Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad
My Dad was a trip. Even though he's been gone for years, no one who knew him can mention his
name without chuckling and rolling their eyes. This was a man who felt compelled to inform his
family every night at the dinner table what astronomical number the National Debt had reached
that day. Needless to say, his two teenage daughters hung on his every word. His head spun around the day it reached $3,000,000,000,000. This was a man who predicted that in his kids' lifetime the oceans would be so polluted that we would have to think twice about the safety of eating seafood; that inflation would result in the cost of a loaf of bread being close to $5; and that we'd be buying and drinking water from bottles. Dad was pretty smart. And when Ronald Reagan ran for President, Dad cast an absentee ballot and then proceeded to have a heart attack and die - his vote being counted, even in death. Grief-stricken that we were, we knew he was laughing from the grave.
Some of you might remember my letter in the recent spring catalog, in which I described how my parents really wanted a son, but not having one, sort of raised me as a boy. I was the daughter who mowed the lawn, started the BBQ, and stayed up late with Dad to listen to baseball games on the radio. Dad had what we now know was a stroke a couple of years before he died and was never the same after that. That stroke took just about everything that made the husband, father, and friend he was out of him and left behind someone who was hard to recognize.
I'm writing this because Father's Day is coming up and I wish Dad were here, as his hot-headed,
funny, smart self. He's my Dad story and we all have our own. And whether or not some of us are fathers of young children right now, or we are older kids honoring our own fathers, my wish is that each father's child has stories that make us proud, make us smile, and make us grateful for all the ways fathers care. Even if part of that includes being informed daily of the National Debt. (Which, by the way, is now up to $15,000,000,000,000, bless his heart.)