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Lessons from my Dad

Whenever I’m feeling anxious, or unsure of myself, I always have one place to turn, my Dad.

Tonight I’ve sat in front of my computer, typing this and that into the little box on my screen, unsure of which direction I should go. Do I write about the unfair view of the “Peter Pan” Generation? Do I write about how silly I think the whole “Aqua Buddha” thing is? None of it made any sense really. I swam through a sea of links and dozens of tabs on my browser. I read over the ballots for the November vote. I watched an interview on Charlie Rose with David Brooks. I read some webcomics to distract my mind in hopes that I would come back here with some great muse and amazing insight.

It didn’t work. So, I called my dad.

My father has always been a point of inspiration for me. He’s the man I strive to be. He’s got a level head and an easy going demeanor, most of the time, and a fiery rage when its needed. He is very much my hero.

I’ve learned a lot of things over the last quarter century from my father. I learned how to fake your way through basic carpentry. I’ve learned to enjoy the subtle nuances in epic literature. I’ve learned to heatedly argue a point with rhetoric and guile. Sometimes I think, ok, now I am a man, my father has nothing left to teach me.

I’m always wrong.

I called him tonight just to chat. We talked for a bit about my writer’s block, and what I was trying to write about but couldn’t. We talked about controversy, both personally and politically. We talked for a while about our plans for the upcoming NaNoWriMo. He told me some techniques about index cards and outlining. See, still teaching. We talked about the economy, and how if Barack Obama had given everyone in America $200,000, he would have accomplished the same goals as giving it to the banks, but no one would have lost their homes. We talked about “The Rent is too damn high” guy, and if fringe political groups should be allowed their time in a debate.

The conversation I had with my father tonight was a short one for us. We only talked for an hour and a half. You may have guessed, that I got my verbosity from my father as well. But, in that time, I was reminded of some of the most important things that we take for granted.

Tom Bosley died today. For many of Americans, he was the TV dad. In a time when culturally, we were leaving behind the idealistic family values of the 50s for the swinging disco life of the 70s, he stood as a reminder of what the ideal father should be. The father I was blessed enough to have.

I don’t think of my father as old, he’s only in his 50s, but today, I was reminded that those people we love don’t always live forever.

I love you, Dad.

Thank you for supporting me, even when we don’t agree.

Thank you for encouraging me to see things from every angle, even if we both end up stubbornly sticking to one.

Thank you for continuing to show me what it means to be a man.

Here’s to at least another 30 years of you calling me out on being a young punk.

2 Responses to Lessons from my Dad

  • Matt,
    You know that your Dad is more than my brother-in-law, he is my best friend and has often been a mentor to me as well. He does often have insights that we as normal people fail to see.
    I find he sees things differently than many of us.

    Skip

  • Matt,

    I saw this this morning before I clocked in for work. I am glad we don’t have anybody waiting for someone to solve their computer problem because I got teary-eyed. I am glad you have such a good relationship with your Dad. My Dad is still living, and for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been *trying* to get together and see him. He only lives about 20 minutes away from me. My only form of contact is email and he’s been pushing me off, saying he’s too busy for a luncheon. He’s *RETIRED*. How can you be “too busy” when you don’t have a full-time job to go to?

    About 5 years ago, he had quadruple bypass surgery. I’m afraid the next time I see him will be too late.

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