Happy Father’s Day, Y’all!
It’s hard finding pictures of my father, as he was usually the one taking them. I did discover this one, though, of our first Sunday after we moved to New York. We were still new to snow – contrary to popular belief, it does snow in Alabama, even in Mobile, it just doesn’t stay all winter long.
Daddy was a very busy executive but he always made time for family. Sometimes it wasn’t easy. He traveled a lot but every homecoming brought something from where he had been. Sometimes he was late getting home, but he always checked my homework (he was a math wizard, I was not) and together we walked the dog and talked about the stars and stories from when he was little. If I was having a tough day (being an Alabama girl in a New York school was tough in the beginning – “you talk funny” “how big was your plantation?” “why do you get so excited over snow?” “my mother says people from Alabama are stupid” “Don’t say ‘yes ma’am’ that’s stupid.” – I tried not saying it to my mother that night and found she vehemently disagreed.)
On nights like that I could pour my heart out to Daddy. Usually it entailed me crying as we walked the dog and begging to be sent back home where the weather was warm and people were polite. Daddy would hug me and say it wasn’t always easy for him either, but we were a family, we were staying together, we would kill them with kindness and not retaliate in kind, and if they still hated us, at least we had done the right thing. The good news is, after a rocky start we did make friends, people stopped calling us stupid and we did learn to survive as strangers in a strange land. Some of my best memories revolve around that time. Walking in the snow with Daddy is one of them. Thank you, Daddy for always being there for me. Even though I didn’t have you for very long, your influence lives on.
Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband. When I asked my mother how she could tell the good boyfriends from the bad ones, she said “One clue is look at how he treats his mother.” My husband’s father and his younger sister passed away when he was young and it was just him and his mom (one of the things we had in common). Even when we were away at college, he checked in on her just to see how she was doing. It was clear he had high regard for her and that he hung the moon as far as she was concerned. The first dinner out we had with our mothers shortly after we were engaged, my Mom smiled. She liked the way my future husband treated his mother.
We’ve been married a long time now, long enough to go through births, deaths, moving a zillion times (if that won’t break you nothing will) and I cherish him more every day.
My husband has always and continues to put me and the children (grown now) before himself. Many times when the children were babies he would come in after a long shift, take the baby I was sitting up with, and say “You look exhausted. I’ve got this. Go to bed.” Our first Christmas together he sold a prized possession to get me a white Persian kitten. (I didn’t find out he did that until years later.) He’s a quiet man. Most of the things he does for us he does quietly – I was making out a list of to-dos for this weekend when I was sitting in the car during lunch the other day and realized that I didn’t need to fill up the car as the tank (half-empty the day before) was magically full that day. I’m sure he’s done a million other things that have slipped by me in the craziness of everyday life at full speed ahead. I’m trying to be better at catching those moments and saying thank you. Thank you, Sugar Bear. You are my knight in shining armor through good times and bad. I am so grateful to have a man who takes such good care of us. I never thought there could be another man as good as my dad, but you are. I love, cherish, and appreciate you.