Gifts from my Father…
Did his love of Sunday drives inspire my wanderlust, a sense of adventure and love of the outdoors? He took me to see manatee and dolphins, museums, monuments and battlefields, fishing and camping, the Atlantic ocean and National Parks.
My stride and pace as I walk match his. I have his wry sense of humor but not the gap between his teeth that his smile reveals. He taught me a sense of propriety, right from wrong, gifting me with good manners and cleanliness. Although he loved boiled potatoes and hotdogs with pork n’ beans (ick!) he taught me the value of eating well. His lessons weren’t always gentle, his bark being worse than his bite, yet he taught me independence, how to treat others, and how to treat myself. I didn’t inherit his swarthy olive complexion however my fair skin tans beautifully – from his genes no doubt. We’re both bird-nerds I’m happy to say.
When I was 6, we lived in Brooklyn, New York for a while. A young man, maybe 20, a stranger invited me to sit on his lap. I didn’t know the possible danger in that invitation. Dad saw this, called me to him by my full name (yikes!) sending me hurriedly onto our porch – he then was nose to nose with the stranger talking through gritted teeth in a tone I’d never heard before. I never saw the young man again. A Fathers protection, keeping me safe from potential harm – teaching me to be aware – my hero.
I miss my Dad, we live on opposite coasts, and look forward to when I can see him again. In the meantime, I’m happy with short phone calls talking about nothing in particular, or something with meaning but always with love. There is so much more I could tell about him, how who I am today is because I have been carried on his shoulders. I have his lineage and I’m grateful – grateful he’s my Dad.
I love you Dad!