The TV is filled with ads for Father’s Day gifts – tools, clothing, sporting paraphernalia, grilling devices, even greeting cards. They make me wistful – as my own Dad has been gone for over 25 years now. He was my buddy and I miss him dearly and think of him frequently. I can still remember cuddling with him on the sofa on a lazy afternoon, nestled beside him, watching something or other on television – not really caring what it was. I smile when I remember our weekend outings together to the Chinese laundry to see the mynah bird, to the dry cleaners to drop off some shirts, the car wash or just the restaurant where he’d meet his buddies for a beer and I’d have a Shirley temple and a sandwich. What we did was not as important as having a day with him.
I remember the year I graduated from college, <1970-something> when he’d just had hip surgery. I wasn’t sure if, after encouraging me for four years, he’d be able to attend my graduation ceremony and how relieved I was that he was able to be there.
He was a champion puller of loose teeth. While he distracted with getting a good grip on the tooth, he’d pull it, the pull-ee being none the wiser until he’d produce the tooth in his handkerchief. I never felt a thing!
Daddy was not into sports as many fathers are – he didn’t watch baseball or football on TV. He watched golf and bowling – not exactly the kind of thing a young girl can sink her teeth into! But I have fond memories of watching the Olympics with him – especially the diving events, where I remember him explaining to me the importance of the “rip” entrance. I think of him every time they discuss that now on TV.
My dad was a life-long lover of books and learning, which I’ve inherited from him. He’d do something impossible – like read “Hawaii” in one night. He’d read anything not nailed down. Our bathroom was truly a library where Readers Digest was very popular. He’d have loved Trivial Pursuit!
A high school classmate who recently friended me on Facebook confided that she’d always been afraid for me because my dad was so strict – a conclusion she came to based on the fact that he wouldn’t let us name our dog what we wanted to (the dog was called Dawg, because, according to Daddy, if Tarzan could name his son Boy, he could name his dog Dawg. Period. No more discussion.) It wasn’t a deal breaker and it was just “him”. She didn’t know what a pussycat he was. His family and friends did, but don’t dare say it aloud! My friend didn’t know what she was talking about, and I shake my head sadly that she got the wrong impression of him.
There’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dear Daddy. A question recently posed was “if you could speak to one family member who has passed on, who would you pick? I’d think about my grandmother who I was pretty close to, but I’d have to choose my Dad so he could see me now… to help with my problems and revel in my joys, to hold his hand and get another hug.
That would be the best Father’s Day I could imagine!