Dad didn't trust words. Too many he knew were hurt by them. "If you love someone, you show them," he'd tell us. And he did.
It wasn't until adulthood, however, that I understood my dad. He gave me and my siblings a gift not easily wrapped in pretty paper. And, as he neared the end of his life, I thanked him for this extraordinary gift.
Leaning over his lift chair, I whispered, thank you, Dad, for teaching me how to survive. He didn't respond, but tears welled and rolled down his face. I had received his gift and in doing so, I had embraced him.
To all dads, thank you for your self-gift, spoken or silently offered.