On what would have been my father’s 60th birthday, I wrote this on a whim, but felt it was more appropriate to be shared on Father’s Day.
Our last visit was right around this time of year, about three months before he died. Ten years ago. Until we had that visit, it had been well over ten years since the previous visit. Like ships passing in the night.
Except I was a kid. And kids don’t always understand that ships require a lot of work to stay the course. There are many things that can sway that boat, not always because the captain intentionally chooses it, but because of the way the winds can force choices. Some good, some bad. A strong captain is able to heed the warnings. Press on. Some captains take the rocky route, never landing where they intended. Others get lost at sea.
As I have gotten older, I have realized things weren’t always as crystal clear as navigating an expedition and ending up in a location. Some captains have extra strength. A different type.
It takes a lot of strength to have another captain come and take over your ship. To start leading it where it needs to go. Take care of it. When you love something, or someone, sometimes you need to step back and remove yourself.
That was the best thing he could have done for me. My father “released” me. My dad raised me. And I am so grateful for him and his stability. I know in the beginning, I wasn’t a good shipmate. I was a challenge. But as the ship changed captains, I learned that the ocean didn’t have to be a tumultuous place.
Turns out, with the right captain, sailing can be pretty darn wonderful.