Always on Father's Day and especially this year, I reflect on the closeness of my relationship with my dad, and how he cared for me and my siblings. I'm his spitting image, and certainly his favorite (ha!). I think each of us felt we were his fave, so I guess that's one of the things that made him a great dad. With similar attitudes about life and living, "Big Donald" as he was known by family and friends didn't know a stranger, loved everyone he crossed paths with, and was a guy who always saw the silver lining. Here's more of what I affectionately think of when I turn my heart towards my father:
~ Brushing and braiding our hair and getting us ready for bed as Mom went back to Newark State College to complete her degree in the evenings. There were three girls whose hair he had to comb, always using the pink hairbrush from Avon and bergamot hair grease!
~ Taking long drives on Sunday afternoon in our Country Squire station wagon, and stopping at Dairy Queen for a chocolate covered cone
~ Teaching me how to hold and throw a football (as a phenomenal all-state football player, he insisted not unlike my brother, that I too would be a star athlete). He really wanted me to the the first woman QB at the high school!
~ Sitting in the window at Newark Airport for hours watching planes take off and land, while chatting w pilots, stewardesses (as they were called back then). Maybe that's why I love aviation, never mind an airport delay and spend much of my time exploring the friendly skies -- so far I've traveled to more than 30 countries...
There are a bunch more examples I could offer on my memories of my dad and how much I loved and admired him, but for now I'll stop here. It's interesting what memories came up today were mostly from my childhood (wonder what that messaging is all about)! In a single phrase what I loved the most was his unconditional and silly love for me and his incredibly impactful and unrelenting belief in me. And for that I'm grateful. He transitioned a long time ago yet I never feel like he really left. He's surely part of my "crew" and is accessible to me always.
Feel free to share some of your favorite reflections or memories of your dad or the man who served the role of dad in your life.