Passing The Baton

shutterstock_148204991When I was growing up, my father taught me to play Scrabble. Not by coaching me through a game, side-by-side as players on the same team, but by being a worthy counterpart in a back and forth exchange on the board. Through this methodology I too became a worthy opponent, a skill I am very proud to have today because it connects me to him, his strengths, his values and is a reminder of fond memories.

Throughout my life, some of the most meaningful and transformative moments I can recall were the conversations I had with my Dad. Some may call them “heart-to-hearts” but that would be underestimating the range and scope of what we would talk about. Similar to our Scrabble matches, he never “dumbed down” an intellectual conversation–not in his interpretations or his expectations of how I was to participate–which challenged me to meet him, or at least make a valiant effort to get there.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Fathers Day Gift Ideas: Celebrating Dad

20130530-224139.jpg

My man with our kids at 16 Handles on the UWS

Father’s Day is a tough one for me. I’m torn. I can’t help but think of my Dad who is no longer here, but I’m also so blessed with a man in my life who is a loving husband and father to me and our children. But it’s more than that. My husband met us when I was newly divorced and my two children were three and five years, respectively. We were adjusting to a new life together and, personally, I was trying to find my way as a single mom, convinced that was what I needed to do…for myself and for my kids not wanting to make another mistake or “fail” again.

Continue reading

Regrets: The Gift I Almost Didn’t Give

20130329-232057.jpgI’ve struggled with regret much of my adult life–my verdict: it’s a toughie. When my father passed away in 1997, I was very lucky because we had tremendous communication and as I had matured we were able to speak very frankly so there was a lot we were able to say to each other. All that aside, once he was gone I was reminded of one particular event that I never got to talk to him about…something I regretted terribly.

Continue reading

A Dance With My Father

20130312-213803.jpg
The sad news about Valerie Harper‘s diagnosis has me reflecting about my father. He also had a brain cancer, however the time between his diagnosis and his passing was approximately eleven weeks. I don’t know if we were profoundly lucky or if were really short-changed because of that compressed timeframe…probably a bit of both.

Continue reading

Gifts for Dads

20120811-151429.jpg

My son in his grandfathers’ glasses, winter 2011

Today my Dad would have been 76 years old. It’s hard to imagine him a day older than 61, his age when he passed, and he seemed more like 45 when he reached 60. He was a dapper dresser, loved his cigars, played soccer from the time he was a boy and loved to fish and garden. He believed in self-reflection, creative expression and was a devout patron of the arts. He was always a good father, but became a great Dad as I got older. I miss him everyday and wish he could see his grandchildren and the life I have today, as I think he would be proud, satisfied and experience joys not yet revealed to him when his life was cut short.

This list include gifts I think he would have wanted, and that I would have wanted to give him, had time and circumstance been different. I’ve also often said “dead people don’t have birthdays” so I’m about to contradict myself when I say Happy birthday Daddy. I love you. I hope this makes you smile wherever you are.

Continue reading