It is Father's Day. I have many in my life who are fathers....my husband, my two brothers, father-in-law, brother-in-law, step-sons, and now even my own son is a father. They are all very dear to me. And while my own father has been gone for 15 years now (exactly....tomorrow) I still think of him so dearly on this day.
This is not his picture. There are a couple of pictures I think of when I think of him though. A picture of he and I by the front door of our house. I was in high school with long blonde hair and braces. He looked very dapper in his tucked-in shirt and white belt. I can only imagine he was wearing white shoes also. So 70's. Behind us on the wall, a string art picture. Again, so 70's. I love it.
I also think of him sitting at our kitchen table when we lived in Niagara Falls in a turtleneck and cigarette in hand. So 60's.
When I was in a school play, he was there. When I went flying down the driveway on my brother's mini bike with a stuck throttle, he was there. When I got stung by a bee, he was there to spit on my hand and add dirt to make mud to make it stop hurting. Singing in chorus--there. Dancing in Lancerette's--there. Guarding my sophomore homecoming float all night from marauding seniors--there. He was also there on the worse day of my life 19 years ago. In my mind, he was always there for me. To me, he is still there for and with me. His laughter is just as present in my mind as it always was. The way he walked, talked, and even smelled. All I have to do is visit my brother, Tim, for all of that to come back too. He is his spitting image.
I love you, Dad. I always will. Your words of encouragement have never left me. When I think of you now, I picture you having a grand ole time in heaven. I can hear your laughter from here. Enjoy your day, Dad.
To all the other fathers in my life, I love you all as well. Never forget to fill your world with love and laughter.