I love sharing this story about my father. It is all true.
My father fell in love with my mother at a young age. They spent their adolescence growing up together. I do not have all the stories but they came out of their teenage hormonal shifts and changes with their love still in tact. They went to school, got married and started a life together. They were in love like I have never seen, even to this day. Their marriage had issues for sure, many, as all great relationships do. They were in love and they worked upon keeping their love strong. There were many times I would come home from something abroad and find a few candles had been lit, the couch was a mess and my mother was humming and a little flushed. Many times I would catch them dancing in the most unusual places, like in an elevator while listening to the hum of the music from the tinny speakers.
I look back with rose-colored glasses and see that they really loved each other. Their relationship was not about power, convenience, comfort or safety. It was built on long term infatuation, sharing a dream and a deep respect. When my father was in a plane crash in 1991, she did everything she could to help, care and tend to him. When my mother was sick with cancer he did everything to support her on that journey.
Now that I painted a brief explanation of their love I want to tell you the story that means so much to me. In 1997 my mother died after a 3-year battle with cancer. My father was a wreck. How does anyone ever prepare for the death of a true love? After some deep sadness my father pick himself up and found the space in his heart to date. Shortly after he found another he loved. Someone my mother knew and was friends with. They fell in love. They apparently ruined a few shocks in the back of my father’s car. They could not keep their hands off each other. Then as quick as it started, my father’s new love was diagnosed with cancer and died shortly after.
Now this is where I learned the real power of my father. I have met a VERY small handful of people in my life that would pick themselves up after something like this happening TWICE and love again, or even try. Most would drown in their pity or fear another loss. Years earlier when my father was in a plane crash that broke dozens of bones in his body and crushed his jaw, as well as almost killing him and the other 4 people in the small plane, he decided to not get down. As soon as he was able, he got on a jumbo jet, flew to California and met up with his friend who flew a small 4-passenger plane. Less then 3 months after major surgery and a narrowing rescue in northern Ontario, my father was in a small plane flying over the Grand Canyon.
After his second lost love he found as many off the pieces of his heart as he could and went and found love again. He got married and, subsequently, broke a few more shocks in his car. Recently I was with him and his lover/wife waiting for something or other on a bench, I looked over to see him and here dancing to the elevator music coming from the tiny speakers above.
Now that is fucking courageous. Yes a little foolish, but courage needs a little foolishness. Actually courage is the absence of logical thinking; it is an action of the heart, not one of fear. It spits in the face of fear and says to fear, "I know you are there fear, you can come and observe but you can not interfere."
I choose to be courageous when it comes to love. I honor my fears but they can only observe, not interfere. When I feel true love or the possibility of true love, I will pursue it with the courage my father has shown me.