By Connie Schultz

We Did What We Could

December 26, 2012 6:17 pm Category: Memo Pad 2 Comments A+ / A-

In December 2001, my father sent his first-ever Christmas card to me.

He even signed it, “Love, Dad.” Unprecedented. Throw some tinsel on my head and watch me sparkle like a snow globe; that’s how happy I was.

Dad came from the “show, don’t tell” school of parenting. He supported his family and shoveled the snow from the walkway before any of us were out of bed. His love was to be understood.

His postscript on that 2001 card made clear that despite the arrival of his one-time-only Christmas greeting, nothing had changed.

“I got a card from the wife of a man I used to work with,” he wrote. “She was at the church when you spoke, and she said you were the best they ever had. Don’t get the big head.”

What he didn’t mention was that he had attended my speech, too, delivered in the church of my childhood. He also skipped the part about how he had grinned through the whole darn thing.

Each December, I pull out Dad’s Christmas card and prop it up on my desk. He’s been gone for six years now, and the sight of his cramped handwriting makes him feel a little less far away. His admonishment about this head of mine is a reminder that in his own way, he loved me very much.

I spent way too much energy wishing my father would just come out and say it. Well into my version of adulthood, I’d end every phone call with, “I love you, Dad.” His response: “Yep.” Sometimes he’d mix it up by saying, “OK.”

Click.

Once in a while, I’d push back. “A-a-a-a-nd you love me, too?” His response every time: “Well, if you already know it, there’s no need for me to say it.”

Click.

Pages →  1 2

We Did What We Could Reviewed by on . In December 2001, my father sent his first-ever Christmas card to me. He even signed it, "Love, Dad." Unprecedented. Throw some tinsel on my head and watch me s In December 2001, my father sent his first-ever Christmas card to me. He even signed it, "Love, Dad." Unprecedented. Throw some tinsel on my head and watch me s Rating:

More by Connie Schultz

Parenting Is Full Of Goodbyes

This is the month of departure for many parents, the time of year when they brace themselves for new versions of their children getting on with life. In recent days, my encounters — from random conversations at the grocery to lengthy email exchanges with friends — are full of other parents’ tales of goodbyes. Facebook,

Read more...

Ferguson: A Failure Of Empathy

Earlier this week, I arrived for a scheduled visit with a medical professional and left reeling over just how divided we remain in this country about race. I had just settled into the examining chair when he walked into the room and said, “This country, I’m telling you, we are in real trouble here.” I

Read more...

Our Gayest Summer Ever

Ten years after Ohio voters passed one of the worst anti-gay laws in the country, a downtown arena in Cleveland welcomed 10,000 athletes, fans and corporate sponsors to kick off the weeklong 2014 Gay Games. Yes, we still have that awful law. Yes, they came anyway. Hope doesn’t need an invitation, and justice never waits

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • bpai99

    Nice thoughts. Our children always are more important to us than we are to them.

  • Pamby50

    I miss my kids all the time. Yes they call, text & skype. It’s still not the same as being there in person. May you & your family have a Happy New Year!

scroll to top