My dad has always been a character. It took me a long time to realize the debt of gratitude I owe him for teaching me what character is.
My grandmother used to joke that he was the only German kid in a predominantly Polish neighborhood that would bring the black kid home to play. He recently told me stories of getting out of the service in the late '50's deep-south and drinking from the "colored" fountain and trying to use the "wrong" bathroom. He and my mother were stopped by the police for picking up a hitchhiker - a black serviceman in full Navy uniform trying to get home.
He's been sick lately and sometimes rambles. I learned of a deep-seated hatred of the manufacturer of the airplanes that bombed Pearl Harbor. That company made my first new car, and I never knew the reason he disliked it. He also shared that one night this December, watching a TV special about the attack, that God had suddenly relieved him of this hatred and how blessed that made him feel.
I recently joined a twelve-step program for addiction and have learned a lot about resentments and the belief that God could remove them if asked. I also did not believe this until the night I spent in the emergency room with my extraordinary father.
Thank you, Dad, for teaching me that doing the next right thing is always the right thing to do, and that all of the people in this world are God's gift. My gift to you is the promise that I will try to pass that on to other people for the rest of my life.
Submitted by Anonymous
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