Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Dear Dad:

Happy Father's Day. I know it has been 30 years since I was able to say that to you, but it doesn't mean that you haven't been along with me on my journey.

I wonder how I have done as a father. I think you would be proud of me, but I do have way too much mothering (smothering) instinct. Jo is able to separate fact from fiction much better than I. She does not project imaginary problems, but is grounded in reality. Sometimes, I have too much sympathy. I know that is not a bad thing, but I am not certain it is good.

I think I do have your good heart. Jo and I have seemed to instill a deep compassion in both Richie and Alex for the welfare of others. They do share your belief that everyone stands on equal footing and deserves an equal chance to have a joyful life. You would be proud of them in so many ways.

Jo is a very good life partner for me. We don't have the 'Leave it to Beaver' existence that you and Mom seemed to share, but we do get along well. Working together for 25 years, we joke about being married over 60 years now, based on the amount of time we spend with one another. I hope I am a good husband, at least I try to be. I do however lack the genetic code for doing most simple chores (lefty loosy, righty tighty with a lightbulb is a great accomplishment), and this is at times a source of both amusement and disappointment for those in the house who seek assistance.

I am not nearly as bright as you were as a lawyer. I am, however, much like you, as diligent as I can be in attending to the needs of my clients. It has been more of a job than a love affair, but I am not complaining.

Gail is great. She is the most caring daughter and sister imaginable. She has done well with her career. Her children are wonderful (we are soon to have another lawyer in the family, Lindsay). Brett is married, and he and Lindsi are proud parents of a dog that Gail not only tolerates but seems to like (unbelievable). Gail and Jimmy are married as long as you and Mom were before you passed away.

Mom has missed you each day for almost 30 years now. She never dated, as she found her true love once, and that was it. She is still beautiful and looks wonderful, but her memory is playing tricks on her. Like always, she thinks of all of us only. You would be going on 64 years of marriage now. I am so sorry that I couldn't be looking forward to celebrating that occasion.

I know you guide Gail and me everyday in so many ways. While the memories may fade, the love we all feel for you has never wavered. You are in my heart, in my mind, in my smile and in each step that I take. I miss you and so wish I could give you a big hug and a kiss on this Father's Day. I hope you are reading this over my shoulder and that you are smiling.


nancy said...

damn you robert... you made me cry.

Robert said...

for those of us who lost a parent way too early, there is a little internal tear that we shed most days

I hope your Father's day brings back a flood of good memories

Unknown said...

I was not sure how you would compete with the "mother's day" post. But you went and outdid yourself again. Just like Nancy, I was also brought to tears. I am sad that I never met your dad, but am sure that he lives on in you and gail and grandma.

you have been a wonderful father--despite your few flaws. while i do share you values, i do not live by them each day quite as you do. for better or for worse, i think that no one is quite as nice as you, dad (myself included).

and even though i sometimes feel that i am preventing you (and mom) from retirement, i know that you would have it no other way. so, thank you for that.

i love you and grandpa too. happy father's day.

Robert said...

You bring us joy each and every day.

Thank you for being who you are.

You would have loved my dad and he most certainly would have adored you.

( PS- enough with the guilt about my retirement Your sentiment is appreciated but your logic is faulty.You are not an impediment to my pursuing whatever life direction I want.)

Anonymous said...

you made me cry. ted

Robert said...

I didn't mean to make everyone sad.

We should all appreciate our dads, here or gone. Tomorrow should be a day of celebration of present events or past recollections.

PickleBiz said...

Thank you Bob, you said it for me too.

Robert said...

I have gotten phone calls, e-mails and blog post comments on this piece. I thank everyone for their kind words.

Writing about family is both hard and easy. It seems to touch a nerve in so many.

I have been blessed with a wonderful mom and dad, and I hope my writing properly reflects my gratitude and love.