Father’s Day this year just happens to fall on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year. It’s taken me until 7pm in the evening to realize that not one story on the news – all day – focused on a daughter’s memories of her Dad. For some reason, producers always link sons to their fathers and generate feature stories about that masculine bond. Yet, when a Dad doesn’t have any sons and is surrounded by only daughters, some of that left brain, analytical, rationale bonding has to rub off.
My Dad was raised by a strict Calabrese father and as such, you would imagine that he would be just as strict. He was for the most part (just ask my high school boyfriend!). Yet, when a daughter is born (and my Dad had three of them), so too is a marshmallow. He was tough in his discipline but soft and squishy on the inside. He had an acerbic wit which could often sting but not one day went by when he didn’t make me laugh, even when Alzheimer’s had ravaged his left brain ability to think clearly. His turquoise blue eyes would sparkle, indicating he was about to become Peck’s Bad Boy and someone else (usually one of us) would be the brunt of his joke.
I got a new car this week. I have thought about my Dad everyday since because he taught me all that “guy” stuff about cars. I bought a new shammy and car duster because they keep the car cleaner, longer, between washings. I know also that if you’re driving a used car and it overheats, you turn the heater on and that brings the temperature down until you can repair the hose or the thermostat. I know these things thanks to my Dad.
I renovated the bathroom this year. I was the foreman of my own job. You can’t trust the contractor to do that. I know when a wall should be square and plumb and obviously his workers do not. I know these things thanks to my Dad.
I suffered losses on Wall Street this year just like everyone else but unlike many women, I manage my own portfolio. I opened an IRA when I was 22 and my Dad bought me my first shares of stock. I can’t remember what it was now but I know I made money on it. I know these things thanks to my Dad.
My Dad also taught me how to dream, although that was hard for him having been brought up by immigrant Italian parents. They worked hard to raise eleven children in this country. And if you think about it, without their dreams of a better life, I would not be here. Dad taught me how to see the “Man in the Moon” and know there was life beyond the stars, as long as their was a nest egg feathered with good investments.
I’m thinking of you Daddy – by the way, the Yankees are in first place and Boston trails behind by 8. (2012 stats)