The luckiest man in the worldMy dad is the luckiest man in the world.
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
My dad is the luckiest man in the world.
Oh sure, he’s had a little tough luck lately since they found a cancerous tumor in his bladder and had to scrape it out. Plus, he’s now got a catheter, but it looks like he won’t have that for too long and the cancer is treatable so he’ll slip through another few decades and easily outlive his mother, my grandmother, who died on her 99th birthday.
No, he’s the luckiest man in the world because he’s had the undying love and affection of my mom for six decades and you can’t put a price tag on that.
Heck, he was in an explosion when he was in his fifties and received third degree burns all over his body. Most modern women would have baled out on him but she stuck with him and pulled him through when doctors said there was no way he’d make it.
It’s incredible really and I can remember my grandmother sitting by my grandfather’s bedside for weeks as he screamed in pain while dying of cancer. It had to be agonizing but she stuck with it.
The thing is that kind of devotion cannot be contrived. If it’s inauthentic or based upon anything other than love, it is as worthless as an oil well without a drill bit, a car without tires or a football without air. And it’s like water down a drain if the recipient doesn’t deserve or appreciate it.
Of course, these are extreme cases and there is little question that they deserved it. My grandfather was raised in Minnesota, worked briefly for the railroad, was crushed between railroad cars, changed his career, ultimately became a farmer in northwestern North Dakota and farmed 11 quarters of land with Caterpillars when most people were farming two quarters with little tractors.
He worked hard all of his life, raised two sons, wore pants under his bib overalls, smoked a pipe and lit it with big farmer’s matches. He was kind, consistent, dedicated and determined.
My dad had a Standard Oil Bulk dealership and a crop spraying business but he also devoted himself to the school board, church board, city council, the volunteer fire department, the American Legion and a host of other organizations. It seems like he was the treasurer for every organization in our little town and put in as much time doing volunteer work as he did at his regular job. He too was dedicated and dependable and deserved my mother’s devotion.
So I guess, when it comes to love, affection and devotion, it’s a two way street. It goes both ways, takes equal input and fails when there is not, which doesn’t mean everyone has to be perfect, just authentic.
Now, according to the website inspirationthoughts.com, the key to love is having understanding. It’s the ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is also forgiveness. To accept each others faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them. It is sharing and facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up. Its respect and realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside of us all. It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work but the rewards are more than worth the effort. That is the key to love.
Erich Fromm, the German born American social philosopher and psychoanalyst once said, “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.”
My dad is the luckiest man in the world because he has all of that. And my mom is pretty lucky too.