My father is older than most fathers who have children my age. But you wouldn't know it by looking at him. He has taught me so much about life. My father is an incurable dreamer and workaholic. He has never given up on believing that anything is possible for a single day in his life.

My father will be 80 years old in two years and he still works over 40 hours a week healing people. Remember the doctor on "Little House on the Prairie"? My father is a lot like him. He lives in community of poor farmers and I can imagine him taking vegetables in exchange for his Chiropractic treatment. He is selfless in how he treats his patients. I used to think that this was so stupid of him, that he was letting himself get taken advantage of. He has always worked so hard at taking care of people and making them feel better. He sometimes spends hours on one patient in exchange for money that most doctors would use for 15 minutes of their time.

My father is also an inventor. He is still planning on creating new things. His mind is always working. He is always willing to take risks or leaps with his ideas. He believes in what he does and feels that it is his calling in life. This is why he still has the energy to take care of all those people.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like this: selfless, loving, so very alive. I tend to get caught up in the fear that I am giving too much and it will be taken away. I think that I have to preserve some of my generosity. I build up walls that my lover, my friends, my co-workers cannot break through. I think that this will make me strong somehow. But I am still who I am underneath. I am this tiny person that has fear, covered with anger, covered with those false barriers of inpenetrability. Strength is in vulnerability. It makes me feel vulnerable to give or to let other people see who I am- to be that naked, that public with myself. If you look at the Strength card in the typical tarot deck, a woman is shown placing her head inside a lion's mouth. She knows that the lion could easily bite her head off. She surrenders to this possibility. This is the hardest lesson to learn: Strength is not in fighting, in shielding yourself from what could be painful; Strength is in surrendering to your fear and choosing to love unconditionally, knowing that this love you are giving is a reward and a gift to yourself, as well as others.

My father has taught me a lot about love. I am learning to be as patient with people as he has been. I am learning to love without always keeping score. No. He's not perfect. I often wish that he had spent more time at home and less time in the office. I often wish that he had listened to me more, especially when I was a teenager. But I know that in who he was and still is, he was doing everything he did out of love for his family. He was working so hard in order to provide for us. And try as I did to shock, alienate him, get his attention, make him angry with me- he was always so calm about my actions (this used to drive me crazy!) and still loved me as much as before.

Now that I am out of the house and all grown up, I am learning to respect my father for the warm, compassionate wonderful human being he truly is and not think of him as such a fool, a dreamer, a man obsessed with his work. I guess that means I'm getting old. . .