Saturday, September 8, 2012

For my dad

Originally I'd planned to blog tomorrow. Somewhere near the beach on the Sunshine Coast, reminiscing on a lovely few days with my dad. I wanted to write about the man he is, what he means to me, and probably what good buds we are.

But then life happened, including one cancelled flight to Queensland, one trip to emergency with my pup and one very unsettling discussion on marriage equality with a couple of old acquaintances. So instead, I'm going to write about the man my dad is not.

My dad is not a paralympian, although as a child I sure thought he could put his missing hand to better use. He is, however, a surfer, a musician, and a man who has never been defined by his disability.

My dad is not generous with words, but I've never felt unloved, or un-special. He's not that generous with money either, but I've never been unsupported.

My dad is not tall, but he sure is handsome.

My dad is not my life coach. He's never told me what to do. He's never told me a boyfriend was no good (well, at least not until after we'd broken up). He's never told me what to study, how to vote, how best to succeed. Yet, every decision I make, I know what he'd want me to do - and I know it's for the best (except voting for Tony Abbott. Friends don't let friends vote for Tony Abbott, Dad).

My dad was never on the parent teacher committee, but he took me to soccer on Saturday mornings, and debating on Wednesday night.

My dad was never my minister. He never told me what to believe in, what was important. He listened to my concerns for his eternal life, my concerns for the world, and more recently, my concerns for dairy farmers. He never told me I was right, never told me I was wrong, but he was always my sounding board.

You know what else he wasn't? A man in the sky, who created me to feel a certain way, but forbade me to ever act upon such feelings for fear of eternal damnation. A man whose words, written thousands of years ago, having been interpreted thousands of times, in hundreds of languages, set the precedent for modern law.  And if your Father is like that, you'd have to be wondering why you got such a rotten deal.

I don't like to speak about fundamentalistic Christian faith, because I know not all Christians share the same view. But I know if I ever put words in my father's mouth, or took him out of context, or decided it was my place to enforce his judgement, he'd have something to say to me about it.

So to my old pal who told me today that my decision to stand with the chaff (Matthew 3:12 if you'd like some more context) was between me and God, you bloody bet it is. As it is for every gay couple who choose to marry, and definitely not anything to do with you.

I'm so grateful for a father who let me grow into the person I am. A person who can see the mistakes of their past, because they were allowed to make them. A person who can walk comfortably into the future, secure in the fact they will make more mistakes, but that's okay too.

Anyway, Dad, if I'd gotten on that flight this morning we'd have had a different day for sure. But everything happens for a reason. And at least you've still got your grandpuppy.

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