It is Father's Day and although I am sitting here with Phil, who is an excellent father and Jacob, our youngest child, my thoughts turn to my dad.
We had a complicated relationship, not always what I wanted it to be and I think it was a rough time for me growing up until we learned to ignore each other. As a teenager and in college, we barely spoke although Monday through Friday, we religiously ate dinner as a family every evening at 5:30. As soon as possible, I bolted from home and began a life. He got sick, stayed sick. Way too early he left us and I never got the chance to know him as I became an adult. I wonder how our relationship would have changed?
Still we remain father and daughter. I have only one wish today; that he could see my sons. How brilliant and wonderful they are. I would want them to spend time together. I would want for him to teach them things, to talk about his father, to tell them the way it was when he was a boy growing up on a farm while his daddy worked the coal mines. So many things I wished my boys knew.
Still my fondest memory, the one that still brings me to a total mess of tears and feelings; is the one of him sleeping in a chair, his arms folded on the edge of my bed, his head resting on those arms, as I woke up from an appendectomy when I was 7 years old. That was my dad. That is the man I miss.
Happy Father's day to all the dads out there and those of you still lucky enough to have a dad in your life? You need to hold and hug them extra tight today.