It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. In fact, I was just a little girl. I believe I had a [very stylish] bowl-cut and I snorted when I laughed hard. (Like you.)
Well, I’m all grown up now. (Sort of.)
I’m 35 – almost 36. The last I saw you, I was 10.
I’m happy to report that I’m a Mom, too. Yep. You’ve got two granddaughters… and they’re the coolest. Lila, whose birthday is today, is sweet and kind and funny and sensitive. And girly. You’d adore her. And she’d undoubtedly love you. She’d think you were just as amazing as I did when I was small.
And then I also have Vivienne. We call her Vivi. Dad, she looks like us. Like you and I. She’s got our features. Everyone says she’s my “Mini me.” She’s small and she’s feisty. And she’s funny and she’s quick. And she runs fast and wears spiderman rash guards when she swims. When she grows up she wants to be a Mommy of twins.
And Dad? I married the best guy EVER. You’d like him. No, you’d love him. He’s quiet. You’d think he didn’t have anything to say – but that’s because he’s used to people like us; people who just talk and talk and talk. But don’t let that silence fool you – he’s thinking. Always thinking. He’s loyal and he’s kind and he’s funny and he takes care of me and he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s my best friend. I wish you could have been at our wedding; it was so pretty.
So Dad, there’s your other kids, too. Guess what? After all these years, when it comes down to it; we really love one another. We all still talk. We’re doing our own things – but we talk. Your first born is strong. She’s beautiful. She’s tenacious. Her children are cool. And she can solve any problem. ANY. Your second born is a good Dad and he’s got a work ethic you’d be proud of. (He also takes the prize for the most kids — six.) His kids are awesome, too. I love them. Your third born is a man of ethics. A man of honor. A man of good humor and kindness – and when he walks into a room my girls light up. Your fourth born is inspiring. He’s intelligent and well-spoken and deep-thinking and a good man and a good Dad. And then there’s me. I’m fine.
I wish I could have grown up knowing you. I wish I could have sat across from you, drinking some Lipton hot tea, eating a donut — talking about things. I wish I could remember your voice like I do your laugh. I wish I could crawl into your lap on the recliner on a Saturday night and fall asleep on your chest as you laughed and snickered to Saturday Night Live.
But I’m happy for the memories. I’m happy for the little girl perspective of my awesome Dad. I loved picking up the buckeyes in the front yard. I loved tattling on the boys for money. I loved playing “running bases” between the trees. I loved tagging along to every.single.sporting.event. I loved our dinner dates — just the two of us — at Wendy’s. When you’d eat from the salad bar with blue cheese dressing.
After you died, I ended up with your eyeglasses.
I’d try them on every now and then.
I remember the year our prescriptions matched. I remember thinking, “Now I can see things through your eyes.”
Still to do this day I wish I could do that.
And to this day I wear New Balance shoes, because you did.
I watch SNL, because you did.
I like The Big Chill and Motown, because you did.
When I was a kid I learned to play Memory on the piano because you liked the musical, Cats.
I can’t listen to U2’s Joshua Tree without thinking of you.
And well, when I think of you I think of how great your hair was. (The exact legacy I’d want.)
So one day, we’ll chat. We’ll catch up. And we’ll sit and talk and talk and talk… because that’s what we do. Until then, please give Shirl a hug for me.
I love you to the moon and back, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day.