This is My Father, Dad, Papa to the girls. Sometimes a Daddy will slip out. My Father is a scholar, a minister, a philosopher, a caregiver. I don't see him as often as I should but we talk almost daily. When I was a young girl, he took me downtown to Chicago, probably more than once but they all meld together in my memory. We got locked in a stairwell at the Civic Center, saw Pete Seger, played amongst the stone chess tables along the lake and he took photos. A fine day or days. He would take off on Mondays and make soup, oxtail, greek lemon rice, bean. Mmmmm. Because he was a minister, sometimes we did things that our peers did not, such as attend daily Advent worship services before 7AM (before school), when is was bitter cold in the big church.
My Father loves music. He has season tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and always shares an evening with my sister and me. He used to listen to music on the stereo with those great big headphones and conduct the music with great emotion. He gets more enjoyment out of things than anyone I know. He has come to almost every production, band concert, choral concert that the girls have been part of. He laughs louder and more often, than anyone, with such joy. He really listens to the music, 4th grade concerts up to BSO, and can speak of the music, it's complexity or ease, what sections were good, the movement. He still remembers one of my concerts, at Halloween, I was dressed as a butterfly playing the flute and speaks of it once in a while. He inspired the monthly Lansdowne Concerts on the lawn and what a great community service they are.
Emma, first grandchild, was born during a difficult time for my parents and they separated shortly after her birth. My Dad would come out to our house weekly to spend time with Emma while I taught aerobic classes. He would take her for walks in her stroller, or they would walk hand in hand, looking at the moon, discussing important things, petting dogs, observing nature. He now has another grandchild who spends this kind of time with him. I only hope her family knows and treasures how lucky their child is to have this time with him.
Tonight we will go to my sister's house to celebrate Sammajamma's 2nd birthday and Dad will be there. I will wish him Happy Father's Day, give him a token cd, and tell him his true gift can be found here, for the world to see, from my heart.