My Dad was never a perfect man. But his imperfections were small ones. Give him a box of cereal, cookies or any food product and he would open it from the wrong side. Or he would just destroy the box opening entirely so that it could never be closed properly ever again. My Dad never made a lot of money. He dedicated his life to teaching, helping others and especially people in need. Those things just don't bring in the big bucks.
My Dad told me he loved me every single day. I never had any doubts that he cared for me. He supported everything that I did. He never put me down. Everything that is good about me today is due in large part to him and my Mom.
Dad was drawn to lonely people, sick people, people in need of a lift. Put him in a room with 100 people having a party and he wouldn't talk to the most popular, best looking people. You'd find him in the corner, talking to someone who needed some sort of help. Every single holiday, he'd be bringing food to some elderly person who had none. Every single week of the year, he would visit the lonely, sick and poor people in his Parrish. Why? Because that was just how he was made.
My Dad is still alive. But dementia has robbed him these last few years of his dignity and his kindness. It has been so hard for me to try to care for as I feel he deserves. His personality changes constantly. I never know what I'm going to get. It's not his fault. He has a disease. His beautiful, smart brain and his wonderful compassion have been attacked and destroyed. It's so painful to experience.
I've tried to look after Dad as best as I can. I always tell him that I love him. Why? That's what he taught me. He needs me now. I try to be there for him as he was for me. It often feels like I come up short. I feel helpless and so emotional. I know it's out of my control, but Dad would do anything for me.
There are precious moments of clarity. He will tell me "You are so good to me." "I know you love me." I treasure those moments.
I love my Dad. Thanks Dad for everything.