He often comes across as gruff. He says things like it is and doesn’t waste time trying to be politically correct. He also might be viewed as a harsh critic. Since his approach isn’t eloquent or always tactful he can be mistaken as mean. Hold on, I’m going someplace nice with this. I promise.
It’s because he cares. He wants those he loves to be their best, even though he isn’t perfect and it is a bit hypocritical at time. He sees what others can do if they would just try.
That’s my dad.
This was the case growing up. I can still hear my dad’s voice ringing through my head, “throw those crutches away and walk. Gotta use those legs if you want them strong.”
If my brother was outside helping my dad stack wood for the fireplace, I was pulled out there too. Maybe he stacked ten logs to my two but I was out there.
When my grandpa built me a standing board with arms to practice standing by myself, my dad would scold me to keep going when I wanted to quit.
If I was kneeling on a chair while drying the dishes he would be the one to tell me to stand up and use my legs.
My mom was the glue of the house. She took care of all the doctor visits, kept me company during surgeries, knew the things I needed, taught me how to put on my socks, and attended 18 years of therapy by my side. She was the nurturer, the helper and my friend. I could rave about my mom for days. That’s another post. A box of Kleenex. Another day.
I think both roles are super important when raising a disabled child. I am scared to think what I would have become without the drive from my dad. I’d probably be lazy. I thought he was mean back then, he was pushing me too hard, he didn’t understand.
As a kid, it was natural to gravitate towards the things that were easy. I could have gotten used to having things done for me really fast. I still like things to be easy. Don’t we all? Accomplishing the things I was pushed to do was an amazing realization. It took time and I had to find my own way but I did it. There were also things I just couldn’t do. That was okay too, just the reality of life but at least I tried.
PT /OT visits, teachers, friends, pastors and my family all impacted me but my dad ignited my drive and zest to make things happen. It was the key foundation for all the other people who met me down the road. One of my greatest gifts.
Everything I know these days seems to be from Facebook. A friend of mine recently had this quote and I dug it. In some weird way it made me think of my dad. He probably didn’t think he was really making a big impact but I like to think he was wrong.
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t been in bed with a mosquito…”
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