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.
I’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.
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.
As the end of the year nears I like to take stock and express my gratitude for all the gifts I am so blessed to enjoy. I have two healthy kids who constantly amaze me with their wit and humor, a resilient and devoted husband who loves me–flaws and all–a career I am passionate about, an extended family who are kind and endearing, friends who are more like family and a year that has uncovered a treasure trove of new experiences, personalities and adventures…some that have only just begun. My cup truly does run over.
When I was a teenager and got “pouty,” my Dad would have me say out-loud a gratitude list starting with the letter A going all the way through to the letter Z. I’ve been thinking of him quite a bit these last few weeks, so instead of my usual gift guide or list, I thought I would honor him and this tradition by putting together an A-Z list, and perhaps put some of my own unrest to bed for the New Year.
Happy New Year to you and yours…and Happy New Year, Dad xxoo.
I am grateful for…
Every year figuring out what to get my husband is a challenge. What can I give to the most wonderful man in the world that is as creative, witty and smart as he is? Also, I must admit, he isn’t the easiest to buy for. Even me, the Gifting Whisperer, had a few purchases he exchanged (the horror!!) and even returned (audible gasps!!), but that got us to a better place and now I know to avoid embellishments and any logo appliqués.
Refocusing… I’ve already done a number of gift ideas for men, sports and game enthusiasts, space themed gifts and tech & gadgets that you should feel free to reference if it makes sense for your recipient. The list below highlights some fun and even a few unique ideas for the humorous, quirky, creative guy in your life who likely isn’t a conformist, probably listened to They Might Be Giants and likes (or better yet loves) you for you.
I come from a long line of baseball fans… OK fanatics. And couple my tri-state location (some of my family is in Connecticut, I am a New Yorker) with an Italian lineage and you end up with Yankee fans… Shhh, my son is the rebel Met fan. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to religiously watch games and would pray for the players. I remember her telling me about going to a book signing for Daryl Strawberry (when he was a Yankee) and when she got up to speak to him, she said: “I’ve been praying for you.” Graciously, he replied: “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take all the prayers I can get.”
When my husband and I got married, he made a few things very clear: loved me, the kids, his family and the NY Yankees and no one could say anything bad about any of us. His love of baseball goes very deep, and I wish he could have known my grandmother to be able to share this passion together and she would have loved to see her great-grandson get in on the action. So as I watch the Yankees play Toronto (actually I’m watching my husband watch the Yankees play Toronto), I put together this unique list of gifts for the baseball fanatic.
Golf runs in my family. Perhaps you have a strain of that DNA too? My grandfather, uncle, cousins…not me but my kids are taking lessons this summer. If you know and love anyone who plays golf, and not just plays but LOVES golf you know this is a sport meant to be taken very seriously. As one golfer I know has told me many times: “go to the driving range, that’s where amateurs belong.” ‘Nuf said. These are gifts to buy your golfer that are “safe” when you don’t know WTF you are doing.