You may be wondering what the meaning of seeing past your defenses has to do with these ramblings of love about my parents. Honestly, I have always thought highly of them but now that I am getting rid of more of my layers of defenses, I am seeing them through a more profoundly beautiful lens. I am actually seeing everyone that way and it is so amazingly beautiful and I also see that there are more layers to undo. I can’t imagine how amazing and magnificent that will be, seeing everyone more closely as they truly are. Living in that space of love and appreciation is where all the joy is and knowing that it can get deeper and higher and more intense is exciting to think about.
My first blog in this series dealt with my fabulous mom, the first person I met when I entered the game. The second person I met was my equally amazing dad. Handsome, brilliant, and fun. I think I may have seen him angry only a few times and the example of navigating through life without impulsively being negative was always admired. He did whatever it took to provide for our family, sometimes working three jobs. When my baby brother was born, he joined the Army reserves to allow my mom to stay home to care for him. In a world where most parents both worked, he just worked more so she didn’t have to work outside the home while he was little.
Growing up, my father had parents that were pretty main stream and he was a bit of a rebel and creative. Marrying my mom being from a foreign country was certainly not what I think his parents expected. He played in a band in high school, was an x-ray technician in the army. I don’t know as much about his early life as he wasn’t very interested in talking about it. He was more interested in teaching us about his newest idea or hobby or as he got older his discoveries in the spiritual world. Even though he didn’t have a degree, he was one of the smartest and most educated men I know. He was an eternal student and never stopped learning.
He never did anything halfway, it was an all or nothing thing for him. Passionately diving into the next idea or new hobby or learning a new job or jobs in some cases. He even learned how to do Flamenco dancing in San Antonio, when he was in the army, before he met my mom, who knows possibly to impress her…lol. Providing for all of us was certainly not the easiest task but he did it without complaint. I never felt like a burden and really wasn’t even aware of the sacrifices he made while growing up. Again, there was never any doubt that he loved me even when I made choices he didn’t agree with.
I remember walking to work with him on occasion when I had a summer job in college that sometimes had me going close to where he worked and listening to him talk of concepts that I could only begin to grasp. I would be completely mesmerized by what he was saying and trying my hardest to understand it. I also loved being included in his world and thoughts and cherish those moments still.
My father was greatly instrumental in my own path to understanding this world we live in, the spiritual component and questioning all things. He is also instrumental in giving me the ability to go my own path instead of the path most traveled. I felt that he gave up a lot so that I could do what he would have done if he didn’t have to work as hard as he did to provide for us.
He was also very charismatic, and though he preferred to be a loner tinkering with whatever new hobby was inspiring him, he seemed to make people feel comfortable and laugh a lot. People wanted to be around him and he seemed to come alive when he was on that stage.
I look at my brothers and they all remind me a little bit of my dad, and they are a brilliant group of funny, fun, handsome guys who are all wonderful fathers. He instilled that sense of taking care of family in them and they are great and loving, involved dads. When we all get together it is always so much fun for me.
He has always been my hero, inspiring me to learn new things and I guess I learned how to do things in the all or nothing way from him as well. It can be a double edged sword but I wouldn’t want to do life any other way. I am only now fully appreciating how much he did for me and how amazing he truly is but I always looked up to him and looked forward to any time spent with him and whatever insights he had to share with me. Sometimes just because it was him and no other reason.
We are sort of two peas in a pod, dealing with life more intellectually and conceptually, but through his illness I think we are both being pushed to learn how to be heart centered. I realize now that I don’t know that part of my dad and I want to find out about his life more. I want to learn how to listen better and hear what he is saying with better understanding. I want to get to know who is under that amazing mind and what he is feeling. I think my mom might be the only one who really knows him and I am also starting to appreciate the great love story they bring to this world.
I am so very blessed to have had such a great man to call daddy and in my heart he will always be Daddy and someone I love looking up to and listening to, soaking up his energetic charisma.