Fatherhood 1 of 4

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Fatherhood learning the hard way: Fatherhood is learned, it’s learned from your dad, and learned from those experiences you gained in your lifetime. It’s on going and never ending in the process. Just when you think you have something… something happens to knock you off your feet and put you back to square one. You will seldom get it right the first time, you will never say to yourself, “hey, no problem, I can handle this stuff”. 

And so it goes, the cycle of fatherhood, beginning at an early age and lasting until death, and maybe through it. You will learn from examples set, you will be corrected, you will ask to be forgiven, you will forgive, you will try and fail, you will always worry, you will sometimes never understand, you will love and be loved, you will have an undying committment.

It goes without saying, life’s greatest job is that of a father. Some agree, some don’t, I do! After all, when it’s said and done and the armor of life is stripped from you, and you’re standing there alone, to be judged… what are you left with? Only family. I say that again, “ONLY FAMILY”

Fatherhood 2 of 4

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I was as stubborn as they came, dense as a coconut, and I learned the hard way. But, I did learn. With three children to practice on, and a good women to set me straight, I went though each year and learned life’s valuable lessons with each child, one by one. Unfortunately, the oldest gets the brunt of the situation… such is life. This stuff isn’t planned in advance. I didn’t have notes for when things happened that were out of my control. I dealt with them as they happened. Sure you try to anticipate things, but hey, who does that.

I really think the key for me being a not so bad dad at the start, was my own upbringing and experiences with my own family. Watching my dad react to each situation, or Mom handling a sensitive issue with my sister, you saw, heard and were there for each and every issue that life had to present. You would think after 18 or 19 years of watching this stuff, this stuff, would rub off on you and leave an impression. For me, those impressions and experiences did rub off and were stored in my mind becoming available at a later date.

Sadly to say, for some, such is not the case. For some, fatherhood never really kicks in. But in my case, I was born of goodly parents that had a solid foundation of what a family should be like. I can only assume that they had the same setup, parents who cared, parents who loved. It’s like I’m a snowball rolling along picking up more snow as I go, and this snowball is still rolling even today, still gathering stuff learned and stuff experienced. Even at the ripe age of 61 years, as I write this, I experience the joys of grandfatherhood (if that’s a word) and the cycle starts all over again. OMG! whoever thought of this stuff should be given an academy award for “Best Director” 🙂 I wonder who that would go to?

Fatherhood 3 of 4

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I have great memories of my siblings, the times we spent together, played together and shared everything together. We were a close family coming together like a puzzle, never worrying about what life had to offer, and enduring all that life had to give us. And the two puzzle makers made sure we were put together when we had to, when we needed to, there for each other. I know this sounds somewhat idealistic to say but this is really true. Sure we had our moments of dismay, fights or whatever, my point is that no one gave up on themselves, we all realized that the family was more important than the me.

Now, having said all this, may I state that it took some of us longer than others, to know and accept these values. Yes, there may have been one or two knuckleheads in the family. I swear that I was not one of those people 🙂 I was the oldest in our family of seven, with a sister born a year later than me, and I was still in command of the house, (as far as kids go). I got the first car, got the first speeding ticket, went on the first date, and just about did everything I wanted… mostly. I was a real jerk and my ego was sky high. There, I said it. Hey! I was a victim of cirrcumstance, I was the experimental child. I only realize now what my parents have gone through, so patient, so understanding and so forgiving.
So the two oldest kids would rule the house for about six years until mom decided to have three more in a row, about one or two years apart. Five total, three boys and two girls. And I’ll be honest with you, five or six years is a pretty good difference between brother and sister. I was closest to my kid sister Noelani, (the sister next to me), we would spend most of our young life together, close, experiencing life at it’s best. We went to parties together and even church. She was a gift from heaven that came at a great time for the family, to help, support and love each member unconditionally. The experience she gained during these years all helped her later when she had her own family. Her husband would leave her after their fourth baby. Stranded and alone, she raised these kids and showed them the better side that life has to offer.

Today, her kids are grown up and making a life for themselves, but remain close to mom. For mom was that strength they all needed, at that time, was the giver of life and is still that go to person. The love and compassion she learned from her mom only transcended through her to the ones she loved.

Fatherhood 4 of 4

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So what does this have to do with fatherhood you ask? Everything! I learned how to be a giver, I learned how to show compassion and love, when to swing the axe, and when to hug and kiss. Sure, I learned these from my folks, but I learned from my sister as well. Through her perserverence and dedication came life, I saw this, felt it and remember it.
Even as I write this tears are forming. I know that she put everything aside in her own life to deal with the live’s of her children. This self sacrifice would undenyably make an impression on me in the years to follow. I saw, I learned, I felt, I remember, and I will never forget. I will never forget that it was a women, a sister, and yes a girl, who taught me fatherhood too. You did good Noe, thanks kiddo, I love you forever…. your brother Pete.