I want to thank everyone for the support I received on my last post. I believe it’s my most-read post to date and so many of you shared it, liked and commented on it on Facebook and beyond. It’s too bad that so many women have this shared experience, but I think the good news is that we are in this together – and we can effect change.
The morning after I published my post, my Dad called. He is probably my most loyal reader and a frequent commenter. “I wanted to comment, but I didn’t know what to say,” he said. “It was powerful.”
I thought about that a lot this week. About my Dad. I was lucky to be raised with two sets of parents and, although we lived full-time in Northern California with our Mom and Stepdad while our Dad and Stepmom were in Southern California, my Dad worked hard to ensure he was part of our lives. We talked to him every week. He sent care packages for every holiday we weren’t with him, no matter how minor. We visited for weeks in the summer and traded off Christmases and Thanksgivings.
My Dad is generous. Suppose you loved Goofy, and he knew it. If he was at the store and happened to see a Goofy DVD or stickers, chances are it would show up in your mailbox a few days later. He is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back, pull over and help you fix a flat, or even put out a fire. (Literally, that happened one time when a stranger’s car caught fire.)
In that sense, you might say my Dad is an unsung hero. I was listening to the radio one day this week and the interviewee was discussing the need for a culture of “If you see something, say something” in regards to domestic abuse. It made me think back 20 years to my Dad doing just that. I was in high school and Dad stopped his car to intervene when he saw a couple in a heated disagreement. He wanted to make sure everyone was OK, to make sure the police didn’t need to be called.
He asked a couple questions and felt comfortable enough to go. While I’m sure my Dad was concerned for the woman, I wonder now if a part of him also thought it was a teachable moment. To show us that we should not allow ourselves to be disrespected. That we deserved better. But he’d already shown us that through his own example.
My Dad is one of the hardest working people I know. He’s taught me so much. But probably the most important thing is how to treat people. He doesn’t speak ill of anyone. He always tries to help. And he’s a terrific Grampa to my girls.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! We are lucky to have you.