Fathers and Daughters

Today is the day my father would have turned 74 if he were still alive. But he died seven years ago of pancreatic cancer (not one of the better cancers to get).

Seven years and I still miss him my dad. Seven years and my joy at anything I achieve is dampened by the fact that I can’t share it with him. Seven years and one of my first thoughts when I hear my daughter sing or play something new on the piano is how much he would have enjoyed it.

My father’s impact on me was enormous. I sometimes joke (actually only half-joke) that he had a significant hand in both the best and worst of who I am. But what I tend to remember now are little things..the ordinary things that make up the fabric of our past:

Being a young girl about to go to her first recital and my father walking in with flowers and telling me that a girl’s first flowers should come from her father.

Dancing with my father at one wedding or another..often to My Way, which I always thought of as our song. (That is the song he and I danced to at my own wedding.)

Belting out Harry Belafonte tunes with him in our living room.

He and his friend Jack driving my high school debate team to a tournament…and having to deal with the motel proprietors when we left the rooms a bit worse for the wear.

A box of Russell Stover chocolate appearing every year on Valentine’s Day, wherever I was.

And so on and so forth.  All those little things add up.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you.

May your soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen. (And see you around sometime.)