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Happy Father’s Day, Al!

June 17, 2012

Al’s War: One Man’s Journey Through World WarII explores my step-father, Albert Jabbour.  He became my step-father rather late in life; he met and started dating my mother my senior year of high school and they married  the February of my freshman year in college.  This was Al’s first marriage and he was already in his 50’s.  So I wouldn’t say that we ever built a father/daughter relationship.  What we did become was something also precious to me – we became friends.

On marrying my mother, Al gained 3 step-children.  I have a sister two years older than me and a brother who was, at that time, middle school age.  My brother was the only one who still lived at home at the time of their marriage.   And, I think, initially at least, this was a blessing for my brother.  Due to circumstances around my parents’ divorce, my brother had the fewest memories and the slimmest relationship with our father.  My brother explained that to me one time, confiding that he’d have like to be adopted by Al.  But, as it turns out, my brother was to follow another, rougher road and their relationship didn’t blossom.

My relationship with Al grew with time.  I had grown up in a household without a man so was used to doing the heavy lifting for myself.  Simple things like him carrying a heavy suitcase to the car for me caught me by surprise and took some getting used to.  But I did get used to it.  Once I was out of college,, he was there to celebrate all the big occasions – my wedding, my children.  We arranged for him to see his beloved New York Yankees (he sat glued to his seat and loved every minute Knowing now the health problems that my mother faced make this photo of them “cutting a rug” even more poignant.

It was in dealing with my mother’s health issues that really formed a bond between Al and I.  We had many a phone call and face to face discussion about how to get her the best care.  He felt the best care was him.  He told me more than once that he believed that taking care of my mother was his purpose in life.  Unfortunately, her health challenges outgrew what he could handle and she had to move to a nursing facility.  He passed away within the week.

Al Jabbour was a man of integrity. He loved his family, his country, his God and his wife.  And he was true to each, cherishing his siblings and their families, participating in the life of his church. and supporting my mother as long as he could.  He served his country honorably and never sought credit for his service.  He was humble and kind.  If my children had not asked questions about his military service for school projects, we never would have known what we came to learn about it  This was a man to learn about, to admire and to model after.  Happy Father’s Day, Al!

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  1. Happy Father’s day Al!

  2. Mary permalink

    You made me cry

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