My Dad will be celebrating Father’s day a mere 2300 miles away from me tomorrow. We will of course, talk in the morning and in less than a month, we will be on vacation with him, another of his generous reachings-out to each of his children. This time, he has invited us to join him and his wife, Sally, on a cruise to Alaska. It is a west coast venture, with my middle brother Larry and his wife, Barbara, and my husband and me.
For the past four summers, he and Sally have joined us on Cape Cod, in the comfortable rental we have stayed in in Chatham, where my husband’s sister, Kate lives. For anyone who’s travel plans include the Cape, you know that it is not easy to get there – fly to Boston, and then drive a punishing 2-4 hours out onto the Cape with all the other visitors, in a winding line of traffic that is enough to gray the last of your hairs. But he and Sally have made the trip, and we have had lovely visits there.
Our few day visits always include a AAA ballgame in the center of Chatham, a drive to Provincetown, and perhaps a whale watch replete with a nap inside the vessel.
My father has always been there for us, financially, emotionally, and with a great sense of humor. There’s nothing I like more than seeing my dad get the giggles. It’s something I have inherited from him, and he from his mother, who had a well-articulated funny bone as well as an extremely strong sense of the dangers in the world, the combination which can be dangerously funny.
This photo, taken in 2006 when we had a mini reunion up at Larry’s wife Barbara’s family cabin near Yosemite is typical of what one of his moments of merriment looks like.
Dad likes to keep us all amused, and sends us funny things he finds on the internet, some of which are amusing, and some of which I’ve had to ask him not to send me ever again, but either way, usually worth a chuckle. We don’t always see eye to eye politically, but I value his opinions about important issues in the world, just as he values mine. Or at least pretends to in the interest of a good discussion.
He loves to travel, and loves to help people. His trips in the past 20 years or so have been epic. There are very few countries he hasn’t visited. Their itineraries are exhausting. When Jimmie and I receive one, we look at each other and ask “How does he have the stamina?” His avocation is family planning, and he and Sally’s travels have taken them to India, Vietnam, Chile, and many other countries. I have accompanied him on several trips as well. We visited Vietnam in 1993, a trip which was truly life-changing for him and extremely enlightening for me. His help extends also to his immediate family members. His generosity and his ability to pick you up when you are feeling down are both gifts that I cherish. And he sure knows how to feed us well when we are together.
And so, though I am 2300 miles away, you see, he always makes me feel that I am close by and treasured. So, have a great day tomorrow, Dad! Counting the days until we giggle with you and Sally in Alaska!