Mom and Dad1I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day. We talked about how the aunts and cousins were getting along – the only husband left among Mom and her surviving siblings is Dad. Aunt Stella Joe passed away a week or so ago after falling, breaking her hip and shoulder. She was in hospice for several weeks.

We talked about the journeys my cousins, Scott, Sue, and David had to travel while she was in hospice. Especially with Scott’s wife having brain cancer. The waiting and hoping, yet not sure what to pray for. Our family went through the same type of situation with my Aunt Juanita on my father’s side. Cyndy and I also went through the same situation with her Aunt Gee.

Mom and I talked about her two remaining sisters, Edna and Clara. We talked about our immediate family, the situations our four children are dealing with, the recent rain, and other things. I would give my opinion and Mom would reply, “that’s what Dad said.” It occurred several times during the conversation.

Which surprised, and slightly amused me. When I was in my twenties, and thirties for that matter, it would have severely irritated me to be told I sounded like my dad. He and I are so much alike that the few differences were magnified. He and I did not always talk directly. A lot of the time it was through Mom.

Over the years though, I have learned to appreciate the ways we are alike and also the ways in which we are different. We are closer now than we ever were back then. Having your own children changes how you previously viewed your father and fatherhood. First Jennifer, then the three boys, Conner, Cameron and J.D. I began to find myself saying certain things to them and then thinking “holy crap, I sound like my dad!”

In high school, a few friends and I decided to make a list of all the things that we would do differently with our children than our parents did. We would put the list in a safety deposit box and open it after we all had children and see how we did. Then we decided we would save ourselves the grief of not only having done things like our parents, but of not doing the things we were going to do differently. Even though we disagreed with our parents – still do on some things – overall they were probably right and we knew it even then.

I was talking with Dad a short while back and he was telling me about my grandparents when he was young. And the last part of the last paragraph?

That’s what Dad said.

Peace be with you.

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