“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.” (g. naylor)
very true words. since moving to fl. he is no longer a car ride away from me. and i miss that feeling - knowing i can see his face in three hours. a lot has changed since my mom passed away but what hasn't changed is the way i feel about my dad. the man who has always been larger than life to me. the man who could bring me to my knees with just a look. we all know that feeling. you know the one when you're sitting in church and you are nudging your brother, he nudges you back - you're not behaving! oh yes, that look - a simple little lean in, a simple little "look our way" and we were done. if only i could have such power! the man who fed me my desire for photography without even knowing it. i tried to find a photo of me with my dad when i was little. i'm sure it's there somewhere but i couldn't find one. and then i realized, like me, he was always behind the lens not in front of it. he is the man i always sought approval from. still do. the man who taught me how to ride my bike, encouraging me to keep pedaling as i sailed across the front yard on my green schwinn. i can still picture that moment. he is the man who demanded respect, even from a 4 year old, i would always say "yes ma'am!" (i always confused the ma'am and the sir.) the man who brought me to paris when i was 17 because i managed to "bring my grades" up my senior year in high school. the man who took me to dinner at locke-obers in boston and told me how when he was at m.i.t. he could never afford to take my mom to dinner there. i asked him if he ever thought that some day he would take his youngest of five there for dinner and his answer was "yes, i did". the man who told me after touring my first apartment in boston, "if there's ever a fire, do me a favor, jump!" - ah yes that was some bad apartment! the man who taught me and my sisters his barbershop tags so we could sing in harmony. the man who always took my friends out to dinner so we would have a "decent" meal - we were young college grads making our way. the man who was so incredibly generous he was deemed the name "dollar bill". the man who tells you a story by leading you on this journey and then zap you with the punchline. so very funny. the man who made pancakes on the weekends. the.best.pancakes. the man who would make us get up at 7am on a saturday during the summer to weed the vegetable garden. what i wouldn't give to weed that vegetable garden right now! the man who loves to cook and made the best eye round on the grill. i can still taste it this very moment! the man who forgot me and left me behind at the salt water taffy store in stone harbor when i was 5 and felt so bad that he bought me the biggest barbie coloring book and new crayons. i was in heaven. the man who didn't yell at me when i took the entire row of shrubs out with my mom's car before i got my license. the man who always gave his children the best summer vacations. the man who works harder than anyone i know who apologized to me on my 30th birthday because he wasn't around a lot while i was growing up - he traveled so much for business. i'll never forget that. the man who was always so genuine and cool with my friends. the man who said to me upon just giving birth to my daughter, "aren't you clever." the man who lost his own father when he was 15. the man who loves unconditionally. this man. my father. you'll always be my hero. you'll always be treasured. i love you.
happy father's dad.
dad + me circa 2002