Xmas, 1970. Santa brought a white doll house, with a blue roof topped with a shiny, gold bow. Wooden furniture and a funny man with kind, hazel eyes smiling at me, full of pride. I was 2. How could I remember? How could I know, dare to imagine, how full of happy this man would make me. This oh so amazing, lightning bolt father of mine. How magical growing up in our family would be, how jovial he would make it. He kept a solid roof over my head, our heads. Every single good I am came straight from his heart. He was Christmas, the Easter Bunny, Disney, the every hero in my bedtime stories. Being in his company never got old or monotonous. He taught me the most important lessons by example; be kind, be compassionate, be humble, don’t judge, keep it simple, give whenever, as much and wherever you can. Keep on giving, give it all away. Don’t boast, don’t ask, do it in secret. Because, you have more than you need. However much you have, share it. Don’t hold onto to things; grudges, ideas, envy, they won’t matter. Take care of your mother, she won’t ask but she’ll need you. How could I know, when he said goodbye forever, a lifetime of his love would not die. I miss him, my daddy. Me, the adult woman forty-four Christmas’ past. I miss the one who made life brighter, better, more meaningful than yesterday. He’s never far, lives in every wall, every memory, every room in our house. It might be impossible for a two-year old to remember playing doll house with her daddy, one long forgotten Christmas. It’s not impossible today. I recreate the dream, close my eyes and I am back there, on a shaggy, spotted, brown and yellow carpet by his side. He’s easy to remember, impossible to forget. I loved him before I ever knew I was capable of great big love, and I’ll love him every day after. My heart tells me so, and I am half a heart his precious baby, adored daughter. The other part belongs to her, my mother. And there’s plenty of room leftover. He showed me how to keep stretching, expanding the muscle.
Happy Father’s Day, daddy. Thank you for teaching my heart how to smile, for loving me so complete, so big, so much better than I could’ve asked for.