Happy Father's Day!
I can't recall the number of Father's Days I've spent without you because I still feel truly connected to you every single day.
My father passed away when I was just ten years old. I remember at my primary school graduation looking out into the audience as I read my speech and he wasn't there. I don't really remember the day he passed away, or how many years it's been without doing the math. But this isn't a sad story. I still miss him with every fiber of me, and although many of the memories are many, many years passed, he is still a very memory vivid in my heart.
You see, I am comforted every single day because I still remember exactly how he made me feel, how he made his family feel and how he made anyone he came in contact feel. If you knew my father, you knew he had a BIG heart. A very big soft heart. His soft heart for everybody transcends time as everyone he came in contact with remembers his gestures as if it were yesterday!
Today, I HONOR all the ways you make me feel!
I remember our old rickety red Mazda feeling like something out of space. It had a random hole in the bottom. If you moved the mat you could see the road. My niece and I used to stuff things down the hole just to see it fly away! I wonder if she remembers that?!
I remember how excited I felt every Friday when he picked up my niece and bought her over to our house. Back then I thought it was all about me. I needed my niece with me whenever possible! We were pretty much like sisters, her being 3 months younger than me and all (stay focused!). But it was his kind heart, he loved us both so much, I know it was just as much for him as it was for us!
I remember feeling so cool and spoiled eating cherries at Cambridge beaches while my daddy did the "grats" (well that's what he called it, tallying the gratuities I think). I can still picture how those grats papers looked (I think that's what they were). I remember my sticky red fingers collecting them after eating so many cherries and drinking Shirley Temples. I remember watching him from the bar thinking he was so cool in his white button down shirt and his aviators on the bar. I probably shouldn't have been in the bar but it was after hours, I think!
I remember the responsibility he made me feel when my Aunt moved closer to us. He would make me climb the wall every day and take her left overs of the home cooked meal my mom and dad cooked together. Once there was an old Simmon's sherbert container he reused (upcycling hero!) to fill with soup. That was a tricky one to get myself and the soup over the wall in one piece!
I remember the anticipation of Good Friday! Every year he made tons of homemade kites for us to enter in school competitions and to fly at home and on Naval field. I remember the kite made of Body Shop plastic bags (reusing single use plastic again ha!), the six foot kite he made and patched, me picking out my tissue paper colors for my kite for the school competition, all the kites hanging on the wall in the dining room! I still remember him smoothing the paste on the kite sticks with his finger, the extra sturdy string he used to tie the kite to the pillar at my Uncles house, and him putting the official Cambridge Beaches kite up on Naval field, complete with his belly showing as he wrestled with the kite! My mom fed him well!
I remember how safe I felt curling up in the bed between my mom and dad. I would grab my hair pieces and sit in the middle and comb his hair. I remember how important he made me feel when I'd "comb his hair" complete with curls and parts and he would go to Arnold's just like that in his bare feet! I'm sure the bare feet probably pained my mom but I thought it was so cool! The whole, IDGAF my daughter hooked me up thing made me feel like a GIANT!
I remember the sound of the swish of his Cambridge beaches poncho, the way he slept with his arm over his eyes, the way he rubbed his eyes for no real reason, all his nieces dropping by just because, a weird rash he developed when working maintenance (I'm no good with manual labor either lol). I remember getting on the back of a bike once and my arms barely being able to wrap around his big belly (homecooked meals were always on deck!).
You see this isn't a sad story, I remember a house full of love and happy people and I still feel his presence today: every time my daughters ask for more cherries, when my niece asked me to be her daughter's Godmother, when we meet for family gatherings, when my mom holds her grandchildren. I feel him and I've always felt a strong connection to him!
It also highlighted to me that as time passes it is not stuff that we remember it's all the feels!
Daddy, I hope that you are proud of the person I am becoming. And I'm sure you already know that I inherited the big, soft heart from you! Thank you!
Happy Father's Day!