It’s Father’s Day. I’m celebrating this with my husband, the father of my our two, really cool boys.
The majority of my facebook friends are posting well wishes or “miss you dad” notes to their timeline. I had nothing to post, until I thought about it a bit…
My parents divorced when I was a teenager. He and I became estranged. It was mutual; he didn’t try and I gave up trying to stay in touch. He died in 2000 or was is 2001.
He wasn’t perfect; but neither am I.
I don’t have a photo of him to share because it’s packed in a storage unit with the rest of my stuff. My current house is too small for everything my family owns so we just have what we need in the house.
Don’t feel sorry for me; I do have some awesome memories of my dad from my childhood. He was really cool. Dad was a professional photographer and I was his advertising cover girl: he used portraits of me in his ads. He was also my school’s photographer. He developed his photos in a “dark room” he constructed in the basement. I used to sit in there with him, watching negatives and then photos develop. We’d listen to Herb Alpert or Burt Bacharach or some Hawaiian tunes on the turntable and talk about life.
Dad would take us (me, mom and my two brothers) camping, to amusement parks and the beach every summer. He drove us to these places in his blue Vista Cruiser. I’ve seen I-95 from Canada to St. Augustine as a child. He protected us from bears at the campgrounds we would stay in.
My dad put a pool in the backyard for hot summer days. He would grill burgers, dogs or steam fresh caught Maryland Blue Crabs in our backyard.
He taught me how to ride a bike, shoot a gun, take good pictures, collect lightning bugs, use the lawn mower and do the gardening. He taught me how to play basketball, croquet and baseball. He took turns with Mom reading the Bible to me and my brothers. He taught me how to build a fort and my brothers and I made a really cool one. It sat on cinderblocks, had plywood walls, 2 windows and a swinging door. We painted it red.
Dad went to all the “Daddy/Daughter” events with me at school, church and Girls Scouts. He sat through piano, ballet, jazz and tap dance recitals.
He taught me how to body surf and how to swim in the ocean. We’d step on crabs and scream, collect shells and build sand castles. I think I got my love of beach culture from him and I can definitely get a deep tan like he did.
He was forgiving: I broke the kitchen window with a fly ball one day. The neighborhood kids scattered when he came outside to check on us. He forgave me and we worked together to cover the window until it could be replaced. Then he told me and my friends we could keep playing but to move farther away from the house. The neighbors scolded him to not grounding me but he said it was an accident and forgave me. Cool.
He let me and my brothers raise a turtle we found. We called it Myrtle and dad taught me how to care for it. He taught me how to care for dogs and fish, too, except we accidentally killed the fish, but started over again and the new ones lived longer.
Dad bought me my first stereo and gave me a television for high school graduation. He gave me all kinds of cool stuff; some of it I did not appreciate but I’m super grateful for now.
He had a really dry and corny sense of humor which I think he passed on to me.
During and after high school he wasn’t there much for me and I wasn’t there much for him. I called him to say I got married, I called him to say I had kids, he met them both as infants. Then he died.
I’ll see him again one grand day, and when I do we’ll make up for lost time, I’m sure. For now I have some cool memories. Thanks Dad. Happy Father’s Day.