Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom."

~Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

I don't usually recognize Mother's Day or Father's Day. Both my parents are gone, dad died in 1995, and my mother in 2003. I wasn't close to either of them as my parents, but I was close to both of them as individuals. I hope that makes sense. I don't want to go too deeply into the disfunction, trust me it was significant, but I do find myself thinking about dad often, like now, Father's Day. I can't really help it I guess, I inherited so much from him, like his sense of humor. His flat feet, and assorted moles. We both have tender stomachs, and if left to our own for any length of time, we mess with people. Sometimes for sport. It's naughty, so I don't indulge often, but if someone really has it coming, I give it to them. Like I said, it's naughty so I don't.

 Dad taught me to be a progressive. He is the reason I have any values at all. My greatest phobia is my fear of fire. I acquired it one night, when I was 3 years old. It was a HOT summer night, and my dad was due home at any time, when we heard the familiar sound of his carpool pull up outside, but instead of the usual one door slam, on this night it was all the doors on the VW Bus slamming, and men were screaming "FIRE!" By the time my sister, mother and I reached the curb, we could smell the thick, heavy smoke coming from a neighbors house three doors away, that was fully engulfed in flames! And there was dad, and his friends, pulling the family to safety. You could almost feel the heat of the flames. I can still see it clearly after nearly 50 years!

My dad and I had a difficult relationship due to the mental illness that both he and my mother suffered from, but even in the middle of all the crazy there were certain constants. I think of them when I remember dad. I think of the best part of what made us father and daughter. The values he taught me. The way he could make candy bars materialize out of nowhere. His love of comedy and laughing. And so much more he taught me. Little by little. Little moments here and there. It was always about the little things. Like the time he bought me two laundry baskets, just after I got married, and brought them to my new apartment as a surprise. That was 23 years ago, and I still have them! 

Those two laundry baskets remain among my most cherished possessions.

Thank You, Dad!

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

PS... My father helped restore the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. He had an amazing time participating in it's restoration, and I know he was at his most happy when he was on the ship. :)

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