Dad n' Daughter

The Chronicles of a Dad getting to know his daughter.
For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about the road ahead.  I’m a planner — always have been, always will be.  During that thought process, I asked myself “what do you want to be known for?” 

My initial answers were important, but too career focused.  I’m ambitious — sometimes to a fault.  While every career based thought was valid, it was clear that those were goals — not a legacy.

Being excellent at what you do, writing books, being a celebrity in your industry are wonderful achievements.  One day, maybe I’ll get there.  However, none of that is what I’ll want to be known for.

It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day.  My father learned this when he reached a certain part of his career where he could have gone in multiple directions.  More money, more fame, more “stuff.” The price for that would have been distance and less time.  

There would always be an opportunity for those things in the future.  Goals can be achieved and adjusted.  Timelines, in many aspects of life, can be flexible and adjusted.

But my daughter is only 10 months once.

So, what do I want to be remembered for?  The little things Elsa and Heather care about.  The big stuff that will be noticed by other people will come when they come.  I’ll see them when we’re ready.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about the road ahead. I’m a planner — always have been, always will be. During that thought process, I asked myself “what do you want to be known for?”

My initial answers were important, but too career focused. I’m ambitious — sometimes to a fault. While every career based thought was valid, it was clear that those were goals — not a legacy.

Being excellent at what you do, writing books, being a celebrity in your industry are wonderful achievements. One day, maybe I’ll get there. However, none of that is what I’ll want to be known for.

It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day. My father learned this when he reached a certain part of his career where he could have gone in multiple directions. More money, more fame, more “stuff.” The price for that would have been distance and less time.

There would always be an opportunity for those things in the future. Goals can be achieved and adjusted. Timelines, in many aspects of life, can be flexible and adjusted.

But my daughter is only 10 months once.

So, what do I want to be remembered for? The little things Elsa and Heather care about. The big stuff that will be noticed by other people will come when they come. I’ll see them when we’re ready.

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.

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.

And another first was swimming in Gramma Krys’ pool.  She kicked her feet and splashed like crazy.  She may take after her cousin Rowen who probably spent 6 hours a day in the water!

And another first was swimming in Gramma Krys’ pool. She kicked her feet and splashed like crazy. She may take after her cousin Rowen who probably spent 6 hours a day in the water!

Elsa also had fun seeing Aunt Gwen again and meeting cousins Rowen and Norah for the first time!

Elsa also had fun seeing Aunt Gwen again and meeting cousins Rowen and Norah for the first time!

Here is the first photo with Grand Dad.  Love at first sight without question.  More on this later.

Here is the first photo with Grand Dad. Love at first sight without question. More on this later.

After a layover in Texas (the first state she has visited outside of Mass) we landed in the desert and hit the Zoo.  Elsa got up close to a giraffe.  It was about 108 degrees, so I don’t think she was that impressed.

After a layover in Texas (the first state she has visited outside of Mass) we landed in the desert and hit the Zoo. Elsa got up close to a giraffe. It was about 108 degrees, so I don’t think she was that impressed.

And added lots of entertainment for
Mommy and Daddy (that’s a neck pillow on her head)

And added lots of entertainment for
Mommy and Daddy (that’s a neck pillow on her head)

She slept a good amount of time…

She slept a good amount of time…

She was a real trooper on the plane!

She was a real trooper on the plane!

Elsa’s first trip.  Spent the week in Palm Springs visiting Grand Dad and Gramma Krys!

Elsa’s first trip. Spent the week in Palm Springs visiting Grand Dad and Gramma Krys!