Dad. Father. Pop. The Old Man. Daddy.
The names we call the first man in our lives. The man who is afraid to hold us because we might break and then is amazed when we grow up and cause all sorts of trouble.
My dad was always there for us girls, ‘his girls’ and he called us. He worked and supported us financially and emotionally, mentally and physically.
He carried us on his shoulders, held us in his arms; He laughed with us, cried with us, and shared himself with us.
I was his oldest girl of 4 girls…no boys. I was the one that was called on to help with the plumbing, the painting, the carpentry work, the handy man jobs, and all those things a son would have been assumed to help with. And then we wondered why I went into Technical Theatre–putting all of those skills to use.
My first bike was a bike that was passed down in the family that he and I tore apart, repainted blue and silver and then re-assembled. We built my first private bedroom together in the basement–that’s when I learned about doing electrical work, hanging drywall, and other fun carpentry jobs.
He was the driver on vacations and the chauffeur when we needed rides to friends. He was there for report cards and first days of school. He was there when we were sick and injured. He was there with his camera, his flip top sunshades, black socks with converse tennis shoes and fishing hat as the epitome of a tourist. He was there with handkerchiefs and strong shoulders for scrapes and bruises.
He was there for first jobs, first dates, first steps and first words. He was there standing tall and proud as we became young women. He was there when we graduated 8th grade, high school and college.
He got up early so that he could make the coffee, make our lunches, and get ready for the day before waking up mom and us kids for school. He even took special orders!
He did the laundry and mowed the lawn. He did most of the housework (mom was allergic to the soap and cleansers—and he didn’t like her going up and down the stairs with her heart problems). And yes….he taught us how to do all of that too.
He took us to playgrounds and amusement parks, tourist attractions and historical sites. He loved for us all to sing on trips, though he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket—-but he sang and laughed with us for hours as he drove.
He taught me to read a map and encouraged me to figure out directions and alternate routes. He took me for my driving test and then told me ‘to get lost’ so that I wouldn’t panic if I ever got truly lost. (Good advice! It worked!)
He and I would have late night discussions about history, and politics, and religion, and life. He explained the world as he saw it and pushed us to look at various sides.
But most of all….he was there. Through the thick and the thin, he was there.
Until he wasn’t, having succumbed to death’s call. But he lives on in “his girls'” minds. His love and guidance virtues that we seek in our life partners.
Dad—we miss you and love you. You are thought of and missed immensely. Thank you for being mine 🙂 Happy Father’s Day!