Father's Day Post --- One Day Late

I wrote this post about my dad yesterday and somehow forgot to post it.  So here is my Father's Day Post, a day late.

Written Yesterday

I'm not with my dad this year for Father's Day and wish I were.  Feeling a little nostalgic, I wrote some of my favorite memories on what makes my dad so amazing and all the reasons that I love him so much.

1. During my awkward years going through puberty, when everyone is self-conscious, I couldn't help questioning how I looked (and smelled!)  My dad was doing some work at the kitchen table and I was sitting across from him finishing up my homework.  I timidly asked him, "Papa', do you think I'm pretty?"  Without missing a beat, he looked up at me and said, "Of course I do.  You're naturally pretty and don't need all that junk your friends put on their faces.  You're the most beautiful girl I know."  And he said it with such sincerity in his voice, I believed him.  Because I knew that to my dad, I would always be the most beautiful girl and that was enough for me.  So even when I'm having an off day, feel bloated, my gray hairs are front and center and my eyebrows are completely grown in, I know that my dad wouldn't notice those things and to him, I'm still beautiful.

2. My mom is a phenomenal cook and her dinners are outstanding, but my dad made me the best lunches in the world.  Even though he left for work at 5:30am, he still found time to wake up early and make my favorites for lunch.  He never once complained, nor made a big deal of it. 
  • Mondays/Tuesdays - Freshly cut Italian cold-cuts that he would slice paper thin on his own deli slicer (What, you don't have one of these on your kitchen counter?)
  • Wednesdays - angel pasta and his famous marinara sauce that he would put in a thermos for me
  • Thursdays - onion omelet in a soft roll
  • Fridays - tuna fish sandwiches.  His tuna fish is SO good that he would make two: one for me and one for my friends to eat. They liked my dad's tuna so much they would always take bites of mine and then I was left with none.  Maybe I'll ask my dad for his recipe and post it.

3. He came to every piano recital, every soccer game, every softball game, every play, every tournament...you name it, he was there.  He's a quiet man so I wouldn't say he'd cheer the loudest, but he always beamed with pride.

4. We all rotated chores in our house.  My parents called it "a part of being in the family."  It was my turn to do the laundry and I found $10 in my dad's pocket.  I held it up to him and told him where I had found it.  He said thank you, took it from my hand and put it back into his pocket.  I meekly said, "I was hoping that since I was honest about finding it, you'd give it to me."  My dad put down his paper, looked me in the eyes and said, "But I always expect you to be honest with me.  Reward or no reward."  It humbled me and it was a lesson I took to heart, not just with being honest, but doing good in general.  Doing good should be on the sole basis of helping others, not on the basis of what you may gain in return.

5. He taught me to parallel park in two turns, a very important skill living in New York.  Enough said.

6. My second brother and I are very close in age and had some over-lapping years in college.  It was obvious my dad felt empty-nest syndrome.  He would get so excited when we would come home for Thanksgiving and would be waiting for us at the airport with a huge smile on his face.  It made us feel like a million bucks.  And I should mention that he gives the heartiest bear hugs.  Even now, when we come to town, my dad still shows that same giddiness.  And the feeling of being loved and special never gets old.

7. When I moved into my own apartment, my dad handed me my own fully-stocked tool box, including a power drill.  He said that with the proper tools, I could be self-reliant and fix just about anything.  But if I ever needed him, he was only a phone call away.

8. My dad gave the most heart-felt speech at our wedding.  The part I remember the most is when he reminded us to always help those less fortunate and to live in the Jesuit tradition of being "men and women for others."  He's always a teacher, even at our wedding, gently reminding us to do good and give back.  He's been a wonderful example of someone who gives back my entire life: helped build houses in poor areas within the US and Belize during his vacation time; cooked food for a homeless shelter; helps to care for an elderly neighbor by bringing her medicine daily and fixing up anything that needs repair around her home, to name a few.  I believe that people learn through example and both my parents are the best around.

Before walking me down the aisle

I know my brothers are going to yell at me for forgetting to write something important.  But this is my list.  So make your own!

I am blessed to have my dad and I hope we have many more healthy years together.  We lost my father-in-law not long ago and still feel his absence.  So for all fathers still with us and those who have passed on, we remember and honor you today.  And we love you.


Adrienne said... [Reply]

What a truly touching post. Your father sounds like a wonderful and loving man. You are very fortunate to have been raised by him. And he is fortunate, in turn, to have a gracious daughter to recognize what an incredible parent he is.

His Way or Her Way said... [Reply]

I loved your post about your Father. What a special man! Thank you for joining our blog. We are now following yours. You and your brother sound a lot like Pete and me. . .lol.


Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Adrienne Thank you for your kind compliment. I feel blessed to have my wonderful family. Both my parents are truly exceptional people and made many sacrifices to give my brothers and me the life that we had. They helped me to appreciate the simple, important things in life. To them, I am eternally grateful.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@His Way or Her Way Lori, Thank you so much for following Stranded in Cleveland your nice comment on my dad. My brother and I are extremely close and are best friends. We have a lot of fun cooking together and swapping recipes. Looking forward to seeing what you and brother whip up next!

Jen-uinely Inspired said... [Reply]

What a sweet post about your dad. He sounds like a wonderful man. My dad and I aren't very close, and I envy those daughters who have a close relationship with their dad.

Karen At Home said... [Reply]

Hi there! Just saw your comment over on Hines Sight Blog. So nice to meet another Cleveland Blogger! I have been living on the East side for 6 years after living my whole life over on the West.

Such a cute Blog!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Jen-uinely Inspired Jenny, thanks for your note. My dad really is a wonderful man. He's introverted and doesn't say much, but he always expressed his love for me through his actions.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Karen At Home Karen - thanks for stopping by! I'm also an East-sider and feel as though I'm adapting well to Cleveland. The summers here are gorgeous! It's the winters that do a number on me, though!!! I'm also in love with all the houses here. Anywhere else they'd be millions upon millions of dollars. When my husband and I go for runs or bike rides, we like to pick out our favorites, but really, they're all stunning! (Except for our little house - haha.) But I do appreciate the nice things Cleveland has to offer. I hope you stop back to Stranded in Cleveland again!

Honestly Good Food said... [Reply]

Oh my goodness, what a dramatic wedding gown. So lovely. I wonder if my sister and your cousin are working for the same company. Wouldn't that be something? She said there were about 10 other new, young accountants starting. I just can't remember the company name. I think it's 3 letters.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Honestly Good Food Thank you so much! I designed my wedding gown and had it made. It was just silk and lace. And my brother's mother-in-law made my veil for me. It was very "me." Simple and classic.

Please tell me that your cousin will be working for PWC?!

montanawildflower said... [Reply]

WOW, I LOVE that picture of you and your dad right before you walked down the isle! How beautiful and to have a picture to cherish such a lovely moment!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@montanawildflower Thanks! I didn't realize it was the first time you saw it. It's one of my favorite pictures, especially of my dad and me. I think I may have told you before, it's the church where my parents were married as well, so it was doubly-special for my dad. We had a really touching chat before we walked down the aisle, so I love the picture, not only for the artistry, but also I remember how giddy we both were.