I was thinking about all of the 'men' in my life (no not like that!). There have been alot of men that have contributed to my notion of a father, these men include - my own father, my grandparents, and my uncles.
When I break it all down all of these men have one thing in common, they all work manual labor. Mechanics, auto body, construction, carpentry, farming, etc.
You can tell by their face and hands that they put in a hards day work, they are the gentle giants of my world. Their tempers are weathered, and are only soothed by a good woman and a stiff drink. They have a sense of macho-ism about them that warms me to my soul and infuriates me at the same time. They like to walk into a restaurant with 'you' on their arm, they like that other men find you attractive, but get pissed when anyone acts on it. They have an angry streak that will put holes in walls and total cars. Then they have a loving streak that will take your breath away. They work daily to a produce a product that can be touched, admired and stand for something. They like to party as hard as they play. For the most part, I don't think most of them thought they would live past 30, and now that they have they don't know what to do. They love being an American, and don't mind getting blisters and hitting hard times - they have prepared for hard times.
These men helped form my opinion of 'men', and what a man should be and should act like. My world has never really been exposed to the typical 'office' man, or a man who wore a suite everyday. The men in my life, husband included, would rather die than sit at a desk all day.
If you were to speak to my brother and sister about my father, we would each tell you a different version of the man. I cannot not begin to speak for them, so I will tell you mine.
I measure every man I meet in this day and age by my father. He is big in stature, small with words, and even less giving with his attention. Do not want from this man, because he only gives when you are least looking. You must notice the small things, because he is not out to knock your socks off, or talk your ear off. He will not call to mend a broken heart, or smooth over the latest drama. He will not shower you with love and affection, nor with gidgets and gadgets. His conversations are brief and you will feel slightly slided if your expectations are too high. But he will provide you with the safest two arms to fall into, and the biggest hands to hold in a time of need. He does not do funerals, or sadness - he would rather drink, and wait for the pain to end. But he will give you a small shoulder squeeze, and a soft kiss on the cheek - which says 1000 I luv you's. He will realize he missed his children growing up, but hope that they understand why he was gone. And now that I am raising my own children, I completely understand. He will love his grandchildren with a love he didn't he had in him, and that makes my childhood complete. If you want to catch him on a good day, then put on your boots and your sunscreen and join him in the yard / field. He will speak freely after a few too many beers, and talk of his childhood, his adolescences, and the wonders of the world. He loves traveling on his motorcycle, with only my mother. He loves her deeply and hates to share her with anyone or any thing. They are at their best when they are traveling for the summer on the Harley.
I do not wear any rose colored glasses when I view my father or any of the men in my life, I see them for who they are. I am not stopped in my tracks by their short-sightedness. I love them the same none the less..........
I married a man alot like my father. I had every intention on trying to 'change' him. Luckily, I did not have too....because even I know it would never work. My husband is a hard worker, and his body will give out on him before his time. His lungs will not out last the 2 packs of cigarettes he exposes them to everyday. His hands, knees and back will not withstand the hours of manual labor he inst upon. He is instructed daily to leave his smokes and mouth at the door - this code for NO smoking inside and no cursing. He follows those rules like a champ. He loves our little life with such a level that even surprises him. As an adolescence, his choices were really limited - grow up and get it together or go to prison. Either path was well within his reach. He choose to try marriage and kids, and have grown to love it - even more than the drinking and drugs that seemed so appealing once in his life. He gave up traveling road, because he missed his bed, his wife and his kids. He is alot like my father, I know why I choose him. One of the smartest things I ever did was choose this man to be my husband. He deserves a day dedicated to him. He deserved a day to relish in getting right, and making it work. Happy Fathers Day!
Love Beenie (everyone I know calls me that).