With Father's day approaching this weekend, I can’t help but pause often in the next few days to remember. My own beloved Dad, passed on 16 years already, still makes me smile when I think of him. Strength, courage, kindness, faithfulness, hard working. . . all those qualities aptly describe, but his sense of humor and ability to make a simple thing fun is what I enjoy reflecting back upon at this point in my life.
I've never bought into the sentiment which says "we don't need a single day to remember our parents; we should do it everyday", and "that kind of holiday is just a money maker for the greeting card companies and sales pitches". I still believe that taking the time on those designated days to actively remember and honor the Moms and Dads who were our lifelines growing up, is a simple way to say thank you again and again. In reality, not more than a day goes by when I don't consciously or unconsciously think of both of my parents. Busy lives . . . we all live in a crazy busy world. But just knowing that even during my most stressful and difficult situations, asking myself WWMD, or WWDD, is still comforting and healing most all the time. There is a huge part of them both in my heart and I carry their wisdom and grace, along with the warm memories of the unconditional love they shared with me . . . it's always there, even though they aren't.
Funny how some things just jolt you back to a moment, a place, an experience so randomly. But then again maybe it's not really all so random . . .
My Dad always had his binoculars at the beach. Whether he was fishing, walking or (rarely) sitting with my mom and us kids, he had those binocs hanging around his neck, waiting for a sight of something big coming along on the horizon. A huge barge, a liner from another country, a sailboat that caught his interest. He'd watch carefully to determine whether the boat was going to turn north towards Boston, or, continue west and enter the Cape Cod Canal. When that precise moment of direction determination was established, I can still hear his voice; "ok kids let's go" and we'd all five pile into the station wagon to make the seven mile drive down 6A to the Canal, hoping to make it in time to watch whatever it was pass right by us. The moment when he’d check to the left to see if it had already passed, and the relief when he could see it approaching through the canal entrance on the right instead. Shipmates waving to all the bystanders, flags blowing, spray flying onto us. It was a good memory.
I haven't done the "catch-the-ship-run" in probably 50 years, but last summer I did. I don't really know why, but in remembrance of my Dad, when I saw that gorgeous 3 masted sailboat flying westward across the horizon, and I determined it was entering the canal, I jumped in my car and took that ride again. It was exciting actually, to remember doing it then, and to be doing it again. I made it there just in time. Just as the schooner was entering the long pass of the canal. That moment I felt like my dad was right by my side once again. Happy.
So for all those random moments that happen throughout the year, when it's not even Father's Day, I say: Hi Dad. Love you. Thank you. And because it's your special day Sunday . . . Happy Father's Day. I'll be there to remember.
By: Alicia Chimento