It’s Father’s Day, Dad. We didn’t make a big deal about it when I was growing up…those were your wishes. A quiet man, and always one to redirect attention away from yourself, you didn’t need or want a day to be in the limelight.
Our relationship, Dad, aged well. We came to know each other better, to appreciate each other more deeply, as the years went by. Rare compliments exchanged, a few words of love spoken, but it was in your eyes I always knew I was loved. You delighted in me and my children, you even delighted in my dog. Your eyes sparkled as you laughed, sharing stories again and again of funny times, silly words, crazy predicaments you’d shared with my kids as they grew. And though you were a man of few words, you showed my kids how much you cared. Once, when Alec had saved and picked out a fire truck at the general store, you brought him home only to learn that he’d changed his mind and wanted the other truck on the shelf. Many granddads would have worked to convince the 5 year old that the one he’d chosen was just fine but not you. You patiently took Alec by the hand, loaded up the truck and headed back to the store to exchange it.
You loved my dog. No sooner would I arrive at your house than you’d ask “where’s my swell puppy?” and in she’d come to greet you. Her favorite place was tucked in next to you in your recliner. When your days were growing shorter and your strength was waning, Kyrie continued to wedge right in next to you and there you two would be, your hand resting gently on her back as she dozed at your side. For one of your birthdays I had a friend photoshop a picture of you and Kyrie–an image I’d imagined–you and Kyrie walking side by side down a road in France to “Aire du Chien Blanc”–the place of the white dog. So I made it happen in a picture. You were delighted.
And on this day when we celebrate fathers–a day you downplayed while you were alive–I celebrate you. Kind, gentle, so very smart and funny, I miss you Dad. We all do.