What my father taught me to believe


This I believe:

I believe in the wit and wisdom of my dad, Allan A. Glatthorn, an educator, philosopher, writer and tinkerer. He was a jack of many hobbies and master of puns.

Before he died Sept. 5, 2007, his 83rd birthday, he shared his wit and wisdom with family and friends in a collection called “Unpublished Thoughts.” And a lot of what I believe comes from this.

I believe that in the end, families are about love and support.

From the Glatthorn Family Beatitudes:

“Blessed are those who do not keep score, for all are winners in a loving family.”

And “The journey of life is a lonely one and painful one. We walk it best with a loving family at our side.”

I believe in laughing loud, laughing often, laughing at life and laughing at oneself.

My father was a not-very-serious would-be country western singer, and a song of his is titled “Hobby Horse.”

It talked about how he liked his hobbies: “short and cheap and light.”

He writes a mock review: “Critics who have heard Glatthorn’s new CD say, ‘These days, there is just no equal to Glatthorn’s earthy lyrics. They have a directness and honesty that we haven’t heard since Patsy Cline. And the directness and honesty are subtly configured with a vulnerable tenderness. This man has truly suffered.’ ”

I believe in a Transcendent Spirit within every one of us, who loves us all equally.

From “Credo”:

“It does not matter where we kneel to worship. It matters more where we stand to fight.”

And, “Life is unfair. Perhaps I am here to add a modicum of justice.”

And finally, “I believe that although getting old is no fun, I believe we can look at life’s glass as half-full.”

From “Old Age: The years of Rusty Metal”:

“They told you that old age is the golden period of your life. They lied. You know that there is not much gold in it. Most of it is rusty metal.”

And “Just remember you have a choice. You can poison the air around you with your whining and complaining. Or you can grit your teeth and say with true conviction ... I have places of strength that the misery cannot touch. I am bigger than my aches and pains. I am more than an ailing body. And if I need to cry, I will cry in the dark where no one can hear me.”

And he did.

Carol Dotterer of James Island is a retired schoolteacher and part-time tutor at Sylvan’s Learning Center. She enjoys jogging, baking, bell-ringing, volunteering and general rabble-rousing.