Tag Archives: Fathers and Daughters

Thank You, Dad | Father’s Day 2019



I am very grateful to Dad today.

The summer, especially June, especially in my family, is filled with celebrations. We have many, many birthdays and anniversaries and we tend to get together for each one of these events or, at least, celebrate them in combination when we are together.

Father’s Day is, of course, one of these celebrations and something very obvious occurs to me on the occasion of this Father’s Day: without my father, we would not be getting together for any of these events. In fact, this combination of people would not be getting together at all. Some of us most of us would not even be alive.

It’s obvious, I know. It’s how families work: a mom and a dad get together and begats began begetting. I understand. And, equally obviously, without our mother, we’d not be around either but today is about Dad and the following is true of him:

  • Dad instilled in us a deep love of family. He was deeply loyal and incredibly protective. My mothers and sisters inhabit that space he left us.
  • Dad was incredibly dry and funny and the whole family continues to lovingly joke with and tease each other just the way Dad did.
  • Dad cared about serving others and I think he would be so proud of the lives his children and grandchildren have chosen and are choosing.
  • Dad loved food and gatherings and all of us around a table and, try as I might, I cannot avoid the continuation of family celebrations. In truth I do not want to

I know that not everyone has the father and grandfather my sisters and were blessed to have. We were blessed and every day, my dad influences my life. No one is ever really gone, right? Dad is not. He lives in days like Father’s Day but he lives in each of us as well and in the many people his life of service touched and in the lives his family continues to touch

Happy Father’s Day, Old Man. And thank you.

 

 

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20 In The Past/20 In The Future – Sous Chef is 20!


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Kateri BirthdaySous Chef is turning 20 today and it seems an appropriate time to look back on the past 20 years of her life and to look forward to the next 20. There could hardly be a father more proud of his daughter than I am of her. I miss her when I do not talk to her. I am always thrilled to see her. She is driven. She is kind. She is compassionate. She is motivated. She is a terrific student, friend, sister, daughter, person. She is 20 today and it seems a perfect time to apply a little 20/20 vision:

THE PAST

“Bearsy” + Disney Channel on the radio + High School Musical + Learning to cook + Student Body Co-President, middle school + Manifest Destiny Monopoly + Middle school graduation speaker + Friends + Softball tryouts + Dancing with the Stars + Learning to drive + “We’re Kind of a Big Dill” + Valedictorian of her high school graduation + Presidential Scholar + Leaving for college (sob!) + Wisdom teeth out + Studying nursing + White Coat Ceremony + Madrid! + Getting her first apartment

THE FUTURE

Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten + Unwritten +

Her future is completely unwritten, but there are few people who are better poised than she to make a special one.

Happiest of birthdays, Sous Chef! We love you!

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Pepsi, With No Ice; Father’s Day 2018



“I’ll have a Coke with no ice.”

I must have heard Dad order that drink at restaurants hundreds of times. Literally. It has always struck me as funny that he did not drink Coke at home.

He drank Pepsi

Dad loved Pepsi. Loved it. This is something I have adopted from him. I do not drink coffee. I drink diet soda. Dad would have a Pepsi in the morning and keep drinking it right through dinner. And people knew this about him. They loved this about him.

The Mater told me this week that she was out visiting his grave with my sister. As they got close to the headstone, they saw something that seemed out of place.

It was not.

It was perfectly in place.

Someone had left Dad a two liter of Pepsi.

What a lovely gesture. Dad would have appreciated it. He was a man who did many wonderful things – many, many, many.

Dad was many wonderful things himself. And he did wonderful things for me.

I am the father I am because of the father he was.

I have written much about my dad over the course of the years. I remind myself that I am one of the (many, I hope) lucky ones who had a great relationship with his father, one that I reflect on and treasure, one that taught me who I was and who I could be. I remind myself that our relationship was special.

I remind myself that I am the father I am because of the father he was.

He encouraged me. He counseled me. He challenged me. He corrected me. He laughed with me. He teased me. He supported me. He taught me. He inspired me.

He loved me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I am glad you can celebrate it with a Pepsi.

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Dad In Photos – His Birthday: January 18, 2018


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Today is my father’s birthday and while he is not still with us in life, he is always going to be with us. A few years ago I said I choose to think of Dad as being “away” and that remains the way I consider him. He is simply away, but never too far.

I was fortunate this year to come across a collection of photos I had not laid eyes on in quite a long time and, for Dad today, I share some of them.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Many of the things you missed this past year would have surprised you… many would not. But all of things that have gone on are just a little less sweet because I could not share them readily with you.

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19 Years of Sous Chef… Photo Essay


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Sous Chef is 19 years old today.

It may seem sentimental, but I thank God for every one of those 6,935 days she has been alive. Each of those days is a blessing. Each of those days is a gift. Each of those days is a grace.

She is a wonderful young woman, as likely to be volunteering her time with a marginalized population as she is to be having a raucous time with her many good friends.

That I am reluctant to see her grow up and beyond The Cinnamon Girl and me is cliched and obvious.

That I am more proud than words can express of her is, I hope, equally obvious.

That she is one of the shining lights of my life and one of the best people I have ever known is gospel truth.

Happiest of birthdays, Sweetheart. Many, many, many happy returns.

 

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Dad Was A Grandpa, Too : Six Years Later…


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Six years ago today, my father passed away.

Love you, Dad.

My family –  my mother and The Cinnamon Girl and me and our kids and my sisters and their kids (all the kids who can make it as most of them are not really kids anymore) – have taken an annual trip to the Colorado mountains for many years. We rarely miss a year, to the tune of only 1 or 2 in the past 20. In fact, Dad took this very mountain trip less than two weeks before he died.

It is kind of a big deal.

This year’s excursion was last week and, as we do quite often, we got to talking about Dad. It was joyous talk, fun talk, irreverent talk. It was kind of like him: laughing, smiling and saying things just a little off color, a little edgy.

At one point (and, perhaps, I was a few “pops” into my evening) I unleashed what I thought was a killer impression of Dad. It was like most impressions: not too realistic, broadly comic and capturing only a caricature. I am pretty sure I would not have shared it had Mom been in the room, but she was asleep and it was not mean spirited. It was funny and it brought the proverbial house down. I repeated it a few times to more laughs but then I realized it was so spot on it was making my youngest nephew sad. Whether it was because he missed his grandpa or because he thought it was mean, I do not know. But, thinking about my nephew today made me realize something else: that my kids and nieces and nephews know only a piece of what they are missing.

519.jpgI got to have Dad for 41 years, my older sister for, well, more and my younger sister for, well, less (I am not going to reveal their relative ages!). The kids barely got him for 10 years they actually remember… the littlest boys for less than that.

So, in thinking about them, I decided this year to put a bit of the eulogy I wrote to work in remembrance of, not just Dad, but his relationship with his grandkids.

“Our kids all love their grandpa.  But they simply cannot understand right now how much he loved them.  His youngest grandson will be told it was Dad who just a few short weeks ago went to get him his first bike.  Maybe we’ll even remind him of the time he locked his poor Grandpa in the shed.  And laughed.  His brother will remember Grandpa in his Rockies jacket sitting on the stands at his t-ball games.  Every time my goddaughter gets dressed up for a party, she’ll probably hear Grandpa asking “what costume do you have on today?”  My daughter may not have loved it when Dad would pick up a flashlight, turn it on, hold it to her ear and pretend the light showed right through from one side of her head to the other with no brain to block it, but I bet she’ll miss him doing it.  My oldest niece should know that every goal she scored on the soccer pitch really pleased her grandpa – he loved how tough she was, he was especially proud of her the day she accidentally broke another little girl’s arm.  That was the residual North Denver tough in him I think.   When my son got an X-Box, Dad drove him crazy saying to him: “X-Box?  Who cares?  I have a Z-Box” and you would have loved their arguments over the Wii video game system.  Dad insisted on calling the Wii a “They.”  My stepson first met Dad about five years ago on Halloween when Dad was completely dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow… that, by-the-way, was quite a sight, Dad really sold out for it.  When my stepson saw Dad again a few weeks later and noted that Dad still had a protruding stomach, he was surprised. He thought that was part of the costume.  Who could blame him?

It is hard for us all to believe that we were on our Annual Family Mountain Trip up in Breckenridge two and a half weeks ago, sitting with Dad, teasing him, sharing meals, sharing our stories, panicking as the power went out because of his oxygen, watching movies he loved like The Sandlot and The Natural.  It was so important to him to go on that trip.  So important to spend time with his grandkids.  So important that they knew how much he loved them.  Guys, you all know that Grandpa would do anything for you, right?  You know that he did so much for you.

Just as he has done for me and my sisters throughout our lives.”

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Only Three of Us Are Lucky Enough… Father’s Day 2017



The older I get and the more people I encounter in my life, the more I understand that I am one of the lucky ones. Not everyone enjoys a terrific relationship with their father for reasons of all kinds and I am sorry for those who do not.

But I am blessed enough to have had a great father and I will speak for my two sisters here: we were blessed to have Dad as our dad.

Whatever I try to be as a father, I learned from how my father fathered me. When I think of the memories I would like my children to have of me when they are adults parenting kids on their own, I want them to have memories similar to the ones I have of my dad.

  • Walking across the campus of my college alma mater, Catholic University, last week, I said to The Cinnamon Girl “That’s where the bank was where I opened my first adult account. Dad and I did that one afternoon my first week on campus.” He was taking care of me as he ever did.
  • Just yesterday, the hashtag #FirstComics was making the electronic rounds and I tweeted a picture of the first comic books in my collection (comics which are framed on the wall of my office). Dad bought them for me.
  • I think of dad each time I strap on my twelve string guitar. It has a hole in it that dad fixed.
  • We bought a new car in the spring and the impulse to check in with dad on what he thought was so very strong. He always had car advice even if it was not always good advice.
  • When my mother-in-law passed away last week, one of the first thoughts I had was how would Dad respond? What would Dad do?

I could share many more memories but I will conclude with this: I love my father. I always will.

I am one of the lucky three who can call him my dad.

Family 1989

Me, my sisters, our mother and father in London in 1989. Lucky family to have Dad as our dad…

 

 

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