As Father’s Day approaches, I’m remembering all the wonderful things that my father and I did over the course of my life. While he was very strict and quite blunt with his words if you truly asked for his opinion, he was a single dad raising me alone, and did one hell of a job. He taught me how to live with purpose, stand up for myself, find strength in struggle and how to go after what I want. He was truly meant to be my father, and here are a few reasons of why I’m proud he is.
1. At the age of 6 months, I was kidnapped. Against all odds, my father (at the age of 22) did everything in his power to make sure that he found me, and after a year of trying, failing, and trying again…he succeeded.
2. Each day after that, he would comb, braid and barrette my hair.
3. He always scratched my back until I fell asleep.
4. When I was a little girl, he would play Native American flute music for me at bedtime.
5. In the summer, we would sit in my grandmother’s backyard and pick fresh raspberries and chives from our little garden.
6. On very early mornings, he would make me hot tea with honey and raisins inside each cup.
7. On the way to the laundromat on those very early mornings (5am), he would buy me my favorite breakfast sandwich. After I ate it, he would make me a bed on the folding table next to him so I could doze while he folded laundry.
8. During my toddler years, we would take road trips out west in the summer, blaring classic Van Halen all the way. I would request that my dad play this band by asking him to play the music with the man that screams (David Lee Roth).
9. Every night before bed, my father would read Dr. Suess books to me.
10. On the weekends, he’d give me a pen and let me draw pictures on his back.
11. In the fall season, he would make sure to watch the Wizard of Oz with me when it came on tv. This was the first movie to make me cry as he recalls hearing me cry while Dorothy sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I still remember him asking me, “Why are you crying baby girl?” to which I responded, “Because it’s so pretty”. This is still one of my favorite movies.
12. My dad would do the best impression of Donald Duck to make me laugh when I was having a temper tantrum or meltdown.
13. There was a time when I was 2 years old that I had a babysitter who locked me in my bedroom when I was crying while she sat in the living room and watched tv. I told my dad about it when he got home from work, and the next day when she showed up for work, he said to her, “My daughter has something to say to you.” to which I replied, “You’re Fi-oohed!” I still remember him laughing when her jaw dropped and when he followed up by saying, “Now get the f*ck out!”. I still giggle thinking about it.
14. There was a length of time where I was being abused on a daily basis by a step-parent from the ages of 3-7 years old that my father didn’t know about. On one particular day, I remember praying to God to send my dad home early from to see what was happening and swoop me up and carry me away. Moments after I finished this prayer, (and in the midst of being beaten) I opened my eyes to see my dad tearing off the front door of our home rushing toward me to swoop me up and take me away.
15. My dad didn’t let me date until I was 16…and rightfully so.
16. Every Friday until I graduated high school, we would go grocery shopping together out of town to make it an adventure.
17. After senior graduation, my father and I took one last trip out west before I made my first big move to Los Angeles. We spent one week hiking in Yosemite, and afterward one week in Las Vegas. While we waited at the airport for my flight to Los Angeles, he asked me to open my carry on luggage. Inside, I remember two compilation CDs. One was labeled “Baby Girl Music” and consisted of all the music that reminded him of me, and the other was “Heart Music” which was his favorite music that came straight from his heart. I listened to those CD’s for years, remembering all the fond memories of years past as I made my way into the world on my own for the first time. I still own those CDs.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!
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