Written for my mother shortly after my father’s death

May 30, 2012

Written for my mother shortly after my father’s death:


I love my father. Sometimes his love for me, embarrassed me, made me uncomfortable. But he always loved, gave his love without reservation, without expectations, without the need for reward. My dad was a man of innocence. He was mostly a kid. He was afraid of small things – telephone calls, bills, salesmen at the door. But he was never afraid of being hurt. He was never afraid of loving someone or of being loved.

Sometimes my father was embarrassed by affection, only because he was afraid of being overwhelmed by it. He was always surprised by any gifts of affection. Everything my father received in life that was good, he accepted as a gift. He never seemed plagued by doubts about his feelings. One of my uncles told me that my father had been the same since he was a kid. His instincts for kindness and goodness were almost biological. They were never something he acquired.

My dad was never much good at anything. Perhaps this was because of his lack of education, or a lack of opportunity. He could never teach me how to fix a radio, or build a table, or understand Plato, or play hockey. But all the time I remember his pride in me, his love for Sandra and the warmth and playful affection between him and my mother. My father is the one who taught me to love. I am his student and his proud son. I miss him.

17 Responses to “Written for my mother shortly after my father’s death”

  1. columbibueno said

    You were so blessed to have a father like him.

  2. What a wonderful tribute.

  3. Karen Wan said

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we forget what is truly important to teach our children.

  4. Oh this is so moving my eyes welled up reading this…no your father knew more than what most men/humans will ever know -he knew love, the most important life lesson in the world

  5. My father is 86 living with my mum and Alzheimers.
    I called him today to ask him what I should do with the chilli plants I had just bought …
    We spent 20 minutes chatting about chillies!
    I was 6 years of age again standing next to him in the garden.
    He has never told me that he loves me … but he has shown me every single day.
    Thank you for reminding me how fragile and precious life is.

  6. leyaevelyn said

    I really appreciated your tribute to your father. If all parents knew how to love, there would be an end to war.

  7. My brother in law’s father passed away last night… I’m glad to thumb through my email and come upon this post. Thank you for sharing. It’s crazy to me how people are here with us one second and gone the next. Surreal. Thanks for a beautiful, heartfelt post. Your father sounds like a great man. 🙂

  8. Lovely post. You were blessed to have such a loving father.

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