P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

18 June 2017

Standing on Love-Daddy's Gifts

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.
—John Gregory Brown

This past week I watched ESPN's terrific "30 for 30" about the 1980's rivalry between The L.A. Lakers and The Boston Celtics... Magic v. Bird.  It was indeed all that has branded it-Legendary, Historic, Classic, Nostalgic...and for me a monsoon of memories. To this day when I see those mythic games I can only think of Daddy and the Sunday afternoons with the roar of the real Boston Garden for soundtrack.  After we lost him it would be over 10 years before I could even listen to a game. Now, on this Father's Day, I wrap those moments up and add them to the giant box of sound and images that throw me backwards, fill me with every emotion imaginable, remind me to remember what I know and to look to my feet and the ground I stand on, and pick up that box and take it with me as I walk forward.

 Yes, this is yet another Hallmark day, designed for card sellers and tie makers.  Of course we should celebrate Dads beyond a Sunday in June, but to have a day set aside on the calendar to stop and hug the man or the memories is a good thing. There was a time I ran from this day, a day filled with memories so strong that 27 years later I can still feel all those  family Father's Day cook-outs in all types of weather, the piles of gifts left in front of my Papa who preferred to have all his grandchildren around him rather than packages and left the presents for Nana to open, the clumsily wrapped cans of tennis balls and Izod polos that populated Daddy's stack of gifts...  No, it does not get easier with time.  Loss leaves craters in your life.  Though they can never be filled, and will never be closed, if you have been enveloped with love the holes are softer to look into and can bring both strength and joy.

 Though this will never be a fun day for me, it is a day that holds my own stash of gifts.   This Father's Day weekend may not be my first without Daddy, but like every year at this time I try to keep the mascara from going by hugging the memories and re-opening his many gifts to me.  Gifts that I carry with me every day and always will.  Gifts that are sewn into the core of my soul and especially my heart.

 I proudly say I am a "Daddy's Girl" and that is a badge I wear boldly. There are a lot of negative connotations with that phrase...spoiled, Princess, indulged...but for me the phrase symbolizes not only the unbreakable bond between a Father and Daughter but also the foundation upon which I stand... every day.

"Run your own race,baby. He could have said it a dozen other ways. “Be independent.” “Don’t be influenced by others.” But it wouldn’t have been the same. The words he chose touched my heart and have remained with me all through my life. Whenever I’m at a crossroads, I ask myself, 
“Am I running my race or somebody else’s?"
What a gift he gave me."

We lost my Dad suddenly. After the shock wore off, and the numbness set in, I felt as if I were living without a safety net, sort of free falling-I still have days I feel that way. It took some time to realize that Daddy had left me many gifts, gifts that would help me realize that a safety net would  always there.  The most important gift perhaps is the knowledge that I do have solid ground beneath my feet because of the lessons he taught me-be yourself, stand for what you believe, laugh no matter what, show them how it's done!, know you tried your best, believe in who you are!  These lessons helped to build my base, grow the roots that sprout from my feet and created my own terra firma, composed of all  the love that I was graced to be given. 

How very lucky I am to know that being a “Daddy’s Girl” means that I carry the extraordinary gift of unconditional love with me wherever life takes me. That love has taught me to believe in myself and my strengths, and to know that I CAN “run my own race”- even when I have trouble finding the track. My Father taught me to trust my instincts, believe that there is nothing I can’t accomplish and that the worst thing I could do would be to give up, pass on an opportunity or to sit on the sidelines and never try!

On the days when I think…”There is NO way I can do this!” I hear Daddy saying “just try”. Happy Father’s Day Daddy…Thank you for my many gifts. Oh how I wish you were here to watch me run my race. I love you today and everyday!