My Father’s Day Tribute 2016
Two years and two days ago, I spent what would be the last Father’s Day I would have with my father. For a man that wanted nothing I prepared a coupon booklet, much like one I’d made for him in grade school. I filled it with 12 vouchers redeemable for a different home baked treat every month, complete with delivery and time just for daddy and daughter. I didn’t get the chance to enjoy one delivery, sharing scones or cookies, chatting or reading together.
Two years ago today, he entered the hospital. Despite a massive brain bleed, he knew who I was, I told him I loved him.
Two years ago tomorrow, would be the last time he would open his eyes, look at me, and reach for my face with his big, strong, outstretched hand. He slipped into a comma never to awake again.
Two years ago, June 30, we said our final goodbyes to the greatest man I’d ever known.
I’m not going to insult you, or righteously postulate about how we need to make every moment count, or tell someone we love how much they mean to us. None of you need reminding. And certainly, given the horrific tragedies this nation has witnessed in just the last week alone, I don’t believe anyone doubts how precious life is. Really, who among us intentionally takes life for granted, dismisses the ones we love, neglects a friend, or runs the clock out on life with no time to spare.
I certainly do not count the days until the series of emotional June gloom gathers overhead. But here it is, introduced by shootings, acts of terrorism, a toddler’s death… There is grief in every day, for someone, or even everyone. But there is also hope, joy, blessings and miracles. This week, for me, it was a peacock that unexpectedly landed at my home and visited for a few hours. Not completely showing off, but subtly strutting across my roof, allowing the twilight to highlight the glimmer of his royal blue collar and the sweeping train of his tail feathers. Only to be followed by a sweet mama squirrel who magically captured my gaze and gestured for me to approach her – allowing me to hand feed her – trusting me to stand too close and photograph her picnic. It came in the form of legislative victory with the passing of the Beagle Freedom Act in New York – ensuring that animals tested in laboratories in that state would have an opportunity to know freedom, safety, love, happiness and a future. It came in a bittersweet afternoon watching my senior, beloved dog Cooper, who struggles with intermittent paralysis, but finds the tenacity, strength, courage and will to enjoy a patrol lap around the perimeter of the yard, his yard, and gift me another day and more treasured time with him. It will come on Father’s Day when I wipe away the tears and watch three beautiful children lavish their father, my brother, with love and adoration, just as he and I did with our father when we were young. It will come in many ways, every day, in between challenges and heartache.
What’s the point here? The point is, that the only way I know how to honor my father, and so many others, is to respect the battles, pay tribute to the fallen, champion those who struggle, celebrate those who are victorious, remain curious and humble, live in truth, marvel at the beauty of life, treasure nature, and always, always keep hope alive and SEE the miracles. Oh, and keep baking and sharing some loven from the oven… This weekend, I’ll make blueberry lemon scones – the very first scone I ever enjoyed was when I was about 6 years old, at a tiny bakery in Carmel, California, with my father.
Happy Father’s Day.