"It's only when you grow up, and step back from him or leave him for your own career and your own home- it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it- pride reinforces love."
"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty."
"Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever"
"Old as she was, she still missed her Daddy sometimes"
Tomorrow would have been my father's 73rd birthday and I have been thinking about him more than usual this past week. Our fathers truly define us in so many ways and as we mature this increases. As a female, it is crucial to examine the relationship that you have had with your father- whether you were close to him or if he was absent in your life. He is the reason why you crave certain men in your life. He is the reason why you are confident or not confident at all. His presence in your life or lack of has molded you and defined you in ways that perhaps you are not even aware of.
I have always been aware of the strong presence of my father in my personal existence. He was a strong figure who was always happy and extremely intelligent. He was a successful doctor and friend to everyone no matter their social status or background. He used to take me to work with him on the weekends when I was a little girl. I was in awe of all the people that knew him and smiled as he greeted them. It was obvious that he contributed to the happiness in their life- perhaps with his simple friendly nature or with his knowledge. Whatever the reason, it was obvious that my father spread delight amongst all types of people. I was always extremely proud of him.
I got divorced soon after my father died. I have actually read that this is not that uncommon in regard to divorce. It often happens after the death of a parent. I know personally that after my father died I in fact looked toward my husband to fill a part of the void that existed within me.
In truth, it is a void that no one can fill so that proved fruitless. With the raw emotion of loss, we often seek anything to heal the wound. Over the years I have learned that the loss of a father is something that I will never heal from. I have accepted his death but I have a sadness that will forever be a part of my soul. I could count on my father for any possible need. He was a person who was so incredibly generous monetarily as well as emotionally. He gave of himself in every possible way and he was always available to me. My father was interested and involved in everything that I touched.
When I lived at home, our phone would often ring every weekend with someone asking for medical advice. My father always directed and if possible would get involved. He counseled people endlessly on the method of treatment and healed them emotionally as he calmed their often anxious spirit. My father was always there for my brothers and I and was an active participant in all of our studies and interests. He pushed us to learn and to travel. I often reflect back on the summer that he told my brother and I to go to Italy. We went for weeks and he encouraged us to continue on our journey. We stayed in beautiful hotels and dined in wonderful restaurants and we shopped in Florentine marketplaces. All of this - simply because he believed in experiencing all the good things in life. Generous beyond-
When I was in high school and in college I knew enough to be grateful for our good fortune. However, now that I have children of my own- I look back in tremendous awe.
His desire fortunately matched his ability to give us an extraordinary childhood filled with real adventure and culture. My brothers and I were blessed beyond and have taken his desire for us to learn with us throughout our lives and the lives of our own children.
My three year old niece is bilingual in French, my cousins have all traveled extensively and I try my best to provide all of those things to my children also. My son has acquired similar tastes and interests that mimic my father. He loves Anthropology and Science and wants to be a doctor- in fact a Radiologist like my father was. My daughter looks like my father, she has a radiant giant smile and delights people in many different ways. She has a desire to travel the world and loves art and music.
I think of all the things he has missed out on over the years and all of the ways in which has has enriched our lives.
I would give my right arm to have him here with us. If I could hear my garage door opening just one more time- knowing that it was my father- doughnuts and new york times in hand- I would be thrilled.
I miss everything about him- his love of people, his love of opera and his ability to appreciate the simplest of things despite his extravagant tastes. He dressed beautifully and smelled so good with the latest of designer colognes- thanks to me. I gave him a different one every year for his birthday and he used them all.
We were spoiled by his presence and blessed by his love. I get mad sometimes thinking that someone who was so generous to all was taken away from life. Someone who offered guidance and intellect and happiness to others. Indeed I miss him but Im grateful that he was my father. As a male friend of mine often says "your father ruined it for all men in your life"- I laugh as I hear this.
I do not seek a replacement for my father. He doesn't exist- Im smart enough to know that and the path would lead to frustration. I am however attracted to kind-hearted, intelligent and sophisticated men.
Im raising my son to be the type of man that my father was. He would be delighted with Christopher and that's the best I can do.
His memory is alive and well. His presence is with us in every room in my house and he told Christopher that when he died, he would remain on his left shoulder to guide him and be with him throughout his life. I believe he has kept his word. I love you my dear father- wishing you were somehow here again- wishing I could see your smile. xo