Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Today I was pulling out of the parking lot of a Mommy/Me store- basically a boutique that specializes in breast feeding pumps/equipment and natural baby products; and I saw a car pull up. The license plate was a veterans plate and I watched a grandfather step out of the car and into the Mommy boutique. I'm pretty sure he was there to visit the lovely grandmother that serviced me from behind the cash register. It was pretty stinking cute to see grandpa walk into the Mommy boutique store. But in that moment, my own father flashed into my turtle brain. You see, my father is a Vietnam Veteran and I can totally see him going inside this store to visit my mom or pick up any gadget that I might send him to retrieve.
I realized how incredibly fortunate I was to call John Koprowski my father. Let me tell you a little bit about him and what makes him an almost extinct sort of gentelman in this culture. First of all, he served in Vietnam and still today, serves with the VVA convention. He fights for the rights of soldiers and their families. I respect any man that puts his life to the side to protect our country. Secondly, he serves my mom. Even though he is 75 years old and comes from a pretty old-fashioned and traditional upbringing- he doesn't follow suit to the old school rules. You know, the men who 'don't do dishes, don't do diapers, and don't do tampon runs to the store.' Nope, that's not John. He washes dishes, he changes diapers, and he'd gladly go purchase whatever I asked him to buy at the store. Even today, he serves mom and travels with her, as she chases her dreams with sewing and arts/crafts. He even learned to sew after they married so that he could assist her in her private business. This is a hard core Marine -Master Sergent- that we are talking about people! And yet he's one of the most gentle persons I've encountered in life. Thirdly, he is not my biological father. The man had a choice! He met my mom when I was a bratty 5th grader with huge attitude. I had no room for 'another father' and yet he stole my heart. Many mornings before high school, he'd sneak up to me, hand me a 20$ bill and say "don't tell mom- use this for some fun food at lunch". Fourthly, he is a man that will unashamedly cry. Seeing a man of this stature cry will bring any hard nosed toughy pants to their knees. He's got a sensitive center and will weep when necessary. Last characteristic that separates him from most men in this culture- he loves his family more than himself. Most men will say that they love their family more than their own self but where do they spend their time and money? My father spends him time with mom and money on his family.
I've met alot of great fathers out there. But I'm usually put off by their limitations that they put on their family. They're awful busy with their own hobbies and treat their wives like crap! Sorry, but the sign of a true gentleman is watching how he treats his bride. Does he speak with gentleness to her? Does he travel to places she wants to visit? Does he celebrate her often without it having to be her bday or some special occasion? Does he allow her to share her opinion without demoralizing her? Does he put her feelings first? Is he truly her best friend? My parents are the best of friends. They are not perfect people and haven't always gotten the whole 'parenting' thing down well but I will always admire their relationship with one another. I'm blessed cause I married a man that has a heart like my dad. He serves me too! I love my dad and my husband. I hope our sons inherit this great Koprowski/Alexander heritage!