My father died ten year’s ago, but I didn’t lose him. As a matter of fact, he has become larger in my memory and I have taken the time to relish the good times and mourn the many falling outs that combine to make up our time together,
As I look back at the past ten years I hope that my father would be proud. I hope that he would read my writing and be inspired to launch into one of his fantabulous debates over history, politics and life. And I hope that he would look upon his children…his son and his daughters…and know, for just one second, how very much we love him still and remember him always.
My father was born in 1939 and grew up poor and hungry. I remember many a Saturday spent browsing through the grocery store with him while he munched on fruit swiped from the produce section. We’d go up and down every aisle…he’d select a ton of shit we didn’t need…and there’d be this thrill in him to be able to provide what we needed and also buy what we wanted. To this day, I share that sense of accomplishment when I go to the market...that I am able to put food on my family’s table and that my labor provides for that food.
My father taught that to me without a single lecture even as he gave me love, support and judgment.
He worked for decades in a corporate setting he could not stand at a job that regularly insulted his intelligence and challenged his integrity. But his gift to us was to share that with us…to let us see how tired he was, how frustrated and angry he was with a system that hired diverse talent but didn’t value diversity. He’d get up every day and return to work because it was the right ting to do despite those realities.
This father’s day I remember the many lessons my father taught me. I remember ice cream for breakfast and paying my bills before I buy something I don’t need…being active in my community and the need for community service rather than vacant criticism tossed out from a distance…and I remember those trips to the grocery store and seeing the simple joy of a man who had known great hunger being able to provide for his children as he had always dreamed of doing.
The world is complex and it seems as if a million things are happening at once…but my father’s gift to me is the lesson that life is simple and blessings, more often than not, are within easy reach.
I am, ever and always, my father’s daughter.
I am blessed that he is always with me.
Always a memory or sweet thought away.
Always and forever loved.
Happy father’s day...