Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day without Dad

This morning, I was thinking about what we were doing five years ago today. It was Father's Day, and we had a c-section scheduled (to deliver Katie) in just two days. We went to see Finding Nemo with Dan's parents. I remember sitting in the movie theater, feeling the baby kick and move inside me. I was so excited for the next day: we would be picking my dad and stepmother up at the airport so they could be at the hospital for the baby's delivery.

I think Dad really wanted to be there for the delivery for a couple of reasons. Of course, because I was giving birth for the first time. But also because I think he was hoping for a boy. We didn't know the baby's gender yet, and I know he really really wanted a grandson. Now we know that he didn't get one the first time around. Oh, how I wish he'd been alive to meet my Jackson. I can just imagine the look on his face when he met his grandson for the first time!

Five years ago, we were in a completely different stage of our lives - focused on birth and the beginning of life, and its preciousness. I had no idea that just one year later, I'd be spending my last Father's Day with him. What I wouldn't give to hear him say just one more time, "Don't measure other people by your yardstick." Or maybe even, "Connect the dots!!!" (That one drove me and Mary crazy in his last few years!)

When Dad turned sixty, I wrote him "60 Things Dad Has Taught Me." (I wrote Mom's three years later.) I'd like to share Dad's with you. I wish he were still here! Happy Father's Day, Dad.

60 Things Dad Has Taught Me
1. How to love with all my heart. 2. An appreciation of poetry. 3. A love of musicals. 4. How to make cinnamon toast. 5. A belief in God. 6. How to drive a boat. 7. That people do things in different ways, and no one’s wrong. 8. How to love Tom T. Hall. 9. To laugh like I really mean it. 10. Always go for what I want. 11. To believe in myself. 12. Not to leave my shoes in the living room. 13. How to steam artichokes. 14. To take classes I thought I’d fail. 15. That success has nothing to do with how much money I make. 16. To face life head-on. 17. Keep trying, no matter what. 18. To bat and catch fly balls. 19. To follow my heart. 20. How to tell jokes. 21. To have confidence in my abilities. 22. To use a computer. 23. That Boone’s Farm isn’t really wine. 24. Hard work pays off. 25. How to use a wok. 26. Sacrifices pay off. 27. K-Mart jeans are just as good as any other jeans. 28. How to mow the yard. 29. Happy hour starts when the titmouse sings. 30. Love goes beyond the bedroom. 31. Girls shouldn’t wear baseball caps. 32. Don’t measure other people by your yardstick. 33. To say, “Yes, sir.” 34. Respect for others. 35. How to hunt. 36. An appreciation for history. 37. If you lie, you’ll get caught. 38. Love with all your heart, even if it means getting hurt. 39. How to take good photos. 40. An education will take you far. 41. How to travel foreign lands. 42. Taking risks helps you grow. 43. It’s okay to show your emotions. 44. There’s more to dancing than jiggling around. 45. Ask for advice but don’t always follow it. 46. Always challenge myself. 47. Big trucks are fun to drive. 48. Etiquette isn’t evil. 49. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. 50. Being strong doesn’t mean you have to be tough. 51. To make lists and be organized. 52. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are good! 53. Carving meat is an art. 54. Cards and notes can mean a lot to someone you love. 55. I don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. 56. A camping trip can be even better than any fancy vacation. 57. Have faith. 58. True love is worth every ounce of effort, pain and sacrifice. 59. Always have a P.M.A. 60. No matter how old I get, I’ll always be Daddy’s Little Girl.


sheryl said...

I wish I could have known your Dad. I bet he would be very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you can remember 60 things. I do not have that kind of relationship with my dad. You are very lucky.

Karen S


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