This is my first post. At first, I didn't know what to write about. Now I think I have a clue.
My father has always been a big part of my life. Always there when I need a little discipline, and there when I need encouragement. I remember one time I was suppose to be cleaning the play room of our house. Instead, I was playing, he caught me, and asked me if I wanted a spanking. I accidentally said yes. So I got what I deserved. That's the only time I can remember him raising his hand to me.
My parents divorced when I was about 9. I was in the fourth grade. We got to see him every now and then, he moved to a town about an hour away. Soon he had moved back to just outside of town with his girlfriend. I thought that was great! They lived on a farm, there was peace and quiet and work to be done.
We were clearing trees from and area about half an acre. We would use 2 person-saws, and bow saws to cut the tree, then we needed to get rid of the stumps, so we dug around the stump and cut the roots, then he used the front-end loader and a chain to lift the rest of the stump out. He would use the chain and drag the trees that we fell to consolidated area. I would grab to trees and drag them behind. It helped build my strength and endurance at a young age. I saw I was around 14 and 15 when we started.
Now I am 25. About 6 months ago I got out of the Army, and was looking for something to do with myself. I was Infantry, so a lot didn't convert over to civilian life. I wanted to become a police officer (just like my dad and his dad), but the reccession the way it is, nobody is hiring for the perticular job. I talked to a good friend of mine and he was telling me how he is doing what he loves. He is a welder and told me that he could have had a different job that paid better, but he wouldn't have been happy. I took his advice and started looking for things that I enjoy. I was going to apply at a local college, but I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. I looked up "Gunsmithing" talked it over with my wife. She seemed ok with it, but I was a little unsure.
I talked to Dad a few weeks after and he had said: "Wade in." I didn't know what he meant. So I asked him.
Let me go back a moment. Earlier this year he had moved from Kansas (where I grew up) to Florida. Moved in with a girl he had met during his tilapidry. So his lingo has changed a wee bit.
So he clarified what he meant. This time he said: "Wade into the water, grab the shark by the gills." WOW! It is an odd saying, but it really put me forth. He goes on to say: "What is holding you back? Time? Money? No." And he was right. I was 24 when I applied to school, and I'm going to pay for it through the GI Bill. The only problem is, is that my wife will stay in Tennessee. The school is in Colorado. Not a problem.
Now on the the FRAIL part of my story. My Dad and his Florida girlfriend broke-up. I don't know the perticulars, but he decided that it would be best to move back to Kansas. I told him that if he wanted to stop by, that I wouldn't have any problem with it. So he did. I was so excited that he said yes. The only visitors from my side of the family have been 2 of my sisters and my brother as he and his family drove from Georgia to Washington. But I am still real happy that Dad had decided to come by here.
The plan was, he gives me a call when he is in the next town south. We live 4 miles south of Henderson, and he was suppose to call about 8 or 9 miles south of Henderson. Well T-Mobile doesn't have any service around here, apparently. So he drove all the way into town and called from a gas station. No problem. I drove and met him. He followed me back to the house.
When he got out of the car, I couldn't believe my eyes. He was so small. I mean, he wasn't a huge man to begin with. But he had lost so much weight. He walked over to me with a slight limp, which I thought was from sitting in a car for 13 hours, but it seemed to kinda get worse the more he walked around in the house. He said that his friend had H1N1. And that about a week later that Dad had the same exact symptoms and just lost weight.
I had told my mother-in-law about how bad I felt for the man. She said that it is the worst to see one's father grow old and weak. My Dad is 50 years old. He's not a young man anymore, but he's not that old. He has been beat down multiple times in his life by things he cannot control, but he's always sprung back. I'm sure he will spring back from this, but it breaks my heart to see him this way.
I guess I just wanted to rant a little. Anyone reading this should think on what I have said and be prepared to see the person that is your source of strength and encouragement, become weak and frail. Just think on it, will ya?