With all of this past weekend’s Father’s Day happenings, I barely had the time to think straight. Between all the Dads in my life – I went from BBQ, to breakfast in bed, to potluck. Clarification – the breakfast in bed wasn’t actually MY dad(s), lol, but I still had to supervise the preparation since my children seem to be kitchen retarded. It was only after the weekend ended that I actually got to take a breath and, upon doing so, a certain clarity came to me. I am blessed. Blessed. With so many people that don’t have a father to spend that day with – I have three.
I have my dad, Dave. I have his eyes. I also have memories that he may not realize still take up space in my mind. I remember our little green house on Bataglia. I remember the wrestling and rough housing with this big man who always let us think we were somehow stronger than him – and I remember laughing and squealing as I, with my little girl frame, claimed victory over my defeated dad. I have vague memories of youth group/bible studies that took place in our home…and I have a clear memory of the announcement made at one of those gatherings, that we would be moving away. Wait, not WE as in ALL of us…just my mom and siblings. It would still be some time before I would really understand what divorce was – and decades longer to really grasp what it meant for a father to have to say goodbye to his children. I love you, Dad. I want you to know that Ronnie Milsap will always hold a special place in my heart. It was Almost Like a Song still makes me cry…but you make me smile.
I have my dad, Pat. Our connection isn’t genetic – but I have his heart. It is the same part of him that raised and loved four kids that weren’t his (and had three more with my mom) – that is in me, raising and loving seven kids who weren’t mine. I remember riding with him, in his maroon Thunderbird, to the pie house after he picked me up from kindergarten. Just me and him. We sat and ate pie. He smoked, not a big deal back then, and when I asked him why the smoke would always drift toward me, he said – Because smoke follows beauty. That is my first memory of thinking I was pretty. I remember hot chocolate at Big Lake Lodge, and the Alaska State Fair. Mostly, I remember watching him work behind that bar, during a time when a child could sit a the bar and watch her dad do so, looking at the marachino cherries and wishing that I liked them because they were so pretty…but I didn’t like them at all. I love you, Dad. Shirley Temples with uneaten marachino cherries will always be a cherished childhood memory. I never knew how hard you worked until I also had a large family. Thank you so much.
And finally – Antonio. The phenomenal father that God created for my children. As much as he loved his first-born, you’d think there wouldn’t be anything left for the four that followed – but then, you’d be wrong. I have never seen a man
love IN love with his children this deeply. After twenty years, I certainly have an abundance of great memories with this dad too but they’re not all G-rated so I can’t share, lol. What I KNOW is that each of our five children will go forth, carrying precious memories of their daddy, and pass on pieces of him to their own children. Thank you, Baby…and thank You, Lord.