This is an e-mail I sent to my support group this past Friday:
How to make a father almost cry.
I hope, trust and pray this finds everyone well.
First, let me exclaim very loudly, how much I love each and every one of my children. How individual each is and how rewarded I have been by their collective presence in my life.
Ok, that’s out of the way. Now I want to share my early pleasant surprise this past Wednesday as we move into Fathers Day Weekend. I enjoy comics and graphic novels as a hobby and as part of my many collections. Yes, I read comics! Get over it; I find some of the more robust writing and ideas are between the covers of these $3.99 USD monuments to imagination. There I go; sorry, I will get off that soap box.
I had occurrence, as is my little groups practice, to meet at Charlie’s this past Wednesday at our customary time. I find that ritual is an important aspect in ones life. Most of us refer to it as habit or routine. Upon entering this most sacred temple to this castigated form of literature, as custom of the proprietor, I was greeted with a wide smile and a warm hug. No, I am never ashamed of a hug in public. There I go again, please forgive me.
After the above customary greetings amongst this small group of like-minded cohorts, We each proceed to go through what is referred to as our ‘pull-list’. This is our individual subscription to books we receive on an ongoing basis. Also know as “happy, happy - joy, joy” time for any of you who may have been exposed to Ren and Stimpy at any point in your life. As I made my journey examining each and every specimen for morsels of WOW! ; tucked in like a sleeping child on Christmas Eve night, there it was.
Sarah is my second of four children and the oldest girl. She is mother to three and soon to be four of my grand children. She lives a long way from me in the sub-arctic tundra know as the state of Wisconsin. Sarah had heard of Charlie and his magical little shop that I so dearly love and took the time and effort to locate his telephone number, call him and procure me a gift certificate. No big deal you say, happens every day. I know that, but this is my sharing and my feeling and my daughter’s remembrance of me. It was special!
Now, back to Charlie’s Comics we go. There I was, in front of my friends with a certificate and books in grasp. I wanted to shout out so bad I could have bust. My wonderful child, little ‘Myrtle’ remembered me.
It is hard for everyone, in a world that races at such a pall mall headlong run into the next moment, to take pause and remember another. Lives full of fixing lunch, doing wash, working, fixing things; you know, life. It is hard and most forget the little things in these strange times. But; low and behold, there it was, in my hand. A thought of me, from my child.
I looked up and all my friends were looking at me to see the reaction I was having. All in on the surprise and prompted by Charlie I am sure. My throat swelled and my eyes wanted to tear up. I held on. I was strong. I would not cry over what would by most be perceived as a trivial, all be it, probably an expected thing. It was hard. I braced myself as hard as I could. I looked them all in the eye. I was so very proud, so very touched. But I was steadfast in my resolve to not shed a tear. Charlie, looked at me as only a friend could, one who understood what it meant to me and proclaimed, “It’s Ok Steve, you can cry here.”
I had to sit down and only let one little drop escape. I held tight.
I share this with you to remind you to never take your friends and loved ones for granted. You do not need a ‘DAY’ to share a special gift of acknowledgment. Always appreciate them. I do appreciate each and every one of you. Some of you are unaware of the source of inspiration, the spark of joy, the moment of respect you each provide to me. Thank you. Thank you from a proud father.
I was going to share with you the medical events of this week as I had my prostatic replaced and had a good follow up with Dr. Manning. That always has the added bonus of seeing Jan. These were all adventures I intended to keep you up to date on. But given the most glorious token of love shown me by my daughter...those extraordinary tales of medical delight will just have to wait for another opportune time to be a topic of discussion.
Be appreciative of all we have or hold dear. You never know when you will be without it or them. I scream it as loud as I can.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting or sharing e-mail with those far off.
Be strong, as Cancer really does SUCK!
and my Father’s Day gift: