Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Goodbyes

Today we start the process of saying goodbye to Carly's Dad.  He was a good guy, and was taken way too soon.  The older I get the larger my "peer" group becomes.  Marketers may keep me in my own bin, but I consider my peer group to extend from about 20 to about 70 at this point.  I feel like I've lost a peer.  My wife has lost a father, and my kids have a lost a grandfather.  I lost a grandfather when I was roughly Kathryn's age also.  I remember what that felt like.  I also remember what it felt like when I was 17 waiting to go on the graduation stage, and again at 21 waiting to go stand in front of a few hundred people and watch Carly's Dad walk her down the aisle.  My thoughts have been with Kathryn, and like me, she isn't really going to tell us exactly what she is thinking.  I'm not sure it will affect Tobias in the same way, he is a bit younger, but I think he will have his moments too-- I just don't know what they will be.

There are a lot of things to tell.  But most stem from his sense of humor.  As an example when Carly showed him our engagement ring he said "You realize you can't give her back?".  I did.  I do.  I will keep her safe, and Scooter, and Toby.

And finally, I suppose I should explain the picture.  I'm not exactly sure how or when I decided to this.  It was probably a combination of putting off a haircut (not uncommon for me), and receiving word that Carly's Dad was diagnosed with a lung cancer.  I decided I would let it grow out completely to donate it Locks of Love, or similar organization.  I learned a lot though the experience, people treat a long haired guy a lot differently than they treat a a clean cut guy.  I can't say its all bad either, just different.  My favorite experience was the well meaning church lady giving me the evil eye.  The reason it is my favorite is because it contrasted SO much from how others looked at me there.  It reminded me that while there are always supportive people, there will always negative ones*. I can choose which ones I will listen too.  I can also choose which one I will be.

I suppose that among the last lessons Carly's Dad taught me.  He taught others by example, like keep fighting, don't complain, and do what you can for others-- even if it isn't as much as you once could.

* And it always seems the negativity comes from those that don't know the story, which makes it an easy to forgive "crime".  And another reminder for me to not be so judgmental in similar circumstances.

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