Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I didn't realize until I was older that you weren't my biological father. You and Mom got married when I was just two years old and Carm was almost five. She always knew you weren't her "real father" since she had memories of DB. I had no memory of him and it never occurred to me that you were anything but my real dad.

Some of my earliest memories were of sitting at the kitchen table in that little house on Cottage Grove eating dinner. Of going down to the dungeon of a basement and seeing you studying for your college courses at the big desk in the corner. I vividly remember you helping me balance and running beside me as I learned to ride a bicycle. Of looking back when I realized you were no longer next to me and seeing you standing there, grinning away, proud of me. I remember bits and pieces of being in a small airplane with you at the controls when you flew us down to Georgia one year. I remember you always listening to music on those huge headphones you had for so many years. I also recall you always taking pictures and the fun we would have when you would put on a slide show for us with all the carefully organized slides.

Not long after we moved to Connecticut, I started learning to play the clarinet in the school band. Being a music lover, my practice sessions must have been pure torture for you. And looking back, I'm fairly sure those first school concerts sounded more like a giant goose massacre than music. But you never failed to show up. You also never failed to show up for every parade we marched in when I reached high school. You probably spent more money on instrument maintenance, uniforms and extra lessons than anyone should. But I never heard you complain.

When I was in high school you tried to teach me how to drive your little truck in the school parking lot. I'm sorry if you've still got the whiplash from my first attempts, I know I wasn't very smooth. But the important thing is that you were willing to take the time to try and teach me. And also that you didn't freak out, stomp your imaginary brakes and screech the way Mom did (and still does to this day, by the way). You also sat through what has to be the longest high school graduation in history.

Almost thirteen years ago, you flew across the country so you could walk me down the aisle when I married Mister C. You've helped us move too many times and you made the mistake of showing up for the big retaining wall building of 2001. You were there in the hospital the day Master J was born and you got tears in your eyes when you first held him. I know you'll always be there for me, offering support and guidance, rooting and cheering me on in whatever I do. And every year at Christmas I'll try to wrap up some malted milk balls up so you can't guess what they are, and you'll pretend you can't figure out what it could possibly be.

I also have a lot of memories of you doing things like this...

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it never occurred to me that you were anything but my real dad because you've never acted like anything but.


Anonymous said...

You made Dads day,he was so happy to be held in such loving regard..You have brought so much joy to him through the years and will always hold a special place in his heart as his daughter...Thank you for making his day so special!

Madison said...

Sounds to me like he was your real dad, just not your biological one. It was a great tribute to your dad. not unlike mine to my dad. Hope you'll check it out at