One of my all time favorite memories with my dad is from when I was finishing my last semester at school in Albany and Joe was living in Florida. Though I had spent the summer in Florida, it was hard to leave there and head back to the cold, even if it was only for a semester.
Joe & his brother Mike visited Albany just a few weekends later. Joe had lived in New York for years before moving back to Florida but it was Mike’s first time. They spent a good bit of their time hanging out on the back porch of my parent’s house. The weather was perfect, a mix of warmth from the sun stealing it’s last few days of summer and the breeze that was refreshing & pulling in the fall…and all its wonderful scents.
One day in particular, Joe & Mike were sitting out back with me and my parents. We were laughing at a story that my dad shared about the Red Ryder BB Gun. He disappeared into the garage and reappeared a moment later, BB gun in hand. For the next few hours – yes – hours! – my dad, Joe & Mike spent time trying to aim at the various bugs flying about the flowers that surrounded the porch. Though their aim was poor, the memories and laughter were priceless.
Mike always talked about that day and how fun it was to embrace the moment, my family and New York.
My father is a man who would work the night shift and sleep during the day but would somehow find time to coach his 4 daughters softball games and show up at their cross-country meets.
When I was younger, my dad would return from work in the wee hours of the night and sneak in my room to wake me up. He would help to remove the bar from my feet, carry me to the living room and I would sit with him for an hour or two. We would enjoy a midnight snack and watch episodes of Quantum Leap, an absolute favorite of ours. I would often fall asleep on the couch and he would carry me back to bed. They are memories that I hold dear in my heart even now.
Happy birthday to the man who helped raise me into the woman that I am today. To the man who showed me how to load the dishwasher, the proper way to set the table (even if I needed to write a report for it!), how to not hide from the ball during softball, how to ride my bike and that it’s ok to cry (I imagine he has a pocket full of them by now!).
I love you, Dad.