In my last post, I paid homage to my father, the role he played in my life, and the character he portrayed every day.
Little did I know that he would take his last breath only 12 hours later.
Many people have expressed their heartfelt sympathy towards me, with the words "sorry for your loss."
I find that a little interesting. Mostly these words come from people who never knew him.
The fact is, I'm not really sorry he's gone.
WAIT! Before you start jumping on my case about being an emotional void, of hating my father, of being glad he's out of my life, hear me out. There's a difference between being glad he's gone, and not being sorry he's gone.
Had you watched this vital, caring man see his life slowly stolen from him, had you watched the frustration he endured, the loss of dignity, and eventually the point to where he could not interact with the world around him, you would likely feel the same way.
I'm not sorry that the struggles he's gone through are over.
I'm not sorry that he is far better off now, having left the world of his suffering behind and gone to the presence of his Lord and Master, being welcomed with a hearty, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
He lived a good life, and left us with many good memories. He had an impact on those around him, and the world as a whole. He died peacefully.
I realized that I was continuing on with a legacy of his, in a way. He was always a good carpenter and even architect. Wood was his friend. He once built/carved a toy wooden rifle for me, complete with strap, trigger guard, sights, and a "barrel" (a copper pipe end that was nailed to the end). It was correctly scaled, looked the part (aside from being wood), and fit me well. He did it in the space of an hour. At the age of 7 or 8, I had no idea how impressive that was, I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I had that toy for many years, surviving many hours of exploring in the woods, and two moves.
I did not inherit my father's gift of woodworking, but I realized that I did inherit his desire to make something lasting with my hands. It just took me longer in life to get it started. Steel is my chosen material, and hopefully the bikes I make will bring the same joy to those who receive them.