Happy Father’s Day, Dad

So many
Of my happiest memories
Are wrapped up in
One single person
My dad

But I tend to forget
To remember those good things
And too often
Cling to the other
Less happy
Less perfect
Events in my life

And then Father’s Day
Rolls around
And I’ll call my dad
And tell him
Happy Father’s Day
And that I love him
But I never think
To tell him about
All the things
The memories
That make him
So special to me

How when I drove my first car
That ugly ass brown Ford Granada
Into the curb
Because I got distracted
By something red
And shiny
Zipping past
And Mom was so furious
But he calmed her down
And said, “The important thing
Is no one was hurt” and
“It’s a learning experience”

For all the learning experiences
I’ve had over the years
I should be Einstein by now
Yet he always believed in me
And my potential
To learn from my mistakes
And do better

Or how he taught me
To throw a football
And hit a softball
How he stepped up
To coach my team
And I was so proud of him
I was never a great athlete
But he taught me
That that doesn’t matter
It’s the love of sport
And good sportsmanship
The joy of competing
Even if you never win
That makes a difference
In a person’s character

I had a difficult time as a kid
Learning to read
But eventually figured it out
But my love of words
Was cemented
When he brought me
The police procedurals
And dark mysteries
As he finished them
With the caveat
Of, “Don’t let your mom
Catch you reading this stuff”
They were books
That I cherish
To this day
Books like “From Here to Eternity”
And “The First Deadly Sin”

Or watching “Airplane” together
For the tenth time
Or the twentieth
Or the hundred and first
And saying the lines together
Until we laughed so hard
It hurt to breathe
Roger, roger
And don’t call me Shirley

How his love of horses
And photography
Became two of my passions
Because I wanted to be just like him
How those things we shared
Helped keep me grounded
Through all the uncertain times
I’ve been through since

His love of certain foods
Like Chinese food where everything
Is thrown together
And it all gets hot mustard
Or of burrito night
With refried beans
And being silly at the table
Because sometimes life is about being silly
And trying new things
Enjoying the heat of something spicy
And coming back to
The simple joy of
Vanilla ice cream stirred until smooth

So this year
When I call my dad
I’ll point him here
So he can read the things
I know I still won’t be able to say
When I call him up
To wish him a happy Father’s Day

2 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day, Dad

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