Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

The Great Patriarch

Me N My SnagglepussThe man I loved, like a father, was a man a great many people referred to as a father figure.  Regardless of their relationship with him, the amount of time spent together and even they’d only read his words on a page, the phrase heard most often from people was always the same: “He was like a father to me.”

This Great Patriarch came into my life, because of my Maternal Unit – a woman who had taken responsibility for me since I was tiny, ultimately putting her in the position of “mother,” making her husband like a father to me.

Putting on the Google Goggles, I looked up the Traits of a Good Father and I’d like to share the Top 3 with you:

A Good Father is a Disciplinarian

Oh, my.  Just the word: Discipline.  There never was a more disciplined human being than the Great Patriarch (which, in turn, gave him every right to expect the same from every single person he met).  And, he could be quite stern in his expectations of us and in his attempts to keep us on track.

A Good Father is Forgiving

Throughout his entire life, this man never held a grudge.  Despite deeply wounding, incredibly painful interactions with some of his progeny, he always managed to forgive.  No matter how deeply he’d been hurt.

A Good Father is a Teacher

For the Great Patriarch, every moment of every day was a teachable one… whether physiology, philosophy, psychology, theology or matters of the heart.  Deep were the wells of his knowledge and passion for every subject and he took great joy and quality time to share his thoughts.  You never came away from a conversation with this man without learning something.

My nickname for this man, who was like a father to me, was “Snagglepuss.”  Named after a cartoon mountain lion, who should have been (based on what he was) fierce and frightening – but, instead he was… pink, wore cufflinks and spoke in gentle tones.  The Great Patriarch was fierce.  And he could be scary, when he locked you in the blazing intensity of his laser-beam blue eyes.  But, more bark than bite – he was mostly just kind and sweet.

To so many, this man was like a father.  But, certainly everyone he had ever met, in his 92 years (from gardener to dignitary), called him friend.

There is a quote, and you’ll forgive me if I paraphrase greatly: “We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widow – that woman who has lost her husband.  But to one who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him?  Here, every language is silent and holds its peace…..”

6 thoughts on “The Great Patriarch

  • Eric Ridley says:

    Bravo, T.

    Your memories will continue to nourish you. We’re thinking of you.

  • Dawn R Bowie says:

    I wish I could be there to give you a hug. But I know you have many friends and family there to give you support and love during this time. I love you T.

  • Patricia Burn says:

    Hey Cousin T,
    I often read your amazing blog so witty and informative. I love it. You are a true artist with words. I’m sorry to hear of Joe’s passing and hope you, your children, and Betty are holding on to each other for strength. What you wrote above about Joe was beautiful and he, I’m sure, will continue to be proud of you and look over all of you in heaven. I miss you and love you very much.

  • Venus Dunn says:

    That was great T. Sorry for your loss, we lost Kevin’s sister on Thursday, so the feelings we know are mutual. You have so many fond memories and so do we. Children at this time are the best medicine, have had them over and today all the kids will be here. Have a Happy Day with your children, it helps. Love, V

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