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Happy Fathers Day - A Rememberance

My father passed away on October 24th, 1997 in Kiev, Ukraine from a sudden and devastating heart attack. He literally died in my mother's arms. He is buried in Kiev beneath a large granite grave marker that bears a laser etched image of his smiling face.

Although it has now been many years, particular days always bring him to mind, the anniversary of his death, his birthday, and of course Father's Day.

This morning as I sat on the deck with my cup of coffee and my journal to do my usual 'Morning Pages' (as per Julia Cameron's Artists Way) I found myself writing about my father. Actually, I'd been thinking about him since yesterday when I went downtown to watch a quintessential small town parade celebrating the Evergreen Rodeo Days. My father would have loved the parade of vintage cars, ranchers on horseback, local business owners on floats festooned with American flags and of course, three of Evergreen's finest fire trucks. Dad would have loved all of it and would have made a point to walk down the line and talk to each and every participant.

Dad would love Evergreen, the kindness of the residents, and beauty of the area. I wish he were here to see how happy Mom is, that he would be able to enjoy this time with her.

My father was not the typical dad who did cookouts or took us camping. But he expressed his love for us in the only way he knew how, by working hard. I am grateful to my father for all the sacrifices he made to support our family, all the overtime he volunteered for, the holidays he worked on the night shift at the post office. By the world's standards he might not have been considered a success, he wasn't rich, he never climbed the heights of the corporate ladder, but he was kind, humble and generous. Our home life was not perfect, often filled with chaos, but I know that our parents loved us and provided for us in the best way they knew.

Growing up, I was a 'daddy's girl', and when I was a competitive swimmer, my father devoted too many weekends to attending my swim meets instead of spending time with my other siblings. Of course, I never thought of it that way at the time, but now I am both grateful and a bit ashamed of my selfishness. On a happier note, my father baked the world's best chocolate chip cookies and lasagna, of which we were all the happy recipients.

In the last years of his life, my father followed my mother overseas to Kiev, Ukraine and Bishkek, Kyrghistan. Mom often said that those were the best years of their marriage. I'm grateful that they had that time together, that they had what Mom described as their 'second honeymoon'. For years, my father subscribed to the National Geographic magazine. I'm grateful that in his final years could could actually experience some of the places he dreamed of as he leafed through those pages.

I love you, Dad.


Anonymous said…
A very sweet post! I miss my dad too and even though this November will be twenty years since he died, I'm still not ready to write about him yet.
larramiefg said…
I have a feeling that your dad is there enjoying the view along with you.

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