GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Guide

The prompt suggested at Sunday Scribblings today is "Guide". I've been tossing a couple of ideas for posts around, but this morning, as I begin to write, I'm thinking too about the fact that today is Fathers' Day, and about what kind of a guide my father has been in my life.

My Dad will be 86 next Saturday. He was born at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. He was raised on a little piece of bogland called Hawkfield - in a tiny cottage with the most basic of comforts. He lost his mother when he was 10, and the children - three boys and three girls - were thereafter cared for by a large gaggle of aunts, each of which took care of one child or other.

His schooling - which ended at age 12 - took place in a two-teacher country school. The husband-and-wife teachers taught everything. Every child who came out of that school had a beautiful writing hand, and an idea of what special talent or skill they had. My uncle Joe became a fluent Irish speaker. My Dad took to music (although he didn't stay with it, but that is another story).

I did not set out to tell you his life story, and I don't intend to. What I wanted to say really was that he has lived his life, raised his five children, seen us into adulthood, and our own lives as parents without ever telling us what to do. Maybe my perception isn't entirely accurate, but I seem to remember times when I asked for his advice, and he would always turn the question around, and say "What do you think you want to do?" When I made choices that he would not have made for me, he still accepted that. He didn't want to have any input into our choice of spouses, wanted to allow us each to make up our own minds in the choice of partner. When it came to college or career, where to live - in all of these things, he has steadfastly welcomed the choices and decisions we have made, and he has been proud of all of us.

Even when I told him that I had decided to leave the Church to which he was so devoted, his response was that we each have to do what our own conscience dictates, and that if I'd really given it careful thought, then he wouldn't object to my decision. I have to tell you that from an Irish man of his generation, that is an attitude of openness and acceptance that is rare indeed.

He had - and has - his own strong views on politics, religion and morality but he has never tried to insist that we follow on his path. His guidance has been that we should seek to discover our own truth and follow our own path with integrity. That is guidance worth gold in abundance.

His goal in life was to raise a good family, and he feels content that he has succeeded. He's never travelled, never experienced many of the things in life of which he has read, and yet, he can say that he has done what he wanted in this world.

I feel very blessed in my father. He has been for me, in his own special way, my most valuable guide.

Happy Fathers' Day!
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Go on over to Sunday Scribblings to see what other Guides are being described

And if (totally unrelated to this post) you would like to celebrate my sister as a bride, check out yesterday's post HERE You're more than welcome!

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23 Comments:

At 15/6/08 9:21 am, Blogger Caroline said...

He sounds like the best of fathers and the best of guides - a wonderful combination - you are very lucky!

 
At 15/6/08 10:57 am, Blogger anthonynorth said...

As the father of seven, if my children could come close to saying what you've said of your father, I'd consider my life a success.

 
At 15/6/08 11:46 am, Blogger Greyscale Territory said...

What a beautiful, senstive tribute to your dad.

 
At 15/6/08 12:31 pm, Blogger Robin Westphal said...

Your father sounds like a lovely influence in your life. Amazing that he had a way of guiding you with out telling you what to do.

 
At 15/6/08 12:57 pm, Blogger murat11 said...

What a lovely tribute to a man who knows himself well enough to know the importance of others finding their own ways in the world. Best wishes to you and to him.

 
At 15/6/08 2:17 pm, Anonymous Redness said...

How marvellously fortunate you are to have experienced such a wonderful Dad ... you write of him with a proud, gracious voice, what a wonderful woman he has influenced! Many Thanks too for your kindness at my attempt.

 
At 15/6/08 3:24 pm, Blogger Tammie Lee said...

Thank you for sharing this. You have touched me deeply with this profound look at guiding in a non guiding way.

 
At 15/6/08 3:32 pm, Blogger Aisling said...

I love your tribute to your father. I especially love his openness in letting you choose your own path. We could all learn a lesson from that example. Thank you for sharing this little glimpse of your father! :)

 
At 15/6/08 4:43 pm, Blogger Jon said...

Wonderful post. It's obvious from your writing that you care for your father dearly. I just hope I can have an equal effect on my daughter. My own dad has set me the perfect example of how to do this, perhaps it's an Irish dad thing.

 
At 15/6/08 5:18 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

What an inspirational father Imelda. I need to follow the example he set. What a lucky daughter you are! xxoo

 
At 15/6/08 8:36 pm, Blogger anno said...

What a lovely, loving portrait of your father! He sounds like a great man -- and I do believe I see some of his character, and especially his deep acceptance and appreciation of others' differences, in your own writing and life.

 
At 15/6/08 9:02 pm, Anonymous solsamba said...

What a beautiful thing to read on Father's Day.
Thanks for your nice comment!

 
At 15/6/08 9:26 pm, Blogger Olivia said...

I agree, Imelda, a wonderful Father's Day post. I grew up without a father, but with a wonderful father-in-law who exemplified this, and it did change how I looked at life. How blessed those of us are who have a father from birth! What a gift your father is, Love, O xxoo

 
At 15/6/08 10:21 pm, Anonymous keiths ramblings said...

What a wonderful and heartfelt tribute. A lovely read.

 
At 15/6/08 11:09 pm, Blogger Granny Smith said...

You are a lucky daughter, as was I. Your description of your father's type of guidance could be equally applied to my father.

Thank you for this lovely tribute to both of them!

 
At 16/6/08 12:43 am, Blogger b said...

You have been blessed with the "essential father"...without him you would not be who you are today. I am sure he has loved you as much as you have loved him.

b

 
At 16/6/08 1:36 am, Blogger Stacy said...

What a lovely tribute to your father.

 
At 16/6/08 3:25 am, Blogger Becca said...

Oh, this was so lovely and heartfelt. If only all children could say that of their fathers...

 
At 16/6/08 3:14 pm, Blogger Karen said...

Another beautiful post...he sounds like the kind of parent I hope to be...present, caring, and accepting. Just lovely.

 
At 16/6/08 5:21 pm, Blogger danni said...

you were so fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of a man who raised thoughts as opposed to defiance in regarding your life choices - very nice tribute to a sage father!!!

 
At 18/6/08 4:26 am, Anonymous missalister said...

You were indeed blessed with an awesome guide :-)

 
At 20/6/08 1:34 pm, Anonymous tinker said...

This is such a lovely tribute, Imelda. Your dad sounds like quite a great guy - how lucky to have such a wonderful father.
Wishing him a very happy birthday!

 
At 24/6/08 9:28 pm, Blogger Julie said...

He is a special man, coming as he does from that generation.

 

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