A few weeks ago, my parents made the long trip across the border to come visit me. In preparation for the visit, I made sure the house was clean, the fridge was stocked, but most importantly I made sure that our knives were sharpened. The true marxman that my Dad is, he loves knives, and whenever he sees a knife set, he is sure to test their sharpness. I bet my husband that when he came, my Dad would bring up ‘the tomato test’.
Sure enough, shortly after they arrived, my Dad gravitated to our knife set, took out the sharpener and began his lesson: “You see, Sar? You should be able to take a tomato and slice through the skin with no resistance. Every once in a while just sharpen it about 10 times on each side and…” Oh my Dad. I love him. He’s always teaching me things. He repeats himself only because I haven’t always been the best student.
When I was younger, he tried to teach me to clean up after myself, to wring out the dishcloths after I used them, to turn the lights off when I leave the room, and to always, always, always recycle. He tried to teach me to never let a guy pay for my dinner, that bar hopping on Whyte Avenue is a stupid risk and to wait until I was married to move in with a guy. Sorry Dad. I know I haven’t always listened to what you’ve said, but I was always listening.
You taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to and that God always provides a way. You taught me to help others in need, even if their intentions are questionable. You taught me to assume the best in others and that a positive attitude will get me everywhere. You taught me to do the right thing, even when no one was looking. And most importantly, you taught me that no matter how many times I forgot to recycle, or turn the light off, no matter how much I partied, or how many boys I brought home, that I could always count on your Love.
The greatest lessons you’ve taught me have been ones where there was no lecture. By just being the man you are, full of integrity and trust, you taught me more than you probably realize. And, you know what? I even recycle now, and I always make sure that the knives are sharp.
I love you, Dad. Thank you for being you. Happy Father’s Day!