Sunday, June 19, 2005

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

My Dad as a kid at Rock-A-Way Beach circa 1926 (bottom left)

MY DAD

As my Dad grows older it becomes hard to be away from him on Father's Day. I will be absent from the family dinner today as the rest of the clan (minus my brother who lives in NYC) gathers in honor of the day.

I wish I had paid closer attention to the stories my Dad told about growing up in NYC. I wish I had written down all the stories he told about WWII. They are locked in his mind now, the key lost forever.

What I have are my memories of my Dad. My Dad's father was from the old country and an immigrant. He was one of the unlucky ones who could not handle it, was an alcoholic and abandoned his family when my Dad was six. It is amazing that he did not have a typical role model to show him how to be a Dad yet he did the best he could.  To all his six children, he was the greatest.

I realize that now.

We sat at the table and had dinner together every evening. He would ask questions about school and then have his nightly quiz. "What is the capital of California?". "How do you spell prestidigitator?"

When I began High School in another city, my Dad would take me to school in the mornings on his way to work at IBM. He was late for work for four years! I remember dreading those drives in the morning before they happened! What would we talk about for the 25 minute drive. I don't think it ever really was a problem.

Years and years later when I moved to Florida and did not like it and wanted to return home, my parents allowed me to stay with them until I got back on my feet. He was retired by that time and most afternoons we would sit and have lunch together. Those are the best memories for me being with my Dad. He talked and talked about his youth, the war, his mother, his family, his wonderful life.

Sometimes now, my Dad will lean forward in his chair and point a finger at me and announce to all others in the room, "Mary was the best swimmer out of all my kids! She was a champion!"

I love those moments.

I love my Dad, and I miss my Dad. He was the greatest and it is because of him and his unyielding faith in each of his off spring that has inspired each of us to pursue our own dreams and reach them.

Happy Fathers Day to the Best Dad that ever lived.


 

22 comments:

sistercdr said...

So touching, Mary.  A wonderful father is such a gift.

slapinions said...

*They are all locked in his mind now, the key lost forever.*

Great line from a great post. Even aside from your writing, you have a knack for finding the perfect pic to compliment a post.

Dan

http://journals.aol.com/slapinions/Slap-Inionscom

martinsek5 said...

Wow, I am both jealous and so very happy for you at the same time.  I'm learning to celebrate Father's Day in a new way, and that's through watching my husband becuz he is such a great father.  I wish that everyone could have a Dad as wonderful as yours. No wonder you miss him so much today.  Pamela

shellys555 said...

Nice post. One of my early memories is from when I was 5 and my father took me to the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach to watch the fireworks for our first Fourth of July in Howard Beach, NY. My mother stayed home with my sister who was 2 at the time.

Special memories for a special day.

ksquester said...

Mary, This is a wonder tribute to your Dad. Your love for him shines through this post!   Anne

krobbie67 said...

Awww....this is beautiful Mary. It gave me chills. Happy Father's Day to your dad too! :-) ---Robbie

indigosunmoon said...

Aww Mary...<sniff sniff>  I just loved
this entry.  Thanks for sharing your
memories with us.
Much love,
Connie

readmereadyou said...

Ah, that was so special. It got me teary. Lovely.
Angela

txsguinan said...

"...I wish I had paid closer attention to the stories my Dad told about growing up in NYC. I wish I had written down all the stories he told about WWII...."

You can't imagine how many times I've thought *exactly* the same thing.  My Dad was a master storyteller, although I'm afraid I didn't appreciate it then.  I'd give anything to hear him tell those tales again now.  But of course, it's too late.

Beautiful entry.  You've spoken for me.  

nellemclaughlin said...

What a lovely tribute to your Dad. Sounds like you are blessed. :) Nelle

ryanagi said...

Bittersweet, my dear. There is something more tragic about losing someone in mind before body. They are there...but not there.

mrccgoody said...

I love this tribute to your dad.  I know it's hard being away now, and dealing with his illness...you're so very blessed to have had such a good father in your life.  

sonensmilinmon said...

Beautiful tribute to your dad.  Between you and Jae - I'm really misty eyed now.

Monica

umashouse said...

a very touching entry .   makes me realize my excuses for not going to visit mine were just that....excuses.   unexcusable.

deabvt said...

Absolutely beautiful!
Thanks,
V

dymphna103 said...

Wow that was a touching story and I was so pleased to share it.  Thanks   john

wfhbear said...

What a fine honor for you Dad. You have written about him and now many others know his name and his life. Memories of warmth and love are to be cherished. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and memories with us. My Regards, Bill.

lisaram1955 said...

I'm sorry you couldn't be with your Dad on his day.  You paid him a beautiful tribute here, and we all appreciate it.  Lisa  :-]

judithheartsong said...

very nice post, thank you for sharing. judi

deveil said...

very touching tribute!

Derek

delela1 said...

Precious entry!  Hold close the memories of today, for they will be tomorrow's treasures.
~Dona
http://journals.aol.com/delela1/BlueSkiesandGentleBreezes

mtrib2 said...

The photo is great.  Your Dad is certainly the image of all around good guy and mentor.  -Mark-