I am sure my father never realized all I was learning as we went about our ordinary lives. As far back as I can remember my father was bigger than anyone else’s father. Bigger around that is, way way bigger. Bigger as in the biggest person you may have ever seen. I was used to people staring wherever we went. Children stared and pointed and the grown ups stared too.
But my father also had an unusual air about him. If you got to talk to him for a couple of minutes you were captured and would fall right under his spell. He was magic. I saw this wherever we went. There was an aura about him. It was huge and mesmerizing but the people who couldn’t see it or feel it could not help themselves from staring and pointing. This hurt me terribly. I hurt for him. What was wrong with people?
My father always walked with pride and a little dance in his step. He entered a room like a king and I was the proudest, luckiest, happiest child in the world. He was mine and I knew the secret of his magic. Little did they all know what they were missing.
So this my father taught me without even knowing it : Don’t judge anyone by their appearance and for God’s sakes don’t point and stare and ridicule. Hold your head up high wherever you go. Know how magical and unique you are. My father blessed me with my own wonderful self image because that is the way he moved through the world. He went everywhere, on planes and boats and restaurants and to the beach. He lived. Every moment of his life said “Don’t let anything stop you.”
It was a bittersweet lesson to learn but as much as I worried that strangers where hurting his feelings he never showed it. He showed instead a love of life, a love of people, a love of spontaneity and laughter, parties and champagne and travel. He showed the kind of love a son has for his mother when he would buy her a bouquet of flowers every year on his birthday to thank her for giving him life. He adored his father and all his relatives and he demonstrated that love in so many ways.
Because of what he was constantly giving out people were drawn to him and loved to be in his company. I used to marvel at how a room would just light up when he entered. It is difficult to write this without tears even now after he has been gone for so many years. But he is not gone, because the memories and the feeling is here and lives inside me every single moment of every single day of my life.
Another Father’s Day approaches. I am filled with the love my father gave to me. I loved him so much I thought I would not survive when he passed. I was twenty six and I thought the world had ended and it did in a way. The little girl had lost her king but I still remember it all and I am so thankful for every bit of it. So as another Father’s Day comes and goes I spend it as I always do filled with love and precious memories of my bigger than life incredibly wonderful father.