My dad was fifty when I was born. I was the lucky recipient of an adoring father who never wavered in his constant love and attention. I know I am very fortunate to have had that kind of dad; one who treated me with kindness, respect, and as though I was someone special. I have known many people who did not have the benefit of a decent and solid father and several have told me what a profound effect that lack has had in their lives. They have suffered in ways that I can’t even fathom and I have come to recognize what heft the simple gift of love carries throughout life. My dad certainly had his share of flaws like we all do, but when it came to loving me, he was about as close to perfect as a man can be. Nothing flashy or showy. Just pure and constant like water flowing from a natural spring.
When I think of my dad these days, I think about his cowboy hat, his boots, his old pickup truck and his penchant for waxing poetic about the beauty of the alfalfa growing in the fields. He loved North Central Texas and the people who lived there. I never once had the feeling that he wished he lived anywhere else. He was home there, settled and happy, and valued his close relationships with his family as well as lifelong friends. When we went out to feed the cows in the pasture, I sensed that he loved those cows and calves, appreciated the beauty of nature and was at peace in his world. He wasn’t always at peace with my mother, but that is another story.
I’m sorry my dad is not around to enjoy his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He would have loved every one of them just as he loved me, and their lives would be richer just from knowing him. Alas, his memory is alive and well and I do my best to offer that same level of constancy to my own children. Love does indeed beget love.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.
I wrote 90% of this last night but literally fell asleep with the computer in my lap. Thought I would get it out early today to count for my 20 minutes of writing yesterday!
I have just returned from visiting Sarah, Gregorio and the kids. Ray is up in Ojai with Liz, and Rachael and Ariel are in Las Vegas. I think Ron elected to bach it tonight in town versus making the trek to Ojai. I was in Ojai earlier today – spent the night there last night at the orange grove – but came home early because I had a student this afternoon. Also, I had plans to see my former writing student, Fong, and his girlfriend Kelly before Fong heads off to medical school at Miami International University. As it turns out, Sarah requested a visit tonight since Gregorio was going to play soccer and Fong and Kelly live nearer to Sarah than to me. Sarah suggested we all come over for Thai takeout, which we did. Sarah and Fong have a connection because she was available for advice while we were putting together his essays and applications for medical school.
We had a lovely evening together. Nico and Luna provided endless entertainment, just being the cute and nice kids they are. Fong and Kelly were so sweet with them, playing with them and helping with rescue efforts for Nico over and over as he climbed up on a chair or the couch or a table and needed help getting back down. (He, at 17 months, is a constant motion machine.) Luna regaled us with stories of the hike she and Nico went on earlier in the day with Mommy and Daddy (Sarah has a couple of days off before starting her last week of her final 14-hour-a-day hell rotation). Luna was especially enthralled with the stream they found while hiking that allowed for lots of splashing and having fun and there were NO EELS! Not sure where that concern came from, but she was pleased.
I am so happy that last minute connection worked for everyone. I had a chance to see my beloved daughter for a few hours (and see her graduation outfit for her official end of residency next week), see the grandkids (and a brief but sweet visit with Gregorio, pre-soccer game) and also have a good time with Fong and Kelly before Fong heads out to Florida for his own medical school adventure.
Thank you, Sarah, for the idea and for hosting!
Life is very good.