On Father’s Day, I always reflect about my Dad. He died in June 1995, the year I graduated from law school. He was 52 and I was 25. For those of us who have lost our fathers, it is always a bittersweet day. Usually, I spend the day thinking about some of my favorite memories about my dad, most of them involving animals or ideas. He loved both. I think losing my Dad suddenly and unexpectedly at a relatively young age taught me to appreciate the simple things in life - to find joy in the small moments. Today, I’m inspired by him to start a blog. Like him, I enjoy writing and discussing ideas. So, I dedicate it to his memory.
Here is my first entry for Father’s Day.
Ode to My Father
Father. Father. Holding his hand, the same hand I held when I was learning to take my first steps and counting one, two, and three. It was still warm and strong but his eyes were swelled up like plums. I could not be sad for him because he lived the life he wanted to, and he died doing what he loved. But the sadness for me I will always carry. I will carry the sadness that he will never meet his grandchildren and my children will never know his twinkling eyes and adventurous spirit.
He was the one who encouraged my aspirations and inspired me to reach further or dream bigger. He was the one who, when I fell from the horse, pulled the thorns from my back and said, “Get back up again so you will not be afraid.” I did as I was told and rode home. We walked and raced and laughed. He was the one who told me I could be president, not secretary. He was the one who told me I should be a lawyer because I could persuade him of anything. He was the one who loved adventure as I did, always seeking a new experience. He was the one who liked to laugh and whose eyes always twinkled with delight beneath his thick head of brown hair.
My grandmother’s son. “Nana, Bopa, Daddy is dead. We don’t know exactly what happened, but Tradewind came home saddled with no rider. They found Dad in the mountains behind his house. He was unconscious and his skull was cracked.” Although I was the youngest, we all somehow knew it was my job to tell them. Everyone always thought of me as the strong one. I was the most like him. I looked at my grandmother, her raw blue eyes piercing the air. Embracing, knowing but not saying, we were the ones who could not pull the thorns from his back.