (that's not a typo -- I like them).
My dad died four years ago. He was a great man. Great in the little things he did and represented. Great for his quiet and simple way of living life, loving my mom unconditionally and providing for his family as a blue-collar, 60+ hour working week, self-employed man.
We often talk about what makes a man a man, and when I write about this -- especially here -- I often get taken to task (or, more accurately, raked over the coals). My dad was that sort of man. He cherished my mom. He loved his boys. He didn't like chick flicks. He didn't complain. He was tough with a capital "T."
But, like John Wayne's characters in movies (Wayne was another very un-PC man), he let his actions speak for him. Where are those men today? The idea of a "metro" man would just confuse my dad. Even his own son being a SAHD left him perplexed. I'll chalk that up to generational stubbornness to accept change. Just as so many of my readers accuse me of being stuck in the past, so was my dad.
I don't care. To me, he was a great man. I miss him. I miss those kinds of men. He was faithful to my mom and loved her completely for 73 years, 66 of them married. They survived the loss of two of their three children. That was when he cried. Otherwise, he was John Wayne, Steve McQueen and Sandy Koufax rolled into one, with none of their money or fame. A GREAT man!
But what do I know? I'm just a guy.