A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit my father and step-mother in Rancho Mirage, California. It was the first time Elsa was able to meet her grandfather. While today marks my first official fathers day, I could think of no better way to mark the occasion than to tell you a little about my dad.
To My Daughter on Father’s Day,
I never knew my fathers dad. In fact, I barely knew any of his family. Unfortunately, they left us too soon, but the photos remain. Family has always been the most important thing to your grandfather. He’s a man of tradition, sentiment, and togetherness. He’s a man I’ve admired my whole life, and one you will admire through my eyes.
You will never know your grandfather the way I do. You won’t have a chance to hear the authentic, ridiculous laugh. You won’t be able to watch him befriend every person in the room at a dinner party. You won’t be able to see the genuine kindness that fills his eyes and the sheer joy he feels when he talks about growing up in Port Chester, working at a job he loved, fishing and being a father.
Your grandfather is an exceptional man. If you knew him like I do, it wouldn’t take you long to realize it. In fact, I knew at a young age that my dad was something special. It was the way people responded to him. They way they looked at him. Looks that you don’t see often. A mix of respect, love, gratitude and pride.
Your grandfather is tenacious, determined and scarred. He has faced countless heartaches and challenges in his life. Through all of the pain, he persevered. He remained grateful for the good things in life. Friends and family.
Your grandfather cherished those times with family and friends. While he rarely said it, the time he had was never enough. If he could, he would have kept us all close, every second of every day. In fact, when I called him today to wish him a happy fathers day, he was upset because he couldn’t get here to us. He didn’t know we were on the other side of the country.
I can’t say what the future holds, but know that at a time when your grandfather struggled to remember names and faces, he remembered yours and asks about you often. He was stunned to hear that you could pull yourself up to a standing position at 7 months… I could hear the pride in his softened voice.
When you read these words in the future, be sure to ask me about your grandfather. Ask your Aunt Gwen about him, too. As we tell you the stories of “skippy,” the Brass Ring, Phantom of the Opera, I hope it all sounds familiar. I hope it sounds like me… Your dad. Incredibly proud, overly emotional, and grateful you’re in my life.
While you may never know your grandfather the way I do, we have photos that capture the moments that matter. Even one snap shot in time is something to be grateful for. Especially when you are in the arms of those who love you.