Father’s Day Musings

June 13, 2008, by Carine Fabius

My father is a very eccentric guy. At 84, he wears a ponytail, is extremely engaged in what might be termed “new-age” thinking, and he long ago gave up meat, alcohol and other favorite things as part of his personal spiritual quest. When my father develops an opinion on something, it’s because he’s spent long hours debating the thing with his intelligent, intellectually stimulated and very sharp mind; so, even though he loves long discussions on controversial positions, it’s easier to relocate the Grand Canyon than getting him to change his mind. I just finished reading Ghandi’s autobiography, and the whole time I kept thinking how hard it must have been to live with a man who lived by such principled stances—kind of like my father without the dhoti, that hip, white, sarong-like thing Ghandi wore to the end of his days. I do not often entertain thoughts on what my mother’s life is like with my father; on that score, I would say I’m glad I’m not his wife. But, I am happy to be his daughter.

We’ve clashed on plenty over the years—politics in particular. He thought George W. Bush was the right guy for the job. I thought he was right for the nuthouse. I felt former Haitian president Aristide should be given a chance to prove himself; in response, he felt the only thing to do was to sever all ties with me for a couple of years (we are Haitian natives.) Today, he agrees that I was right about Bush, and I have to admit that Aristide was a great disappointment.

His personal hero and rock star is Jesus Christ, and he’s got Jesus’ mother’s personal email engraved in his mental address book. Cross your index finger over the middle finger, and that tells you everything you need to know about their relationship—they’re like that. No doubt about it, he’s tight with JC’s entire family, but you’ll never find him in church unless it’s for a wedding or something. In the same way, I feel no need for religion in order to connect with the Great Mystery referred to as God. We’re totally in synch on that one, dude.

He has been loving and infuriating; supportive to a fault, affectionate and generous; shockingly narrow-minded on some things, as expansive as the sky on others. He helped my mother give me life. I think I’ll keep him!

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3 Responses to “Father’s Day Musings”

  1. beezersmom Says:

    Carine,
    Your dad once said to me that he considers his payment for life’s goods and services a “tip” he pays to people to do God’s bidding. His outlook on life is one of gratitude; he is both childlike and sage at once. To know him is to love him!
    Your pal,
    P.

  2. rosemary Says:

    Shhhh…my daughter is putting together a book of poetry she has written for her dad…I wonder what would write about him if she could. I do know she ADORES him.

  3. Annice Says:

    Carine,

    Your father sounds like a very itnersting man. I would love to meet him to discuss life, being an immigrant and being Haitian.

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