Yesterday I ran into my old riding coach at the grocery store. I hadn’t seen her since I was a teenager, and after giving her a hug we had a wonderful (albeit short) visit. She asked me how my parents were doing and I did the big sigh and had to tell her about dad dying last year. She said she was so sorry to hear that and what a great loss, and then told me that her husband had passed away a couple of years ago. I did the same condolence thing back to her.
Then she explained how she was having such a difficult time getting over him. She felt that it was taking her longer than other people to adjust to life without him. She said that she’d been telling this to a friend and they’d responded with of course it’s taking you a long time to get over him. You don’t just get over a man like that. And then she looked at me with sad eyes and said Your dad was a man like that. She is right. Those kind of men, if you are fortunate enough to have them in your lives, you don’t just get over. We are both fortunate to have had men like that in our lives. What I remember of her husband is that he was a caring, gentle soul.
I was asked recently what I’m looking for in my next mate. My answer was (aside from wanting someone who is kind) that I want the type of person that when a fire breaks out they work with me to put it out, and then help me to rebuild. Instead of…. oh say…. pouring kerosene on the house, throwing a lit match, running away, and then after the fact blaming me because that they lost their home. Inner strength and sound moral character. A man like that.
Last year we were at a family birthday party in celebration of three of the men in our extended family. The wife of the man hosting the party (and one of the birthday boys – a man who was one of Dad’s closest friends back in the day) stood up and gave a little speech. She talked about how she had kiddingly referred to her husband as an old geezer and then was promptly informed that that was not a kind term to use. She responded in her speech with a definition of an old geezer that would make any decent man proud to be one
Geezers” (slang for an old man) are easy to spot:
At sporting events, during the playing of
the National Anthem, Old Geezers hold
their caps over their hearts and sing without
embarrassment. They know the words and
believe in them. Old Geezers remember
World War I, the Depression, World
War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy
and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age,
the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age
and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam.
If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk,
he will apologize. If you pass an Old Geezer
on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a
lady. Old Geezers trust strangers and are
courtly to women. Old Geezers hold the door
for the next person and always, when walking,
make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.
Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses
in front of women and children and they don’t like
any filth on TV or in movies. Old Geezers have
moral courage. They seldom brag unless it’s
about their grandchildren.
It’s the Old Geezers who know our great country
is protected, not by politicians or police, but by
the young men and women in the military serving their country.
This country needs Old Geezers with their decent
values. We need them now more than ever.
Thank God for Old Geezers!
The men who were being celebrated are all of that and more. I feel so honoured to come from a family that produces men of such character.
I deserve to be loved by a man like that.
The old geezers described are men like that.
My dad was a man like that.
I am raising a man like that. I can see it in how he treats other people. How he stops to open doors for others, how he asks for extra change to buy coffee for seniors, how he picks up and cuddles babies, how he laughs, how he stands up for his sister, how he plays, how he loves. He is well on his way to being a man like that.
My happiness moment today, watching Jacob hold open the door at Tim Horton’s for an older gentleman, greeting him with full eye contact and a smile. When given the choice, Jacob always chooses to be kind, he chooses to be a man like that.