It's only my second Father's Day without my dad, but somehow this one hit me much harder than the last. Last year I was distracted by focusing on my boyfriend, celebrating him as a father, so I simply moved my attention to something else. I tend to do that with pain -- look at a bright shiny object nearby so I don't have to deal with the dark feelings.
Today, I innocently went to Starbucks. A lovely elderly man was ordering a latte, and just behind him, in front of me, was a rather dashing man of about my age. At one point the younger man turned to me and I asked "Father's Day?" and he nodded yes. Right in that moment, in the midst of my heart being so full and happy for them and their little outing, I got nailed by a huge sense of loss that I wasn't in line with my dad. His dad was paying and the younger man said "Senior Father's privilege" saying that even though he too was a father, the senior dad won. My dad always paid for me too. I would have to do acrobatic sneaking around with waiters to get to pay. My dad would laugh proudly at my ingenuity, but I could also see the glimmer of "Well, that won't be happening again."
I started quietly crying right there in the middle of Starbucks. It's been a while since I cried about my dad. Mostly I've been appreciating a joyful relationship with him, in my dreams, meditations and even just in daily life hearing him whispering advice to me - particularly when dealing with the business he left me.
He's helped me a lot with the recent ending of my relationship of two years. Even as I edge toward what I think is the tail end -- hopefully, please God -- of mourning this loss of love, he has been quite light and playful with me in my dreams. Just the other day, my dog thankfully barked at some creature in the back yard around 3 a.m. It woke me from a deep sleep where I was dreaming about my dad and my ex. My dad was showing me with a bit of hilarity how grateful he was that I hadn't gotten engaged - as my ex had promised him -- to a man who told so many slightly frightening lies. I woke up, albeit groggy, with a smile on my face.
My dad was unmarried most of his life. Two marriages - one about 6 years and another about 10 -- do not fill up a lot of years. So, he learned to love to cook for himself and for guests. He really did love to cook, and he was good at it too. He had all the best cookbooks and experimented with them all regularly. He had an ultimate passion for cooking soup, and toward the end of his life he passed this passion on to me.
He also liked to bake from time to time. And, he loooooooooooved him some bacon! He would carefully stow away every bit of bacon grease he could get after cooking a rasher of bacon. He always gave him a weekly treat: big Sunday breakfast. He went to his favorite diner most weeks but loved to cook up a big American cholesterol rich breakfast. This morning as I was thinking about baking some muffins to cure my recent craving for a good warm hot out of the oven muffin I thought "Wow, I wish I had made my dad big corn muffins with bacon grease and big chunks of crispy bacon in them while he was alive."
In his honor I made corn muffins. Being a vegetarian, I added corn and toasted almonds instead of the bacon. He would be laughing very, very heartily at that pathetic substitution! I toasted my dad with yummy food, which is appropriate. He'd approve of a toast with gin too, but muffins will have to do today.
I miss him so much today, but taking time out to honor him seems to make it a little better.
Happy Father's Day Dad. You were literally the best dad I could have ever had. Had I ordered you up on a menu, you couldn't have been any more perfect.
love, love, love,
your Lazy Daughter