Sunday, July 13, 2008

Do I Make You Proud?


In memory of Dad. This picture was taken
the morning of my wedding, July 30, 1977.

Life in Bangkok, as I know it, is resuming a more normal pattern for which I'm thankful. Anyone who knows Sam and me, knows that we both tend to thrive on routine. For me, part of that routine is teaching.

I've just finished my 2nd full week of teaching English to pre-K and K students out at the Klong Toey center. They're such a sweet energetic group of little ones. Our major accomplishment of the past 2 weeks is mastering the new phrase, "I'm hungry"....it has so much more meaning to them than, "I'm fine."

How I wish I could share this little update with my dad as he always enjoyed hearing about what was happening in my life and would have gotten such a kick out of vicariously travelling with me through this part of the world. It's hard to believe that it was just 2 years ago yesterday that I had my last conversation with him, and even harder to believe that one of the thoughts I shared was assuring him that it was O.K. to die. Today, I find myself wrestling with thoughts like, "What was I thinking?" or " Why didn't I try pleading with him to keep fighting?" But I know in my heart that the truth is, it wasn't about me, nor should it have been. It was about honoring Dad's tremendous courage by helping him to have the peace of knowing that I respected his wishes and also trusted his judgement. It's my hope and prayer that my response then, and my life today makes him proud.

Father's Day thoughts I wrote to share with Dad years ago...still true today.

Dad
Strong.
Proud.
Sacrificially Loving...
Quietly Teaching...
Gently Pushing...
me to be the me,
I want to be.
Supportive.
Accepting.
Always there...
Always in my heart...
Always...
My Dad.

3 comments:

The Mama said...

I'm sorry I didn't get to see you the last time you were here.

This blog makes me think of my dad, too. It's been much longer for me since I talked to Dad but I remember Mama talking about telling Daddy it was ok to let go. He did shortly thereafter. I know that some of my comfort comes from knowing that he was ready to go - knowing what came next for him.

Those who watch a loved one fight a medical battle over years can understand the respect that is involved in telling that loved one it's ok to go. Anything else is selfish.

Hold fast to your memories and cry when you need to. The years don't fill the hole left by your Dad's physical absence but remembering him with love and sharing him with Vanessa and Riley can make him come alive for you again.

After 27 years, there are still days that something makes me miss my Daddy so strongly it is a physical pain. If all else fails, I take a shower and sob when no one can hear me. Then I focus on the good memories and talk to him about my life now. He would be so proud of my family! He would enjoy them so much. I share that with him and it makes me feel better. The best part is, I'll see him again!!

Thanks for sharing and giving me a chance to share as well. Having friends with whom I can share these mixed blessings is such a gift from God!

Love you!

David Michael said...

Tracey,

I imagine your father was not only proud of you, he was in awe of you!

Kathy Luthringer said...

It is good to see that you enjoy traveling and all the unexpected that arrives with the unknown. Your positive attitude serves you well. Your intro picture is exceptionally beautiful, as you are. Did Sam take it? Always thinking of you, Kathy L.