Yesterday’s sea shanty post was mostly for my dad, who also knows shanties and sings them and has, his whole life, dragged a “great weight” of some kind or another: Being responsible for a brother. Being the family breadwinner. And now, the weight of taking care of my mom as she deals with cancer, chemo, and (soon) surgery.

My dad did not grow up in a time of sentiment, so showing any vulnerability or “weakness” is hard. I think it’s hard for him to even see it in other people, because, to him, you just deal with whatever great weight you’re dragging. Sure, you could complain about it, but you’ll still have to move that weight, so just keep going.

I know Mom being sick has been hard on him–it’s been hard on all of us, but he’s the one there with her the most. But in his mind, his job is not to complain, not to fail, not to be weak. To drag the weight, no matter what it is.

So I just want to tell him today, “You are doing a beautiful job, Dad. Happy birthday. I love you.”