I’m 500 miles away from my Daddy today, but we’ll talk, as many fathers and daughters do. We’ll catch up on what we’ve both been up to, how he’s feeling, and what the weather is like up there and down here. I’ll tell him about our trip to New York, and he’ll listen politely, probably thinking that he’s glad he didn’t have to go. He’ll ask when I’m coming home, and I’ll tell him I’m not sure, but I hope it’s soon — and I do. I’ll tell him I’m not coming unless he promises to make his special ribs, and he’ll chuckle.
My daddy does so many things well. He’s still, at age 80, great with his hands. He does woodworking, takes care of their house, and has discovered late in life that he’s a fantastic “grill chef” – ha! He was always like that – when he decided he wanted to do something, he’d study it, talk to people who did it, and figure it out … then do it. I think my brother and sister and I all inherited a bit of that. My brother does it with cars and house stuff, I’ve done it with jewelry and genealogy, and my sister does it in raising an amazing kid. As we were growing up, Daddy built us swings, repaired our bikes, took us camping, introduced us to the Outer Banks, and loved us a lot. Life came along and shook things up a bit, but none of that changes the fact that our childhood featured a father who was present and loved us, and he still does. I love you, too, Daddy.
I also want to remember my father-in-law today. He passed away last summer, after several declining years with Alzheimer’s. I only had the privilege of knowing him for about 20 years, but those 20 years were a gift. He was a gentle man, and a gentleman. He loved baseball and a good laugh. And he adored his son … so do I. We miss you, Bill.