Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Letter to My Dad on Father's Day

Dear Dad,

I'm sorry I can't be there to give you black licorice, Superman socks and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses (you looked so good in them!), but I wanted to tell you these 8 things I love about you.

1.) You respect everyone...
No matter who it is, you always look at someone and nod at them in acknowledgment when you pass by. I think of this every day when I get on the elevator in my apartment building and feel someone avoiding my eyes. We walk through each other like there's no one else there, even when we're inches away. It's what we do.

But then I see that gentle, expectant look on your face when you greet someone you may or may not know. Doesn't matter--it's the same look. (I've caught you doing it to the neighbors' dogs, which makes me love you even more.). So I think of you and say "Good night" or "Have a good day"  when I get off the elevator. I kinda mumble so they may think I'm talking to myself, but I promise to keep working on it.

2)…even commonly mispronounced words
Yup, you're one of the few people I know who actually says the second "e" in vegetable and the "a" in comfortable, showing me not to overlook the little things in life. And let's not get started on "berserk!"

3) You don't talk trash about people.
It occurred to me the last time I saw you that you don't say bad stuff about ANYONE.    I think the worst I've heard you say is that someone's a "freeloader" or a "wise guy," but with all that practice, it's like you probably couldn't even insult someone if you tried.

I think this means I have to forgive you for writing that really nice letter to George Bush. : )

4) You have great skin.
93 and STILL NO WRINKLES! Seriously, folks. I think it's directly related to #3. And maybe #7.

5) You still do whatever it takes to make us feel at ease.

Oh, Dad. I know it upsets you when you can't remember things.  First of all, it doesn't matter--everybody forgets stuff. And second of all, I'm on to you. I see how you make jokes to make us feel better about it, and how you keep finding new ways to anchor yourself in the present. You'll talk about the cardinal-red flowers that have just started to bloom, or the birds who have visited our backyard that day. That's what a good dad does, and you're only getting better with age.

6) You taught me how to tie a tie, shine my shoes and keep score at a baseball game.
All of these things take a little extra time and care. And darned if I don't know a 6-4-3 double play when I see one.

7) You have ice cream every day and always give IHOP a little treat during dinner (and lunch, and, well, probably breakfast, too).
Life is to be enjoyed. Why not with caramel sauce and maraschino cherries?

8) You have great taste in women.
Barbara told me that she recently found you looking at the beautiful photograph hanging near the fireplace of you and mom on your 50th wedding anniversary. "She was such a good person," Barbara heard you say out loud. Yeah, you're right about that : )

Enjoy your day. Can you feel the big hug I'm sending you?

Daughter #5, Kid #6
(Hair still pink)

P.S. Meet you back here next Father's Day for 8 more reasons!

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