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How our Dads shape us....


It's Father's Day, today. I am spending the day at my in-laws house. My husband and his Dad, and brother are all watching the World Cup downstairs. From time to time I hear hoots and hollars, echoing up. Yells of "Yesss!" and "Oh my God!" and "Get it, GET IT!" pretty much sum up the action going on. I notice sometimes how my husband is very much like his father. He has the same temperament, easy going for the most part, super intelligent, funny and articulate. Normally patient, and hating to be wrong. Kind. Would I change anything about either of them? Nope, not at all. In this case, the apple fell from a very fine tree, and I have no complaints.

My own father passed away well over twenty years ago. I was 23 years old at the time. I was technically an adult, and I was even married (to my first husband) at that time, but believe me, I was not ready to be without my Dad. I still needed help navagating all the so-called "grown-up" things in life. Still he was there during my formative years, and I am grateful for that.

I think that, though I resemble my mother in looks, I am very much my fathers' daughter. He was a person who loved words and could not rest until he completed his crossword puzzle every day. He was also a person who was often lost in thought, and craved quiet-much like me. He loved to spend time in his garden, and tinkering away on one of the antique cars he collected. It was not surprising to find him talking to himself, as if he were imagining scenarios. I do that all the time, interracting with the characters in my head-trying to get the dialogue just right before I commit it to the page.

When I was a kid, whenever I wrote anything, the first person I would show it to, was my Dad. He had been a teacher before he married my mom and I trusted him above anyone, to give me honest feedback. My Dad was probably the most encouraging person in my world, while he was alive. When he died, I have to admit, some of my motivation to write deminished. Who was I if I did not have him there, to be proud of me? It took me many years to find my way back to my writing roots. Even now wonder what he would have said, or advised, or praised, anytime I finish a writing project. I like to think he would be proud.


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