“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
- Jim Valvano
My dear little blades, I could spend this entire page gushing about my father. And how we drove around the Delaware River today and settled upon a cozy little cafe called Meil's. And how we stopped into the Bridgeton Inn and took a tour with the ever-friendly Dianne and the standard poodle, Mira.
Or how stories of my childhood spilled off of our tongues as easily as ice cream slides off of the lips of small children...
Or I could tell you that he was once my own personal John F. Kennedy, Jr.
How when he told stories of America when he arrived here as a slight teenager from Holland, he'd listen to records of American music in his dorm room and learn how to speak. How he loved his Mount Hermon prep school...
Or how he brought me ice cream -- Thomas Sweets blend-in's to Deer Creek -- which we renamed Deer Crack -- when I was lifeguarding long and "muggy" New Jersey summer days.
Or how he was an angel when my mom was dying.
Or how when he played Here, There, and Everywhere on the piano, I sometimes cried a little. Not to mention the fact that I requested it almost every night as I lay in bed above the living room falling asleep to my favorite Beatles song.
Or how our car Climbed Mount Washington when I was little. Our Volkswagen Microbus and I prayed to my black baby in the far back seat, prayed that we make it down the mountain without driving off the cliff. Our brakes failed on the way down. My baby's name was Kerri. After my friend, Kerri Freeman.
Or how when my Volvo broke down on the way with Jeb as we drove down to Virginia Tech to visit my best friend at school, my Dad drove down all the way from our house in NJ and gave us cash to fix it and stay in a hotel overnight. And then drove back home.
How he found love again after your Mom was gone. And their romance inspires you. Has always inspired you. Sometimes in spite of yourself. But, he has proven to you that love is waiting for you. That he found it. And so can you. And you LOVE this. Gift that he has given you, unknowingly. And you looooove this...
Yah, yah, yah. You all get the point.
He's a good egg.
And the thing is, no -- he is not perfect. In fact, wildly imperfect. Just like me. And you.
And we have absolutely had our fights and let downs and times of missing the old days. And wondering how we could ever love again like we did when I was young and lived at home as a school girl.
But then -- something magical happens.
Time sneaks up on you.
And then, you sneak up on time -- and decide for yourself -- this is what is important to me. You are what is important to me.
And you crave your Dad.
And you fly out sooo easily and happily to sit next to him on the front porch, eat, practically drink, your soupy ice cream from your afternoon car ride, and listen to him speak of his mother and how much she meant to him.
And then, you crawl upstairs and sit down at the computer, his golden retriever as your side, Molly. And you write about him. Because -- nothing matters more. Has made this day better. Than your Dad.
Today was a 10, he said.
And it was. A 10.
So... thank you Dr. Leo Martin Seymour van den Blink. aka DADDY.
For making my day.
For making me. At least half of me.
You. Make. Me. Happy.
And so... here's to you, Dad. Happy early Father's Day! Here's to all of our Dads, near and far...
And to all of my little blades, near and far... I send you Love... Always.