Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Fathers Shoes

My Fathers Shoes

I remember one summer night when my Dad and I were playing in our living room. I was probably eight or so; we were living in a small house and looking back now I realize we were probably what I would consider poor, financially anyway. We had been outside all evening, my brother and I, playing with the kids of the neighborhood. My Dad finally came home just as dusk hit, and we had to go in. I remember the smell of oil and dirt filling the living room, and a soft scent of cherry cigar. You see, my Dad is an HVAC man, working all hours of the day and night for as far back as I can remember. When we did get to spend time together, he was always teasing and goofing around. This particular night he was chewing one of the tips of his cherry cigars, and began pretending to choke on it. I had to save his life, as I had done so many times. Only this time, when I saved him, my Dad looked right at me and grinned with a smile I'll remember for all my life. I saw how tired he was... for the first time, I saw how much of himself he'd given to make us happy. And he smiled and giggled, when completely exhausted, and gave another hour of his long day to make me feel important, loved, and special. I can never feel sad, or mad, about how I was raised. I never feel I could have had it better if... I had a great childhood. I was the richest kid in the world.

My Dad still works every day and night. He can't turn down a job in case they'll need the funds... "they" meaning anyone he knows that needs a helping hand. He gets paid in homemade apple pie, broken old TV's, bad checks, and kittens... even doing the work only to be paid "when you can".
My fathers shoes are still covered in oil and dirt, with soles worn through long before their time. He's my work ethic, my helping hands, my belief in others... he's my blue eyes, my laugh, and my dreams. He's my strength in hard times and my unwavering faith in my family. I could never walk a day in his shoes; I'm not strong enough. I don't know anyone who is...

In happiness,

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