Another well thought and planned post with pictures gone awry but the pictures are memorized in my brain.
I am a daddy’s girl. For what drives my mom crazy, the hours upon hours of watching football, silly movies and bathroom noises, I am my father’s daughter. I remember her telling a story once about when I was little, dad was working and she was relieved because there would be no football on that day. Apparently, even when I was little I knew that Saturdays and Sundays belonged to football. Mom never got a break.
Dad is the oldest of five kids, when he went to get a job, his father told him which one, when it came time to buy himself a car, his father told him which one. In many ways, the military reared son decided that his daughter didn’t have to do what he wanted but what she wanted.
I was, well, still am…spoiled. I was also the receiver of many lectures. The best being the first time I took a plane to my destination of choice. My dad hates to fly and after a few flights that he could not get out of for work he made a decision to not step on another airplane again.
I was 20, preparing to fly into Dulles for a week with my then boyfriend. I was excited to see the boyfriend, go into DC and just explore. Dad drove me to the airport and went to the gate with me while we waited for boarding. Yes, a long time ago, you could see your friends and family off at the gate.
We walked over to the big windows, watching the planes, when dad asked, “Are you sure you want to do this? I mean, it is a long way down you know.” With a resounding yes from me and probably a shrug and an eye roll from him; we waited until I was called to board.
This conversation ended up repeating itself for several years when I would call and talk to him as I was waiting to board my plane. I think it is one of the funnier moments in our father/daughter life because while I am a lot like him, I also like to rub in things were we are not alike. NYC, flying, DC, flying. . .
That conversation was discontinued after 9/11 but for me, it is one that reminds me that while he may not like something, he has no problems letting his little girl go off and enjoy them.
While I may not completely appreciate the nose that I have inherited from him, I do have to thank him for the creativity, ability to be my own person and more than likely never find a man good enough for me. And this all goes back to the lectures, “don’t ever rely upon anyone except yourself,” “you are your own person, we have accept that and respect that,” and “don’t make the same mistakes I made financially.” Well, two out of three can’t be that bad can they?
And then there is Popa, Grandfather and Pop. . . apparently I hit the jackpot with all three of these great men. I have been told that they all used to slip quarters into my carrier from the time I was a baby. I kind of remember Pop, he was dad’s grandfather. A kind man who I remember from the pictures of all of us together. Even in old age, he had a full head of hair.
Grandfather and his pipes. I will still stop and take all the air in when I smell one. It was a wonderful smell. He also had his ring finger and pinky amputated for Parkinson’s I believe; he kept the three remaining fingers in tip top strength. Mom used to love the shoulder rubs he gave with that hand, others cringed when he reached out with that hand.
Popa, well, this is a man who didn’t have much schooling but taught himself by reading and writing. In fact, there are still things sitting around with his name or initials on it. He loved animals and would feed anything that came by the house. HE doted on me probably far more than he did the rest of the grandkids but that was probably due to the fact that he was then retired and the last grandkid to come around before me was ten years old. I got lucky to have such a fun and loving man as a grandfather.
The men in my life shaped me into the person I am today. Sadly my mom now gets to deal with double the nuttiness in terms of dad and me. But they all taught me different things in life and I take those lessons forward with me.
So here are to all the fathers on your special day. May you each enjoy it and for my dad, I hope you enjoyed the chicken fried rice.