Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reflections on a Father's Day

Dad and I circa 1987
Dad and I on high school graduation day, 2001
Today is my tenth Father's Day without my dad. After ten years there are memories that fade. I can't remember how his voice sounds and I don't know how tall I would be next to him. However, I remember a lot of things about him being a great dad. Here are just a few of my favorite memories with him.

1. In high school, Dad would pick me up from school on my birthday for lunch. He'd take me out to Jacobson's (a store that doesn't exist anymore) and I would get a club sandwich and a milkshake. With three siblings it was always hard to get one-on-one attention from my parents (unless I was in trouble). This is probably why I still LOVE my birthday.

2. Dad was a great writer. He had plans to write a book about all of his crazy life adventures. When I moved into the dorms, he was too sick to help me move and I was really down about it. When I got to the dorms, there was a care package with a note about how sorry he was that he couldn't be there. He always knew what to say.

3. Dad loved music. When I was in middle school he won an auction and was able to conduct the Saginaw Bay Orchestra in a Sousa march. He was glowing. My dad is the reason my musical tastes are so vast. He started all of us on Gershwin, Sousa, Ellington, Kern, Porter... he brought us to musicals and live music performances. His musical influence is something I will never forget.

4. Our parents always took us on a fall color tour of Northern Michigan. Dad drove us to a deer preserve, we got lunch, and we got to see how awesome the colors looked. I think this is why I love fall so much. Did I mention we got to get out of school for the day? Dad knew how to have fun and not take things too seriously. This is something I will do with my family someday.

5. Dad was cool about my crazy teenage years. He was probably really worried about my strange style of dress, my blondish hair (which was really orange because people with dark brown hair should never do any kind of blond ever), my piercings, my going to Detroit for shows on school nights, my sneaking out of my window until all hours, my horribles clashes with my mom, and my eye-rolling/sighing. When I skipped school to get Tim Horton's with my best friend and we got hit by a lady who ran a red light I was--naturally-- scared to tell my parents. When I sat down to tell Dad what happened (because I always sat across from him at his desk), I thought he was going to yell at me. Instead he calmly told me that I would have to pay for the damages and to stop crying. He told me a lot of crazy stories about himself, so I like to think that he knew it was just a phase.

6. This isn't a memory, but Dad would love the Hubs. He never got to meet him, but he would love him. They would have a lot to talk about and he'd be happy that I married such a great guy. My dad is the reason I took the Hub's last name with no argument. My students were surprised when I got married and I changed my last name because of my feminist disposition, but Dad always told me if I was going to get married I needed to "go big or go home and just take his name." I'm glad I did because my in-laws are amazing and I've got the best FIL (Father-in-law) around.

I could go on about my Dad, but I have years and years of memories. I'm not going to write them all down in one blog post!
Dad at the head of the table on graduation day, 2001. 
Even though most of my blog readers are ladies, I still want to say Happy Father's Day for the pure joy of it. Happy Father's Day to my mom who played the role of Father and Mother after Dad died. Happy Father's Day to John, who came into my mom's life and is a pretty cool dude. Happy Father's Day to my FIL, who gives the best advice and genuinely cares about me. Happy Father's Day to my Hubs, who takes care of our dog children.
Super old pic, circa 2004

Happy Father's Day.

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