My father was an executive in the American Red Cross. He was the
first person in his family to go to college and in fact he completed
But he never felt that working with his hands was beneath him. One of
my earliest scars is on my ankle. I was playing on a pile of bricks
at 3 years old where he was laying a brick patio. The little bastard
broke under my weight and the subsequent fall skinned my ankle bone
clean to the bone.
When I was little, Dad and I built fences, doghouses, barbeque pits,
finished sheetrock, installed drains . . .
Dad was never willing to hire a contractor if he could see his way
clear to how a job ought to be done. Of course, it always took longer
than we thought it would and cost more than we anticipated, but was
the years pass, you get used to that and can plan for it.
Then came that fateful day. I was in college, and Dad had waited on
me to get home before installing a window air conditioner. He didn't
think he could lift it by himself.
I almost went into shock.
Dad. Dad. Waited. On. Me.
Dad never waited on me. Ever.
It's been downhill ever since.
He doesn't breath well any more. His stamina is poor.
He's seventy this year. He's developed adult aquired diabetes, and
survived an arterial bypass. He's already outlived his father and
grandfather, but I think we both know that he's fading.
You know, I never thought that Dad was around much when I was a kid.
It seemed like he was always either away on a business trip or working
late at the office.
But today, when one of my friends asks me "where did you learn to do
THAT?" I answer, "Father teach, long time ago."