Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

My dad wasn't a morose type, but once he did say that when he died, he'd come back and flick the lights to let us know he was still here. Last night, a table lamp came on without me touching it. I turned it off. In the morning, the lamp blazed again. Pretty cool, Daddy! The night before, I saw a special on CNN about a man with a rare cancer who formed a council of dads for his daughter in case he died. He assembled seven guys who knew him to serve as dads for his young twin daughters since his prognosis was bleak. I admire the idea, but I'm so glad he didn't die. While a council of dads is a sweet notion in a dark time, it doesn't really address what a dad does. No matter how well meaning, nobody can substitute for a dad (by this term, I mean the person who raised you -- biological or not). Nobody loves you like your daddy does. Nobody.

When we were kids every Friday in the summer, Daddy would take me and Beth to Taco Bell. We'd have slept late and watched All My Children. A few minutes before Daddy got home for his lunch break, we'd take out the Windex and pretend to clean the house. Daddy would say, "Since you munchkins have been working so hard, I'm going to take you out to lunch." I'd order the same thing every time -- Nachos Belle Grande. My favorite part was the lone sliced black olive on top of the sour cream. When the drive-through crew forgot, we'd roll back around and get the black olive lest I be heartbroken. Looking back, I think of how hard Dad worked all week and how tedious this must have been. But he never acted put out, he always acted really excited to be getting Taco Bell on a Friday afternoon, a few more hours to go in the work week. Now the lights flicker to remind me of those times, the hot summer days burned into my memory like an overexposed photograph, the faded images of something only you know to be wonderful.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"My father died many years ago, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it." Josefowitz

Cocktail Hour
Summer cocktail video to be posted soon.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!


Tim said...

Wonderful post Michelle! As a dad myself, I'm sure you father never minded those trips to Taco Bell. I'm sure it was as special for him as it was for you. Very cool about the lamp!

Lana Gramlich said...

The council of dads idea is so very touching! OMG...
I have very fond memories of my dad, but he doted on me (& died when I was just 9.) Although I'm not a superstitious person (I even have a Dawkins-like tendency to denounce others' belief in god,) to some extent I feel like dad's still with me, in some way. I know it's poppycock, but it brings me some small comfort.

chris said...

Michelle that is some heartfelt writing. I talk to mine every now and then,lost him in 93. Cool story about the lights coming on. Be safe in that little ole city. I'll bet your father would be proud. Great post M. The island is well.

the walking man said...

Gah! I went out of my way to stay out of the way all day yesterday. They found me anyway in their own way. But at least the phone calls were not collect.

Keith Hood said...

Theresa has been getting such signals since the death of her father. They were both chess players and I can't remember the exact details but the signal from the beyond involved a chess piece. She's had three friends die in the last two years and gotten signals from all of them including LaFond. Interesting stuff.