Sunday, June 21, 2015

Remembering My Dad on Father's Day

We were at friend's daughter's wedding last night--an Italian no-expense-spared-never-ending-foodapalooza--and for the father-daughter dance they played this song:

It's a father addressing his daughter's groom on their wedding day: "I loved her first," says the choked up dad, and you should know that there will always be a place in her heart reserved exclusively for me.
Kind of corny, I know. But I admit that it made me a bit teary, not only because watching father and daughter dance to it was such a sweet sight. It got me to thinking about my dad, and how I never got to dance at my wedding with him as the lucky bride last night did with hers. You see, my dad died (suddenly, of a massive heart attack) almost eight years before I had my wedding. He didn't live long enough to meet the man I would marry (and to whom I'm still happily wed more than a quarter of a century later). He didn't get to walk me down the aisle. He didn't get to give me away. But all these years later, and this being Father's Day, he still has a very special place in heart.
Because, even though he missed all that good stuff, as did I, as his oldest child (I have four younger siblings), and the one most like him (something of an introvert, bookish, musical, vastly appreciative of dry humour), I had more of him than did my brothers and sisters. I was the one who he'd take for a long drive on some (rare) nights when he wasn't working. (He always drove a Chrysler--I have no idea why.) We'd listen to old episodes of The Goon Show on the car radio. Sometimes, we'd stop for a beer and talk about things both silly and profound.
My dad was funny and sweet and goofy and smart. So very smart. Though a workaholic--we was a doctor, a specialist in Internal Medicine--he managed to find time to read widely and voraciously. Our shelves at home groaned under the load of huge, slab-like tomes on archaeology and history and movies, along with the latest novels by Bellow and Nabokov and many others.
He was so proud of me--that I wanted to be a writer, that I played the cello (a music lover himself, Beethoven being his favorite, he loved coming to hear me play in my high school orchestra and in a string quartet). And I thought that he was, well, awesome.
All these years later, I still do. And that song--that corny, sentimental song--at last night's wedding brought those long-buried memories rushing back in such abundance that they manifested themselves in my tears.
They are happy memories, though. And on this day especially, I cherish them more--much more--than words, or tears, can say.

1 comment:

Will MFS said...


I think i have some idea how you feel, my mom her Father died at the age of 43, also a workaholic.

Although it's almost 60 years ago there isn't a week that passes without her mentioning her father.

She keeps telling me i look so much like him, and it's obvious how much she worshiped her father.

As long we remember those who passed away they are still alive in our lives.