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Gifts of My Parents

My father's roar and firm right hand disciplined me. From him, I learned respect for the mind, hard work, and determination. The touch of arrogance I picked up from him heightened the competitive spirit in those around me and kept me at my best. I respected him more than anyone in my life, although he never understood the passions that prowled within me and gave rise to my restless and often rebellious behavior.

My mother tried many times to reassure my father that all I needed was a little more patience, time to grow, and prayer. Her good humor, gentle touch, and soothing voice nurtured me. From her, I learned to temper my passions and the gifts of my father with the faith, love, and charity that give purpose to a life caught up in the struggle to prosper.

The gifts of one parent without the gifts of the other would have left me incomplete.

Copyright © 1999 Frank Zahn.

Published in The Criterion,

Volume 12, Issue 4, August 2021

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