Hi, I'm Cliff. Drop over sometime.
Do you pay attention to the things your dad says? What will you remember that will roll off your tongue when a memory is prompted?
What do you quietly laugh to yourself about when you think of your Dad's habits or sayings?
All week long I have wanted to sit down and write to several of the fathers I know, love and get to spend time with. The little things I hear and see them doing makes my heart swell. We live a pretty wonderful life and are surrounded by so many angels.
5 things I've learned from Dads just doing their Dad thing:
Bob reminds me that the real joy is in giving! I can't tell you how much joy I see on his face when I hear him talk about his grandkids and being able to contribute to their lives. His pride, love and commitment to do anything it takes and give all he can to support his family and kids and grandkids makes me smile! He reminds me of my dad and the pride my dad always took in our activities and accomplishments.
Eric is so confident in everything he does. And yet, he is so humble. He shows that the secret of life is not determined by what others think or are doing, but by doing what is right for him and his family. He is one of the most genuine and compassionate people I know.
I love seeing the humility and trust in Hugh's voice when he defers to his daughter's opinion. It reminds me of numerous times my dad would ask me about exercises or nutrition and really try to take my advice to heart. Hugh also honors his past and maintains strong connections with his roots - I always learn something when I listen to him, just like my dad's stories and memories.
Chris lights up when he talks about his kids and their accomplishments. It is so cool to see the capacity of love shown in subtle ways! He reminds me a dad is never too busy to talk about his kids!
It never ceases to amaze me how comfortably Sean can carry on conversations whether it be about gardening or college rivals or hockey. He's just like my dad with his numbers and awareness of everything going on in sports. He reminds me how important it is to go with the flow and enjoy the little things in life.
3 little "And then some's" that go a long way:
There are so many other little, but oh-so-meaningful things that I get to see in others that remind me of my Dad!
One person is Lucianna who clips newspaper articles to share with me. It's such a comfortable and reassuring feeling. I love it and it gives me hope that we will not lose touch of books and papers and learning along with the power of community.
My two kids...Brendan and his skin that tans just like my Dad's did and his awareness of other people's needs. He really surprises me with this one, but is so like my dad, it's weird! Natalie and her sense of humor and super sharp mind. She and my dad were buddies, but she only got to know him for 5 years....they would have been kindred spirits. They remind me how lucky we are to see our loved ones carried on in each other!
This could not be complete without acknowledging the bond that exists with all of my cousins and girlfriends who also have said "until we meet again" to our daddy's too soon. We remember the times of year, months and sometimes even exact days that are tender for us. The way we reach out to each other and mutually support has taught me so much about the power of the human heart and soul and our connectivity to each other.
My final reminder of my dad is the mailman who is so cheerful and always says my name when he brings us our mail. My dad cherished the relationships he had with the customers on his mail route and our letter carrier is the same. It truly makes me smile every time I see him, I feel like I am seeing snippets of my Dad's life that I did not know until now.
"Hi, I'm Cliff. Drop over sometime" was one of the funny things that always made me laugh when my dad said it (except for when I was 13 and then I probably wanted to run!) Anytime I meet someone named Cliff, it almost rolls off my tongue, I have to stop myself!
For that and so many of the lessons I learned from him and now see in others I am grateful and wish a Happy Father's Day to my Dad in heaven along with my Grandpa and Greats, my Uncles and all my friends' Dads who will forever be in our hearts, soaring above us, and on angels wings beside us!