Yes, that’s me in the photo. With my dad, a very long time ago. Hard to believe I was ever that tiny. Oh, how I adored him. We were extremely close, up to the day he died, 30 years ago. Hard to believe that, too — that it’s been so long. I still think of him every day and still miss him like crazy.
He was an amazing dad. For that matter, he was a pretty amazing human being. Kind, thoughtful, open-minded, generous, loving, loyal, honest as the day is long.
When I needed advice it was my father to whom I turned, always, even as an adult. His friends and my friends often turned to him as well, as did many members of our family. You could always count on him to be fair, objective and measured in his response.
While he wasn’t as gregarious as my mother, who chatted up everyone who crossed her path, my dad did have a pied piper-like quality — only instead of leading the rats out of town, he attracted a following of devoted and loving friends wherever he went.
There was nothing he loved better than being with friends and family and our house was always a hub of activity. Brunches, dinners and lots and lots of parties — sometimes with upwards of 30 or 40 people.
My mother always did the cooking, occasionally with some help from her sisters, her mother, sister-in-law, mother-in-law and aunts. But it was my father who did the food shopping — one of his favourite pastimes. On any given day, even when there were no parties in the offing, it wasn’t unusual for my father to call my mother and tell her he’d be home from the office a little late.
“Why?” you ask. Because he was on the hunt for strawberries or cherries or fish or pastry or bread or cheese (despite not eating it himself), or simply because the fridge, which was already filled to two thirds capacity, wasn’t full enough for his liking. And he was always happy and triumphant when he got home with a trunk full of bags.
That, for him, was like winning the lottery.
For me winning the lottery was having him as my dad.
Last Sunday was Father’s Day. More than anything I wish we could have spent it together.