Saturday, June 18, 2011

a father's day tribute

It has been one of those slow mornings. I slept until 11am, hung out in bed for 2 hours after that reflecting on the past week. This morning, I received the dreaded phone call I had been waiting for-my grandfather had passed away. And so I stayed in bed, filled with sadness and memories. Sadness for my dad, my grandmother, and for my grandfather. Of course, my mind went to that place of reflection. Reflecting on my relationship with my own father. And so, here I am, drinking hot tea and looking out at the dreary & drizzly Seattle sky writing.

My father. A world traveler. A coach. A mentor. An engineer. A teacher.

I have many early memories of time with my father. I remember hiking Mt.Washington, our family vacation to Disney World, multiple road trips to Pennsylvania to visit our extended family. Eating lobsters in the backyard, working on home improvement projects together. My first beer with him. Those memories remain vivid and in the forefront of my mind to this day. I remember him coming to most of my basketball games, knowing afterwards whether to coach me or hug me. He has always had that intuition of knowing exactly what I need and when I need it, whether it be space or a heart to heart.

Our relationship has grown over the years into a dynamic conversation, with me living so far away. Our talks are "heartier," and contain the substance of love, work, money, and life. I know when he is overworked, exhausted, and wanting a beer and a chance to sit on the couch simply by the way he says hello. I also know when he is smiling because he has returned on a great adventure with my mom either kayaking or hiking.

This past week, I got to know my dad on a completely new level. A level of vulnerability. Hearing him cry on the other end of the phone broke my heart in so many ways. All I wanted was to hug him through the phone. The magical thing about what happened this week was that I saw my dad in a sad space yet he was strong at the same time. His wisdom of life and love and family has been passed along to my brother and I, and I can strongly say I will carry that wisdom with me always.

He is a man of many talents. Strong yet gentle, assertive, yet compassionate, creative, yet practical. He has been and will continue to be the strong one, the detail oriented guy, the engineer who travels to exotic locations and drinks the water. The guy who has a Harley. I am so thankful for all the lessons he has taught me, all the mountains he has brought me to climb, the many late nights around our fire pit back home with margaritas and chips & salsa, and laughter that wakes up the neighborhood.

Dad, Happy Father's Day.

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