The sadness crept in early this morning and made its home inside me. I could not understand it.
Then I glanced at the calendar – oh, yeah. June 14th.
My dad died on this day seven years ago. And my sisters and I spent the next week preparing our ritual of good-bye.
I had seen him only three weeks earlier. His cancer had returned and he detested dialysis and all its side-effects. Still, we managed to have a nice week together – out on a boat, some favorite restaurants for lunch and short drives in the fresh Florida air.
I was remembering that week today, but mostly I was recalling all the years of his presence – always there when I needed him.
One story: when a high school love broke my heart – moments after I left for college - my dad sent me a card and said that the boy would be sorry one day – one day when I was off on new adventures, when someone better would love me. Years later, my attorney dad represented a client who was suing my erstwhile love. When the two had a chance to talk, my dad said, “Well, you broke my daughter’s heart. So, I guess now you will have to pay a price.” Of course, he didn’t actually take revenge via the legal action, but that he would enjoy the opportunity to plant the suggestion into a conversation, was lovely.
A good father is always a daughter’s cheerleader and advocate – in the practical details of life as well as affairs of the heart. And today my heart remembers my dad and his legacy of love, humor, wisdom.
(S-R archives photo)