The Man

There are two ways to look at a marriage of a son or daughter from a parent’s perspective.

One, you will be giving up a son or daughter as they start a new phase in their life. This new phase suddenly changes the way this son or daughter needs you as a parent, or at least to the extent that they have up until that point. So, you feel as if you are losing a family member.

Or, two, you will be gaining a son, or a daughter, and your family now will be expanding, getting larger, more diverse, and getting bigger and better! Instead of the feeling of losing someone, you embrace the feeling of gaining someone else who loves your son or daughter just as much as you do.

Isn’t it funny that the two choices we as parents have with regard to this life changing event, are polar opposites? They couldn’t be more different, or have a bigger effect on the way the family dynamic changes when this marriage actually occurs.

My Father-in-law is a perfect example of how to pull off the second option. From the first time I met him, he has always welcomed me, shown me, and told me that he cares about me. I completely understand how difficult this would be for a lot of fathers. I appreciate that immensely. He has made me feel just like one of his own sons, and for that I give him huge props.

He is retiring now, after 42 years of working for the same company. Even though it took a lot of sacrifice on his part, through ups and downs he always wanted his family to stay rooted where they were.

He has created traditions that have continued through the years, and have expanded through all of his kids, and now into his grandkids lives. An annual Disneyland trip with the whole family is now on year 29. His home, to this day, fills with his kids and grandkids that want to come and be close to home.

That is the strength of this man. He’s quiet about it, but he is a leader. People follow him. Whether they know him from work, or from growing up with him, or from the community. Once you meet him, you love him, and want to be around him. He is a humble man, but great in the things that really matter.

I thank him for always making me feel welcome, and loved.

The Tree

On high secluded mountain side,
a mighty, stalwart tree resides.
Around him gather smaller shoots,
that long for his much stronger roots,

Entrenched so deeply in the ground.
Through winter storm and thunder’s sound,
he shelters those small trees below,
from heavy rains and falling snow.

And then, through wide expansive reach,
Those younger trees below, he’ll teach,
by showing them the way to be,
a strong, mature, and hearty tree.

He shaded me with outstretched limbs,
gave me the time to learn from him,
He showed me what it meant to be,
A wise, and caring Father tree.

A man, in truth, this stalwart tree,
not made of limbs, or roots, or leaves –
His steadfast strength, provides the shade-
protects the home his hands have made

And all who meet, and come to know,
His heart would follow where he goes,
A secret leader no one sees,
A living pillar – like the tree.

He honors pure integrity,
loves truth, hard work, and honesty,
Provides with generosity
for all within his family.

And now, surrounded by the ones,
who love him most, He’ll get his fun!
And with the trees that he helped raise,
Be free at last to spend his days.

 Happy Retirement Curtis!