Monday, June 20, 2011

Mick McKellar Update--Day +118

Me (back), my brother and donor,
Kevin, and my dad, just before he died.

Yesterday was one of those days when things just sort of get away from you. By the time I could get around to writing a journal entry, it was just too late and I was too tired to do it. I spent part of yesterday digging around in my digital photo files, looking for images of my father. As seems to always happen when digging around in old albums, I lost track of time. One could normally forgive this, except the same thing happened to me the day before.

Father's day

It's Father's Day, so naturally it is 50 degrees and raining outside. Not that I would be out sunning myself, but I had to turn on the heat again. All those days in southern Minnesota, running air conditioning to counter the 80-99 degree heat, and I forgot how chilly Copper Country springs can be. Chilly never used to be a problem for me, as I seemed impervious to cold weather. Since the transplant, my tolerance of cold weather has been significantly reduced.

I'm wishing a happy Father's Day to all the fathers I know. My children have all contacted me to wish me happy Father's Day, and that truly does make me happy. I think what fathers most want on Father's Day, is to be remembered and appreciated by their family. I was thinking back to days with my dad, and how he would "officially" brush off Father's Day as though it did not matter. However, he would mope around until all the kids had called to wish him a happy day.


He was an M.P.
We rarely called him dad or grandpa, he was nearly always known as "Grumpy." This, of course, was not without cause. He was the prototypical stern and stoic, "auld Scotsman" of literature and media. I remember him telling me (on more than one occasion): "There are three ways to do something -- the right way, the wrong way, and my way. In my house, you do it my way." When I was eighteen, having reached the age when I already knew everything, I did the only thing I could do...I moved out.

Prior to moving out, my dad and I often had "discussions." These discussions usually involved voices locked into a constant crescendo and opposing points of view on most issues. More than a few of these epic debates would run for hours, from early evening until the wee hours of the morning, when my mother would threaten us both with excommunication from the family, if we did not quit for the night.

My mom, me, and my dad.
An odd thing happened though: As I grew older, my dad grew smarter. His advice made more sense when I had children of my own to raise. There was mutual respect between us, but we were never "buddies." I remember him rough-housing with my younger brothers, but I have no memories of physical contact with him, other than the times I was disciplined. Our relationship was different than his relationship with my brothers and my sister -- less physical, yet more confrontational.

Six years after his death, I still miss him. I miss his gruff manor, his rough sense of humor, even his always ready opinions on just about everything. He taught me the values of reliability and veracity, independence and hard work, and the responsibility to provide for my own family. He taught me how to stand my ground and fight for what I believe is right, that endurance is more important than endearment, and to always maintain a certain level of indifference to authority. At his knee, I learned not to be intimidated and never accept being patronized.

We all miss you, Grumpy...
Although I was busy missing the old bear today, I was also enjoying some time with my older son, his wife, and two of my grandsons -- at a safe distance of course, and wearing my surgical mask. All in all, I had a very nice Father's Day.

I've added some images of my dad to this blog, in his honor. I wish all dads reading this a happy Father's Day and thank you all for your kind communications.

God bless and good night,


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