From my dad’s daughter

I love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day and thanks for everything.


image from lorna.typepad.comI believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.”
 
– Umberto Eco
 
Dear Dad,
 
As the quote above says, I have become who I am partly because of how you and mom raised me, and also by what you have taught me by example. More than just contributing your genes, you shaped me.  I learned that I was safe in my surroundings, how to be a companion, what to look for in a spouse.
 
In our family, you are the “thinker and planner,” the gentle intellectual.  Some of the things I got from you were an understanding of how finances work, an interest in researching, and, apparently, your ability to make friends: mom reports that you know all the others on your morning hiking trail by name.  This has been one of the delights of my life–thank you for that!
 
Some of my fondest memories include going on a test date together to learn how to expect to be treated, flying to visit colleges with you, going on the family trip to Hawaii and another time renting a beach house in Sea Ranch, sitting quietly (comfortingly) with you in a car dealership as I was nursing a broken heart, convincing you to help me buy my house (“if this is a mistake, let me make it”), then helping me replace a broken sewer pipe in it when I had no money left to pay a plumber.
 
As recently as the 70s, fathers were viewed like second class citizens.  I’m sorry if I made you feel like that.  I have always known that you would be my safety net, helping me navigate my life if I needed it.  I see my brother with his son and am charmed by their relationship and know that he learned how to be a father from you.
 
I can only imagine what it is like to raise a head-strong child like me, imagining what that life would be like, then watch as illness takes over and feel helpless to do anything about it.  But I learned from both of you how to be flexible and always to have humor.  Please know that I know we are all just doing the best we can.
 
I love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day and thanks for everything.

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