Lex has a post up this weekend that sums up, better than I could with my own words, a lot of what I'm feeling. Father's Day has never been tough for me until this year.
I miss him.
I really only have 1 picture of the two of us together at the moment - he was the family photographer. I'm sure my mom has a few more. Most of the images I have of my Dad are in my mind. Like Lex's dad, my father was older when I was born. He had just turned 44. This was his second marriage and he had two sons from his first. So I was Daddy's Girl. A position that I reveled in until I hit puberty and then I shunned that status. What a fool I was.
My family jokes that my father didn't know everything about anything but knew something about everything. And he did. He and MacGyver are alike in many ways - they say we often tend to marry our fathers and I definitely did. Good with his hands - he could fix just about anything. Usually it was in an unorthodox way - a product of his Depression-era upbringing more than likely. He was much more inclined to use something that he had laying around the house than he was to go buy whatever it was he needed. The shower curtain rings in the guest bathroom at my parents' house are evidence of that.
He was a woodworker and built furniture. Beautiful furniture that I am looking forward to inheriting when the time comes. And his furniture was substantial. We used to joke that, should a hurricane or earthquake strike, the house may crumble but the furniture would stand. The safest place was under a table he built.
He passed on to me his love of architecture and beautiful lines. One of my favorite places - a place that reminds me so much of him - is the Gamble House. I never had the chance to take him but I know he would have loved it.
And he was tough. Obviously I didn't come to know him until he was older but anyone who can beat off lung cancer, having a lung removed, open heart surgery following that, all sorts of bypass surgeries, and then stave off bladder cancer for years had to have one heck of a constitution.
Because he was older, we didn't do the "typical" father/child activities. In addition to being older than my friends' dads, he worked in a job that required him to travel a lot. The Middle East was a part of my life long before it came in to the national spotlight. The fact that my father traveled to the United Arab Emirates, Iran (before the fall of the Shah and the revolution), Saudi Arabia...it was normal for me. Like I said, I married my father because MacGyver gets to go to those places as well. But Daddy was gone a lot - a fact that really helped to strengthen my relationship with my mother and inspire my love of Mac and Cheese for dinner (traditional first meal after Daddy left on a business trip).
But we didn't go to baseball games or Father/Daughter dances. Instead, we spent large amounts of time in the garage - building things, fixing things, working on cars. When I was a kid, he tore apart (and put back together) the engine on our 1972 Toyota Celica GT. Fun times! I knew more about socket wrenches, pistons, carbuerators, and shocks than just about any kid I knew. And I wore it like a badge of honor.
I still do.
I am blessed. Even though he was 44 when I was born, he lived to be 80 years old. He was able to walk me down the aisle, meet both of my children, and live a full life.
And for that, I am grateful. I miss you Daddy. Happy Father's Day. Thank you.