Fragile on Flickr.
This past weekend I spent time up at the lake with my family. It was a beautiful day and my dad enlisted my help moving the boat lift into the lake. It required some pulling, pushing, grunting and sweating but in the end we managed to get that gangly piece of metal in the right place, and me up to my waist in frigid water in the process.
Something unexpected happened in the process. My dad was winded. This man that has been my example of strength, unwavering courage and fortitude, the image of what I aspire to be, was tired.
I don’t often live up to this example, but seeing it falter threw me a little farther than I expected. I suppose this happens to everyone as they watch their parents and grandparents age, but the day when it becomes visible is profound regardless.
It brings my own frailty into perspective and that’s never a topic I want to think about. I don’t want to age, to grow weak and weary, pasty and pudgy no more than I want to see those around me that I love do the same.
So as I sat doing my sit-ups tonight, my granite foundation crumbling ever so slightly, I thought about the past and when my dad seemed 12 feet tall and the most powerful superhero there was. But he’s not. He’s a man, like me. Strong, brave, compassionate, funny, but weak, flawed, and frail. I see more of him in who I am all the time and love him for it.
The chains we forge