Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Dad

Happy Father's Day to my dear dad. This is one of my favorite pictures of my father holding me because he looks so young and he is a new dad of only 4 weeks. I was born in Madrid, Spain while he was stationed there in the Air Force. Yes I have to admit I was the First born- Favorite child, but don't tell my siblings that. It looks like my dad is posing with a baby doll because I had such a full head of dark hair that I don't look like a typical newborn. My mother must have loved having a baby girl with all that dark hair. Luckily it is still as lush and thick now that I am...older. Of course I have several more pictures of him and I (you know how it is with the first born) but this one touches my heart because he looks so proud. I remember seeing the same look on his face when he came to the hospital after my first child was born.

I was fortunate enough that my father took several home movies but once again there are very few of my siblings. I do have a brother that came along 12 years later and we do have several pictures of him so I ought not to feel too guilty. I think I might have mentioned it in a previous post but for Christmas this past year I had the home movies put onto DVD for my dad. He told me there wasn't a gift out there that anyone could have given him that he loved and enjoyed more. It was such fun to watch them with my own children. They loved watching me as I was just learning to walk and they really liked seeing grandma Barb again. I knew what the gift was going to mean to him because my mother was in several of the movies. She passed away 9 years ago and he misses her terribly, as do I.

Recently I started picking out gifts for dad that had meaning. In the past I started getting him gift cards to one of his favorite family restaurants because he doesn't like to cook (or should I say doesn't know how to cook) to make his life easier, but then others started to do the same because they saw what it meant to him. So I let them keep buying the gift cards (because they can't think for themselves as to what to buy) which still serves it purpose and I buy something that he cherishes. This year I bought him a book called "My Dad, My Hero" that I found while I was in Hawaii. The book is a collection of quotes from famous people about what makes their dad their hero. The last two pages were blank and it was the perfect spot to write all the reasons he is my hero. He was very touched and said he was so overwhelmed that he had to put it down a couple of times before he could finish it. Those are the gifts I enjoy giving my dad- the ones he will really remember.

Because I didn't post anything on Mother's Day of my mother, I included the picture below that was taken on the same day as the one above. I have these two pictures in frames in my living room that has a lot of my favorite things on display. I look a bit bigger with my mother holding me because she was a small woman herself. She was probably all of 100 lbs when she delivered me. She was a wonderful mother and even though she is no longer with me, I just think back to the last day of her life and it gives me peace. I had gone home to take care of her knowing that she was dying. Just her my father and myself were at the house. I sat by her side the entire night as she took her last breaths and I will always cherish that time because I was the last one she saw and said "I love you" to as she closed her eyes. My father was too upset to watch her die so he was in and out of the room. I found it fitting that she brought me into this world with an overwhelming amount of love and I was there to help her leave it with the same tenderness. Those moments will mean more to me than any of her possessions that are handed down. I do have some things of hers that bring a smile to my face when I see them, but not like the happiness and the feeling of love I get when I think back to that day.

I find it strange when people pass away how the family fights over the possessions. I have even seen some who think the possession can replace the love they never gave or received. They just don't get that the greatest gifts are the times we shared with them. We can loose the jewelry or break the dishes and figurines but nothing can happen to the memories. If you don't have those, no possession can take it's place.

~Have fun and enjoy your dad's!

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