Then, it hit me. A few months ago, I was reading Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree to my little boy and I couldn’t stop crying. I had visited my dad at home in his hospital bed earlier that day, and he was getting pretty weak. I felt for the first time that he may not get better, that my dad who had always been there may not be there for much longer, and it hurt. As I read the story of the boy and tree, I couldn’t help but see myself and my dad. I realized that throughout my life he had been the giving tree for me, and for so many people.
When I was young, he took care of me and I loved him and he was happy. Then as I grew up, moved all over the place, and started my own family, he was still always there supporting me when I came back. And even when I left again he was happy, but the sad kind of happy when you see your kids leave. In the same way, he gave to our family, he gave to his clients, he gave to his friends, and he gave to his community...and he was happy.