I am certain that by now anyone who has read my blog knows that I am a ‘daddy’s girl’.  Actually kind of had to be as my mother and first step-mother died each only staying around for about 13 years or so.  Dad is the constant in my life.  His belief in marriage, as he keeps marrying (and Millie, a really lovely lady, has put up with Dad for the last 37 years), his faith, his humor, his bias, his politics, his tenacity have all been the constant that molded me over the course of my lifetime.  I admire this man and occasionally do not agree with him though approach disagreement carefully.  He turned 92 on Sunday and is now the ‘poster child’ for the local health and fitness center in my home town as they have him on a brochure using the recumbent bicycle.Mr Harbor House 2013

When I am in residence at the cottage he comes for coffee as often as his schedule allows.  Some days I get a two-fer when I get Millie as well.  On Wednesdays I get a different two-fer as my brother is driving.  In a way returning all the times Dad drove him as a kid.  The circle of life complete once again.

It is Wednesday and my Dad and brother have just left for the rest of their ride.  They will go around Seawall, go up to Somesville and get another coffee for Dad, stop at the local florist for some flowers – “The Leslie Special” for Millie – and then home.  My brother is a wonderful man and I marvel that a spoiled rotten kid who was hell on wheels could turn out so good! Then again he had the same constant as I.

I watched Dad walk out of here grasping for something to hold onto and stubbornly not reaching for my brother’s arm which is subtly ever at the ready.  He is bent with the pain he suffers in his back and uses one wrist crutch.  He had to stop playing golf at 90 as he could no longer swing with the back pain. I look at him and often wonder if the pain in his back that creates the ‘bentness’ of his body is not a gift from God like Paul’s thorn in his side.  This pain keeps Dad going to find a way out.  He exercises at Harbor House a couple of times a week.  He goes to Physical Therapy.  He has tenacity spelled s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n.  In this case I think stubborn is good.

I am accused of being stubborn and from the tone in which it is said it is not a good thing in my case.  I am going to look at this word in a new way.  Perhaps the word is not stubborn,  Perhaps a better word for Dad is determined?  Determined to live the best life he can with dignity.  Hmmmmm – I am going to mull this for some time to come I believe.  Dad’s life was not lily white – he smoked, he drank, he was overweight at times.  He said to me yesterday that he was the last of crew with the exception of 4 of his army buddies.  I wonder what that feels like?  He also said to me yesterday that he was sung to by some angels in front of him.  The children of Harbor House sang Happy Birthday to him.  He smiles with joy singing to dad

The more I write and think about tenacity, stubborn, determined, I think that perseverance may just be the right word.  Though it has to be couched with the words faith and humor.  It certainly has worked for Dad.  Maybe I will try this for myself?  I certainly have much to think about as I go about this day.



By ktsquared Posted in Family


  1. Hi Kathy,

    Your father — my Uncle Les — is at the *VERY* top of my list of wonderful and amazing people that I know. He has a great sense of humor, a very positive outlook, and (as you mentioned) tenacity and perseverance. I have *always* felt honored that my parents gave me the middle name of Leslie because of how highly and affectionately they regard your father. Happy Birthday to Uncle Les!!!


  2. Kathy… Thanks so much. I wish I was in Maine, also. Mostly, please let your father know much I love and admire him.

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