Sunday, June 18, 2017

Phone Calls From the Other Side

On this Father's Day, I find myself reflecting on the fathers in my life. My husband has been a loving, good, supportive, sports-loving father to our son. My son has been an all-involved, good, supportive, loving father to our grandson. And my father, who's been gone from this earth 24 years, was, well, he was a throw-back.

Daddy (he will forever-and-always be Daddy to me), was a traditional father of the time. He worked hard to support us, had a hobby side business that he worked just as hard at, was the type of father who made sure we all sat down to dinner together every night (a tradition that lives on with my family), was strict, believed in punishment (and honestly, I'm the better for it), and we knew he loved us, even if he wasn't always comfortable saying or showing it.

But what I remember, and miss, most about Daddy are the phone calls.... Long after I'd left home, I would call home several times a week, almost always getting Mom and talking with her for minutes or hours about life, love, family, the price of tomatoes, etc. But on rare occasions, Mom would be off running errands, or at the hairdresser's, or wherever, and Daddy would answer the phone. And he and I would talk until Mom showed back up, be it for minutes or hours. We would talk about the weather, about life, about love, about children, about politics, about family, about friends....our conversations would meander all over the place, and that's what made them so magnificent. Growing up, I did not find Daddy to be much of a conversationalist, but after I left home, a whole new side of Daddy opened up to me over those phone calls.

When Daddy died, the minister that performed the eulogy asked my sister and I for our best memories of Daddy. Mine was the phone calls.... god, I miss those calls. I would give almost anything to be able to call Daddy on the other side now and bring him up to date on what he's missed these last 24 years, get his advice, get his opinion on the current state of affairs, tell him his grandson was grown into a truly wonderful young man/husband/father, tell him all about his great-grandson, who loves reading, learning, and Taekwondo....oh to have a conversation with him again! And as sad as it makes me to know that can never happen, I do know that every moment is infused with Daddy and those conversations....I cannot hear the words or the voice, but oh how I feel them in times of need, or sadness, or joy, or just in the ordinary moments.

So, little ones, on Father's Day please know that even when your father leaves this realm, if you want them to, the conversations with your father will live on every day in your memories, and in the ordinary moments of your life. Rejoice in that....rejoice in such phone calls from the other side.