I would love to be with you today. In person. HERE. But on this Father’s Day as I reflect upon my time on earth with you….and as I write this on this Father’s Day, memories are all I now have with you, Daddy.
So many memories flash through my mind. Here’s just a few: You coming home in your Air Force flight suit at the end of the day—this little blonde 4 year-old racing to the front door, you’d pick me up, swing me in the air then rub your face against mine – forcing giggles and laughter as your five-o’clock shadow would tickle and scratch my young face. You singing, “Maria…the most beautiful sound I ever heard….
Maria, Maria, I just met a girl named Maria… and suddenly that name will never be the same to me…” Again, always making me laugh and blush.
Five years old now….my birthday, and you surprise me with a purple bike – NO TRAINING WHEELS… you’re teaching me to ride now… running alongside, then just behind me on the neighborhood street of the Air Force base we lived in… my purple bike with shaking wheels turning with trepidation…then turning in triumph… I turn back to show you in all my glory and pride… and BAM! How’d that car get there? I slam straight into it. You’re running to me…tears on this 5-year-old’s face, was it tears of pain, pride or fear I’d disappoint you? Didn’t matter — Your arms wrapping to comfort me.
And of course there was this song too, “How do solve a problem like Maria?” Not sure that question has ever been solved…just ask my husband. (Y’know that’s the song from the musical, The Sound of Music, sung by Julie Andrews.)
And you, Daddy, at my wedding. (Which, by the way, me waitiing so long to marry to find exactly the most amazing man!) You seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time. In tears. You take my hand in yours just before walking down the aisle and whisper in my ears, “Love him like your mother loved me all these years.”
Then the vocabulary words. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT AT THE DINNER TABLE. All five of us kids. We each had to have a new vocabulary word, pronounce it, say the part of speech, define it, and use it in a sentence.
Your humor. Your incredible wit.
Intelligent. Charming. Incredibly Handsome.
Everyone always thought you were in the Mafia. That Italian skin. That demeanor.
And oh, were you strict. The Great Santini — maybe not to that extent. But you did NOT mess with Daddy. A good dose of fear was very much present. You demanded the best of us – in all aspects. Behavior, education, performance, respect.
Thank you for that.
Were you perfect? No, you were —thankfully — human.
And the nature of that means we are all imperfect.
But in my eyes – this little girl, now a grown woman…you will forever be my hero – my Daddy. And I will forever love you so. Though I would love you to be here to wish you this in person, I cherish the time we had and love you more than ever.
So I celebrate you today on Father’s Day — bittersweet though it may be —but I know you can rest assured your impact on me, my brothers and sisters, and especially on my husband and the boys we are raising now – continue on and will do so for generations to come.
I loved you so. I miss you still. EVERY DAY. And Daddy, on this Father’s Day, and on everyday, I miss you so. You hung the moon. You always will.
Your Little Girl
Now known, in part because of you, as –
The Empowered Mom
P.S. To all of you reading this:
And yes, when we said Goodbye at my Daddy’s funeral — we again each used words we thought helped describe him:
Yes, with each of our Dads — we have this:
Each our own perspective
Each our own experiences
Not all perfect
All at once human
All at once flawed
Flawed with Frailties
Loved with forgiveness.
And if you are blessed to have your Daddy here on earth today, cherish that. If you can call him, or better yet — hug him. Please DO. Hug him and tell him how you love him. You’ll never have another Daddy — and despite the path that may have or may not have been perfect along the way, we are all human, which in and of itself, means we are imperfect.
But on this Father’s Day — love your Daddy with all your heart.
Just as I did. Just as my children do their own Daddy. My amazing husband.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU DADS out there. You shape lives, you change the world, you ARE the world to so many.
Happiest of Father’s Day!
Maria is a veteran of TV broadcast news and founded The Empowered Mom, mentoring, coaching and inspiring fellow savvy business owners and MOMpreneurs. She also owns the communications and public relations company, Luce Media, LLC. Watch for her feature columns regularly on TSB.
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