I have been blessed with two wonderful parents. Mom and Dad worked very hard to provide for my sister, Kathy, and me while we were growing up. We were a close family … not just in relationship, but in proximity. We lived in a two-bedroom rowhouse in Philadelphia where Kathy and I shared a room … and a closet! Talk about close quarters! The number of fights we had over clothing ranks right up there with the number of shoes in Imelda Marcos’ closet, but we survived and have a lot of good memories to share.
The summer before I turned thirteen we had to put our beloved family dog, Duby, to sleep. He was adopted into the family when I was just a twinkle in my father’s eyes and I never knew life without him. He was a great babysitter when I was a child. He helped me learn to walk as I held onto his ears and my first word was not mama or dada. It was Duby! You can imagine how difficult it was for our family when Duby died. I tried so hard to be brave when we took Duby on that last trip to the vet, but when I saw tears running down my dad’s face, I knew it was okay to cry. My dad was (and still is) a big, strong man who could handle anything. He was tough and wouldn’t take flack from anyone, especially the boys who wanted to date his two daughters! Yet that day I saw a new side of my dad – a tender side. Now I am sure I had seen that tender side of him before, but that day stands out to me because I both felt and saw the love in my father’s eyes. Today, many people call him a big teddy bear which is a rather fitting description. Both he and my mom are kind and compassionate souls and I am grateful for all of the love and support they gave me as a child … and the love and support they still give me today.
Today is my dad’s birthday. Though I am unable to be with him in person, I want him to know just how much I still love and admire him. Happy Birthday, Dad!
Until next time, peace …
Mom and Dad, Christmas 2009