For Father’s Day, yesterday, I thought I’d write a letter to my father rather than fall back on a pre-fab, Hallmarkian, sentiment.
Throughout my life, I have been able to rely on you for so many things: inflating bike tires and straightening handlebars; tucking me in at night with the perfect number of blankets; setting up the tent in the best location for sun/shade/drainage/etc.; driving me to school after I’d missed the bus (again); taking the fish off the hook; showing up for every band concert, halftime show, and parade; taking me for ice cream on a hot summer night; shoveling snow off a pond in winter so I could ice skate; making a protected area in the basement where our dog could deliver her puppies; whooping on the sidelines during sporting events; paying for dance classes and camps; helping me grasp free-body, physics diagrams; paying for my college education; helping Andy and I buy our first house; diapering and feeding my babies when, in my early forties, I suddenly found myself with three under the age of three; and so much more.
You taught me to think beyond what is taught and to look beyond what I can see; to respect others who are less fortunate than I; to greet people with a smile whether they are friends standing at my front door or strangers selling papers on the street; to recognize the wide variety of circumstances in which people live and the profound impacts of privilege and deprivation; to be grateful for all I’ve been given and discontented with the plight of the unfortunate; to respect authority but resist complacency.
Your unyielding support is something I treasure and strive to provide to my own kids. This note is one way of thanking you, as are my frequent visits and oversight of your care. Please know, however, that you’ve done far more for me in my 57 years than I’ve been able to do for you during the sunset of your long and laudable life.
Love you much,