This post seems late since Father’s Day was earlier on Sunday. Rather, Father’s Day is difficult for me and I waited until after the holiday to write about it. How many holidays that expect certain emotions or actions are difficult for you? There’s a lot to pick from; Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Thanksgiving, and many more as this Internet List shows.
Memories are sweeter now, afterward
Looking back is easier today, the pain of loss and grief less pungent. Rather, sweet memories pour over me; the smell of his tobacco smoke, the tickle of his beard when he hugged me, the white salt stains on his work shirt from a day farming in the Florida summer heat, his ability to make me laugh. One prank he pulled especially comes to mind. Whenever I came home to Polk County, I liked to visit Bok Tower Gardens. Dad loved it too. My husband and I were talking as we left our car in the parking lot and Dad and Mom were ahead of us. My inner compass followed Dad without thinking.
When I looked up and realized we weren’t where I expected, I said, “Dad, where did you lead us?”
He grinned and lifted one eyebrow while winking the other eye. I knew I’d been duped again. We were a perfect match. He loved to play practical jokes and I never saw them coming.
Keeping his memory alive
Therefore, I return here, to Bok Tower Gardens often, choosing to volunteer both as an interpretive guide during the cooler months and an historic home docent all year. The many people I meet from all over the globe also remind me how much I’m like my father. He never knew a stranger.
May your memories be as sweet and dear to you as mine are to me.
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