My parents left this morning after a three week visit. It was a great time for all of us; they brought their 29′ camper and parked it in the driveway. After the first week of getting adjusted it was just like having them right next door–a really wonderful way for an adult child to relate to her parents.
My Dad is a doer; he always wants to be busy and is one of those men who relates best when working alongside you. I prepared for his coming by making a long “To Do” list of household items John & I just hadn’t gotten to or didn’t have the expertise to complete. As I sit here in my back yard, I can do so with Roxie at my feet because Dad put up a fence so she cannot escape. Truth be told, I feel more comfortable back here now–having a well defined boundary always makes me feel more comfortable! I am also sitting on my Adirondack chair my Dad assembled, looking at the bistro chair he repaired. Inside, he put down new flooring in our kitchen (sheet vinyl which nearly drove him nuts) installed an exhaust van and two new faucets, made two sticking doors close properly, installed a homemade doggie gate, etc., etc., etc. I have already lost track of all the thing he has repaired, made or improved.
Much like making the adjustment to having my parents here, it was rough to make the adjustment of him spending his own money to fix these things, to make these improvements. But for a change I simply asked him how much he planned to spend and then suggested things based on that figure, leaving guilt out of the equation–even though in the end I’m sure he and Mom spend far more than the original amount!
Keeping Dad busy also meant that there were projects that I could join him in, work alongside him and appreciate his skills. I got to enjoy being with my Dad on his terms, where his gifts lie–at his best.
To appreciate my father means appreciating my heavenly Father, too–look at how practical, tactile and physical his help was. Theoretics don’t help in a father-daughter relationship and how you feel only gets you so far. Getting your hands dirty alongside his is what it’s all about.
Thank you for all the hard work, Dad. Now I have many things in my house to remind me of you.