Ode to Dad

June 2nd, 2015

blog- dad's 80thMy dad just turned 80. I do not know how as he has managed this magic trickery as he remains stuck at 60 in everyone else’s eyes. He plays tennis, walks all over town and is still wielding a chainsaw, mattock and climbs to the top of waterfalls. Perhaps 80 is the new 60. We had a flash party as one should, for 80, 60 or anything in-between. Plus it goes without saying that I’m all for a party, regardless of age. We drank, laughed, cried a little and nodded our heads in disbelief at the passing of years. There were toasts, speeches and an ode. An Ode to my dad, which I thought I’d share with you here.

You dig yourself into our soil and plant yourself in the garden.
You drill yourself into walls and paint yourself on doors.
You pound, hack and chainsaw your way into our lives,
thrashing away the weeds, clearing a path
toward our hearts.
Hearts which are open, for a little extra tending.
A post to prop them up, or a trim to encourage growth.
A little extra watering, to nurture them into bloom.
Hearts fed and nurtured,
by your constant care and concern.
With dirt under your fingernails, and cuts up your arms,
In an old torn straw hat, and a face that’s seen too much sun,
I’ll find you on the roof, or balancing on a stool.
Half way up a tree, or sliding down our hill.
You nod silently at my crazy schemes,
knowing they wont just walk away.
“Now bear with me- I’ve had an idea”, I’ll warn you
as you brace yourself against the tide.
We do things so differently you and me.
You with your symmetry,
me with my not so symmetry.
Me with my “just maybe’s” and you with your “probably nots.”
But you’ve figured out it’s better to let me dream,
to see where we may go
To nod quietly hoping I’ll come to my senses.
I usually don’t but that’s ok,
for together we’re creating, shaping and building- a whole new way.
A way to be father and daughter living now just minutes apart,
instead of a world away.
We’re now more than our goodbye tears and sobbing airport scenes.
We’re creators of this thing, this crazy growing boldly beautiful life-filled thing.
With deep roots and big blossoming flowers.
One day you may let me use the drill,
but for now I’m happy to have you building,
and planting love into our lives.
Leaving not just muddy footprints on our carpet,
but your footprints on our hearts.


blog- dad.1   The face of 80







blog- dad..2




– and this is folks is what 80-with-a-touch-of-crazy looks like.
My Dad, balancing on a stool that’s balancing on a chest, with a drill in a thunder storm.

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  1. Meg–what a beautiful ode to a beautiful Dad!

  2. Nancy Halle says:

    this is beautiful, Meg. If you don’ take after your father, do you take after your mom? Our are you just Meg?

  3. Ellie says:

    You are sooo lucky to call  David Russell, “Dad.”Happy Birthday, David.

  4. Sandra says:

    How beautiful Meg. I totally resonate with your words and sentiments. My dear dad came all the way to NZ from UK for a 5 week holiday with mum in 2002, and had his 82nd birthday there! He often offered advice, and I frequently looked back and wished I’d listened! He continued playing tennis and squash well into his late 80s.In March 2013 I returned to UK to be closer to him, and care for him, as he faded away with dementia. It was dreadful to watch, but an honour to be there for a great man who had truly ‘seized the day’ for the majority of his almost 95 years.Cherish every moment.Sandra 😉

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