My Dad’s never ending project no matter what house we were living in was to clean the garage. It did not matter how many times he cleaned it, the garage still looked like it needed to be clean. Tools would be moved around, toys would be put away, lawn bags would be piled up but it still looked like that garage needed to be cleaned.
My Dad saved everything or at least we thought he did. He had hundreds of baby food jars filled with nails. Some new, some old, most in pretty good condition. There was a wheelbarrow from the 1980’s or at least it looked like that. He even had his old bike from when he was a teenager! I think he absolutely hated cleaning the garage and just looked busy when he was out there, but I can’t absolutely swear to that.
I think the real reason is that all of those posessions had some obvious sentimental value to my Dad. Those things truly meant something to him on some level. Whether it was a rusty nail or an old bike, maybe by throwing those things away meant he was throwing a little piece of his childhood away so he creatively moved and re-arranged, but didn’t throw out.
The relationship between my Dad and I many times felt like a never ending project. It was hard for us to meet in the middle and find common ground many times. Common ground happened so rarely that I almost didn’t recognize it when it happened. But I will say when it did, it was always nice to feel like your on the same team as your Dad or loved one.
Sometimes I wish I would have tried harder because I didn’t understand then, that was all I needed to do to continue to make the relationship stronger. Other times I really wish he just would have understood and listened to what I had to say.
I am going to end these blog posts with a thought provoking question of the day. I want you to think about how this can be applied in your life.
How can you make that “project” relationship with your Dad or loved one stronger than it was yesterday?
Always a friend to listen,
Eric Tomei-author I Miss My Dad
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