Time has a way of healing old wounds and brings on selective memories of days long past. Life teaches us lessons. It is our responsibility whether we open our minds and hearts to learn and understand what has transpired in the past.
We travel through various stages in our lifetimes. As children, we are naturally drawn to the love and security of our parents. How many of us can relate to the terror and panic of abandonment when we got separated from mom or dad by only one aisle in a grocery or department store? In our pre-teen years, we start to become embarrassed in front of our friends when mom tries to kiss us or express how much they love us. We tolerate and even rebel against our parents when hitting those awkward teenage years. Finally, we become adults and miraculously our parents become great people again. It’s a life-cycle of sorts that plays out in households throughout the world and hopefully, any differences or conflicts with our parents are long resolved before they leave this earth.
My dad died 20 years ago and he wore many shoes throughout his life. His childhood shoes were lined with cardboard to help cover up the holes in the soles. As a young man, he wore combat boots while fighting in the jungles during WW II. Those boots were traded in for the spit and polish of the boots he donned as a member of the military police during the Korean War. Black work shoes were part of the daily uniform while spending his working life toiling away in the factory of Carrier Corporation. Wingtips and loafers became his standard dress when going out in the evening. Although I too have owned many of the same style footwear as my dad, I have never (metaphorically speaking) been able to fill his shoes.
As I reflect upon the relationship between father and son and especially when approaching Father’s Day, I honor my dad’s memory of being a kind, strong, loving, hard-working and all-around good guy. You see, his shoes were always just a little too big for me to fill.
Written By: Dennis L. Page