I wrote this for my public figure page on Facebook yesterday because it is my one wish especially ob Father’s Day – the one gift I wish I could give my husband. If I could have time with my dad I would give that time to Larry so they could know each other. It is so hard to get through these parental honoring days when your parents are gone. Dad would have loved Larry. Larry would have loved my dad.
I would like you to meet someone, Dad. I would like to introduce you to my wonderful husband, Larry. I know the two of you will like each other a lot because Larry is 100% Polish and you are 100% Hungarian. That’s a great start!
I told my friends this morning that if I could have you with me again one more time I would want you to spend that time with Larry so you could know in your heart I finally got it right, dad.
I would want you to shake his hand and sit down next to him, cross your leg across your knee, and go ahead and light up that cigarette. It can’t hurt you anymore, and since you would be visiting in another realm, it can’t hurt Larry either.
I know you would tell him how sad you are that you did not pay attention to that lump! That if you had not allowed your stubborn Hungarian background to keep you from going to the doctor we could have had a lot more time together. I know you would tell him how hard you fought, and you did, Dad. You tried every treatment available, some that were not even sanctioned by medical society.
Then you would skip back in time and tell him about all the fun we had as a family. You would tell Larry about all our special trips to the park every Sunday where you would fry pork chops on the grill, and we would skip stones across the Rocky River. You would tell him about the time we almost got stuck in the cave in Hinckley Reservation. You would tell him how I wouldn’t use the outhouse on Aunt Esther’s farm because I was prissy. I am still prissy Dad, I can count on one hand how many times I have used a Portalet (don’t ask Dad, they are outhouses that get delivered).
You would tell him about the time I fell in the river while dinner was cooking and you drove me all the way home to change my clothes and that was quite a distance. Speaking of driving, you would tell him about the time I was driving and I went to pass another car and scared you pretty bad. Obviously we made it. Then that would remind you of the time I took that same car through two parked CTA buses on East 14th Street in downtown Cleveland, I think you sat on the floor of the car that time. We made it – dad I have very good depth judgment.
Oh and you would tell him how you would call me at work to let me know if you would be able to drive me home. I worked at Canada Dry then and had to answer the phone “Drink Wink from Canada Dry” and you always laughed and said “Drink Wink and Stink”.
Yes, you and Larry would have a lot of good laughs at my expense but with love, I know that because if there is one thing I know for sure, you loved me with all your heart.
I do want you to know that being married to Larry spares me the loneliness of not having any close family left but I know that you and Mom and my itchy brother Danny are together because that is how it was supposed to play out. I get that – mom told me once that I could get through anything because in her opinion I was the strongest woman she ever knew. I got that from you, Dad and I am so grateful for that.
One last thing, I am sure you would share your opinion with Larry about how I named my sweet little girl dog after you. Larry and I always knew there would be a dog named Willie in our lives, we just did not know it would be a girl dog, so I changed the spelling a little and whenever we say her name I see your face in my mind’s eye. Again that is how it was supposed to play out.
During the conversation you would uncross your leg from your knee and you would lean forward and look Larry deep in the eyes just like you used to do with me when I would sit across from you before going to bed. I know you would thank Larry for taking such good care of your daughter, and you would get up, shake his hand, start to walk away, and you would turn and give us both your special wave and get into that Chevrolet you liked so much. You would toot the horn and drive off smiling and saying to yourself “Yes, Carole, you finally did get it right!”
Happy Father’s Day.