Father’s Day is passed for you who are reading this column, but it is not here yet for me writing it, so I’m going ahead and writing it anyway.
I was helping my sister move a few weeks ago, and we were moving our family’s ancient piano, which is literally made out of cast iron. My dad talked about the days when he moved that same piano with just two people, not the five or six that were helping then. They made piano movers strong back in the day.
We came to a narrow spot in the house, where only two could fit. Since he was carrying the rear of the piano, the rest of us dropped out, and he was left moving it with just two again. However, it proved to be a might heavier than it was 25 years ago.
“I guess I’m not the man I used to be,” my dad joked after giving up on the piano.
“But I am the man you used to be,” I joked back, jumping in and moving it the last few feet where it needed to go.
It highlighted an experience that I have with increasing frequency: I look in the mirror and see his face staring back at me. Not so much his face the way it looks now, but the way it looked 25 years ago. Except for his thinning hair (I was fortunate to inherit my maternal grandfather’s thick mop) looking in the mirror is quite close to stepping back in time.
I don’t mind looking at his reflection in the mirror. There’s plenty of memories of good times had by just looking in the mirror.
What I hope is that I don’t just look like him physically, but I hope I look a little like him on the inside as well. My dad is one devoted guy. He took care of and raised eight kids. Some days, he would have rather gone fishing. Instead, he let the kids take the lead more often than not, and spent his time finding himself in places he might not have expected, like plays, recitals, and poetry readings.
Now, with a bunch of kids of my own, I hope that I can behave a little more like him besides just looking like him.
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