Second, this is the first Father's Day where my only child is, well, no longer a child. She graduated college last month, found an apartment on her own, and is two weeks into her first full time (with benefits!) job in Hollywood. Thus far, the biggest challenge have been ants (Trader Joe's parking lots were the biggest challenge during her internship this winter). That and finding time to do errands given the long hours she is working. But she just got her first adult paycheck. She did all of this with little help from her parents. All I did was help her drive her to LA in January. Anyhow, I take much pride in her gutsiness and her accomplishments, so this is a very proud Father's Day.
Third, it is also a pretty sad Father's Day, as I learned while I was writing this post (I was in the middle of the next paragraph) that my father passed away last night. He was diagnosed with a terminal disease last December and was supposed to live a few weeks. He outlived that prognosis and maybe a couple of others, but not the last one. He lived long enough to go to my daughter's graduation and that of one of my nieces.
The way this played out enabled him to have a last conversation with each of his kids several times. At 90+, he didn't lose his mental capacity (he was still doing his own taxes and fighting over pennies with the NY tax folks), just his hearing. So, these conversations were mostly lectures. Lectures of regret and fear. We had a lousy relationship for nearly my entire life, one that worsened when I married someone outside of his religion. He regretted what he did and apologized several times over the past couple of years. I have forgiven each time, but he did not process that and did not move on. Stubbornness and holding grudges were key traits he has handed down to me.
|They are all laughing at my father who was peaking through |
a porthole as we were taking pics the last night of the cruise
if I remember correctly. He was superproud of his herd
While we didn't get along very well, I do appreciate many things....
That he was proud of me regarding my career and my work as he always had a strong interest in international relations;
That he was proud of who my daughter was turning into, that he lived long enough to see her graduated and employed;
That, ironically, my wife became his favorite in-law;
That we shared a love of travel and of good food (although he was very much a wine person and found my love of brew pubs entertaining);
That he cared so much about the family;
That I probably get my curiosity from him as he read voraciously and saved stuff to read even more so (he was quite the hoarder--he printed out years of the Semi-Spew to read or re-read).
And other stuff, too, that I will probably figure out at the funeral as he is eulogized.
|From the last family vacation, he so loved nature so this shot seems appropriate.|
So, yes, a very complicated and sad Father's Day. I hope my readers can celebrate this day with silly presents and fun stories and see the Incredibles 2.