My Father. No matter what I said I was going to do, daddy never said, "you can't", he always said, "how you gonna do that?" When I talked to him, nothing was impossible.
I used to work for a large weekly newspaper and reported to the owner. I never had a title, (I guessed I was his assistant) the owner met with only a few people in the office, I met with him everyday. When our chief editor did an article about the employees in our three offices, it was said that I headed up the main office. I was delighted because I did not know that. I cut the article and showed it to my dad, he kept the article posted in his barber shop window for almost one year. I first was pleased by it and finally embarrassed when the article started to turn yellow and curl from the sun, but I knew that he did it out of love and daddy-pride.
If it were not for my dad, I am sure that I would not have been able to retire at this time. There were not many hard rules in our house, we never needed them, we children knew the unspoken rules held fast and mostly abided by them. The one spoken rule came from my dad. You will save money! I can't be sure if all of my brothers continued to save once they were out on their own, but I did. Between my dad's save money rule and my mom's plea to me to always have my own, I managed to do both.
While dancing with my dad at my wedding, he said something to me that he would continue to say until he died in the early eighties. He told me that I could always come home. Knowing that I would probably never return home, but that I was welcome to return to open arms, I have been able to do whatever I set out to do.
Dad would be proud to know I am debt-free. He was a true believer in the lay-a-way plan. Why charge it, when you can lay it away? He, nor my mom, ever knew that at one time I had more than 20 credit cards, all high-end stores--I may be a daddy's girl but I am not stupid, I never told him that.
As I type this I can visualize him in his barbershop cutting hair. Four or five old men are sitting in front of the shop in straight-back chairs. They are lined up like birds on a wire, talking, smoking Camel and Philip Morris cigarettes, and drinking soda that dad sold for 45 cents a can.
My dad could spin a wild tale so you never knew if he was telling the real truth or his truth. It's interesting, years later while going through his old papers I found out that daddy's truths were often not as exciting what really was fact. I found his Army discharge papers and was surprised note how much he had accomplished. Perhaps he did not speak of this because he had such a bad time in Korea, he chose not to discuss the Army years. My mother once told me that my dad often had terrible nightmares. I was surprised to hear that, I cried.
My father's passion was the small garden behind his shop. When he was in the hospital the last time, he placed a very small envelope in my hand. Later when I looked inside, I found two color slides of him in his beloved garden. I realized years after he died that he knew that his time was limited and the slides were his gift to me. I still miss him. Every time I do something I am proud of, I miss him. When I go to the New Jersey shore and stand on the balcony that overlooks the Atlantic ocean I smile, because I can imagine my dad standing, fishing pole in hand, a big smile on his face, enjoying life, and fishing from the boardwalk.
Remembering daddy, my father.
Happy Father's Day everyone.